PhD Fellowship in Human-Centered Data Science and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

University of Copenhagen Department of Computer Science


211-0815/21-2H PhD fellowship in Human-Centered Data Science and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

PhD fellowship in Human-Centered Data Science and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
PhD Project in Human-Centered Data Science for Asylum Legal Landscaping
Department of Computer Science
Faculty of SCIENCE
University of Copenhagen

The Department of Computer Science (DIKU), Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen, invites applicants for a PhD fellowship across Human-Centered Data Science (HCDS) and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). The project is part of the interdisciplinary research project “Nordic Refugee Determination: Advancing Data Science in Migration Law “NoRDASiL” led by Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, which is financed by NordForsk and involves research institutions in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Start date is expected to be 1 January 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter, for a duration of 3 years.

The project

Drawing on unique access to large datasets of Nordic asylum case law from Denmark, Sweden and Norway, and an interdisciplinary team spanning law, computer science and medicine, NoRDASiL will produce a novel approach to answer two questions: What factors shape the production of national asylum decisions? and Why do asylum outcomes across similar cases differ so much from one another? Migration law is a field set to be fundamentally reshaped by computational technologies. NoRDASiL will ensure that research informs these ongoing processes while simultaneously raising important critical questions about how new technologies are implemented and the inherent risks of (re-)producing bias or discrimination. The advertised PhD is specifically related to this element of the project, which draws on participatory design and data science methods (e.g. ML and NLP) to engage with decision-makers, raising question to the data and promote data literacy and ethics among both scholars and practitioners.  Particularly, the PhD will be responsible for conducting the data analysis and planning and carrying out participatory design (PD) workshops as part of the team’s research into different assumptions and explanatory factors impacting asylum decisions.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for candidates having

  • a MSc/ MA degree in a field relevant to HCDS, CSCW or equivalent
  • one or more research or popular publications in a topic relevant to the project
  • practical experience with combining participatory design methods and data science
  • experience with Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing
  • concrete experience in setting up collaborations with partnerships outside the university
  • potential to contribute to frontier international, interdisciplinary research.

All applicants are expected to be able to fluently use English as working language (written and spoken).

Our group and research- and what do we offer?

The PhD project will be hosted by the Software, Data, People & Society (SDPS) section, which is part of the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. The research of the SDPS section is focused on software, process and data management systems, and methods for their development with concern for the broader landscape of stakeholders, thereby creating value for society. The research is often carried out in an interdisciplinary context and in collaboration with industry and public institutions. We value an open and amicable scientific environment with an inclusive and social atmosphere. The PhD will join the CSCW research group and the Confronting Data Co-lab where the research centers around the concept of collaborative work as a basis for a nuanced understanding of the relationship between data, digitalization and society. As a core participant in the NORDASIL project, the PhD will work independently but in close dialogue with the interdisciplinary research team spanning both DIKU and the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, organized across the Nordic Asylum Law & Data Lab.

Principal supervisor is Tenure-track Assistant Professor Naja Holten Møller, Department of Computer Science, Co-supervisor is Associate Professor Tijs Slaats, Department of Computer Science,

The PhD programme

The PhD programme is a three year full-time study within the framework of the regular PhD programme (5+3 scheme).

Qualifications needed for the regular programme

To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project.. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment in the regular programme

Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Salary range starts at DKK 27,788.69 per month incl. PhD supplement (1 April 2021 level).

Responsibilities and tasks in the PhD programme

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Carry out dissemination and teaching activities
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project

The focus of the PhD is not only the analysis of large-scale datasets from asylum decision-making but also the human-centered visualization, data literacy and ethics. While most data science methods focus more on providing computational analysis, the PhD will integrate a human-centered focus on asylum decision-making throughout. The right candidate will understand the fundamental concepts, theories, practices and different horizons in which data is retrieved and manipulated while they will apply new technological developments and inform ongoing policy processes and public discourse in this area.

We are looking for the following qualifications:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other relevant professional activities
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in human-centered data science
  • Language skills


Application and Assessment Procedure

Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  2. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  3. Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  4. Publication list (if possible)

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Application deadline: The deadline for applications is 5 September 2021, 23:59 GMT +2.

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.

The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at

Interviews with selected candidates are expected to be held in week 41

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor Naja Holten Møller (, cell phone: +45 27595792), or Head of SDPS Section, Professor Thomas Hildebrandt (, cell phone: +45 3142 5279).

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website:


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 05-09-2021
Employment start: 01-01-2022
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Computer Science

In your application, please refer to