PhD Candidate in the Area of Digitally Enabled Citizen Engagement for Sustainable Futures

Norwegian University of Science and Technology
January 20, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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The Department of Computer Science has a vacancy for a

PhD Candidate in the Area of Digitally Enabled Citizen Engagement for

Sustainable Futures

This is NTNU

NTNU is a broad-based university with a technical-scientific profile and a focus in professional education. The university is located in three cities with headquarters in Trondheim.

At NTNU, 9,000 employees and 44,000 students work to create knowledge for a better world.

You will find more information about working at NTNU and the application process here.

About the job

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

This PhD position is one of four PhD fellowships within a multi-disciplinary project SWELL (Sustainable Built Environments for better Health and Well- being), which is a collaboration among the Department of Computer Science (IDI), Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science (INB) and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (IBM). The SWELL project's goal is to address the complex interaction between individual Humans' HWB (health and wellbeing) and the Built Environment (BE). For additional information about the SWELL project.

This particular PhD fellowship will focus on the use of ICT to empower behaviour change among individuals and communities by raising awareness about their own carbon footprint and lifestyle, through their daily activities, e.g. mobility choices and short and long term goals. This activity will support citizens make decisions to transition to a more sustainable future, using an ICT-enabled “personal/community-based sustainability manager”, which could help short and long term planning and make trade-offs, through a better understanding of sustainability. It will enhance the human-in-the-loop and make them active participants through increased understanding of sustainability. The work will be based on the Urban Living Labs methodology to engage and work with citizens to co-design solutions. The technologies and solutions that will be explored will include pervasive and ubiquitous technologies that could be used to relate the global/national Sustainable Development Goals (e.g. UN SDGs) and climate related goals to citizens' behaviours. The research will explore how ICT solution(s) can be designed and developed to enhance citizens' understanding of health and sustainable choices, achieve a broader outreach to larger and varied groups of people, and scalable technology that has the potential to engage a variety of stakeholders (e.g. educators, communities, investors, public authorities and service providers).

Your immediate leader is the Head of Department.

Duties of the position

The research activities will focus on the role of ICT in supporting better health and well-being in built environments and cities. The candidate will be a member of the Information Systems and Software Engineering research group.

We are seeking a highly motivated individual that wants to excel in a research environment. Part of the main duties and responsibilities include conducting the following tasks:

  • Develop a systemic understanding of Sustainability and SDGs, particularly within the scope of the SWELL project.
  • Engage with citizens through Urban Living Lab activities, to gather needs, ideas and feedback.
  • Conduct literature reviews related to the relevant research areas.
  • Prototype ICT solutions and conduct evaluation studies.
  • Publish scientific articles.
  • Participate in the collaborative activities within the SWELL project and other activities related to Sustainability at NTNU and internationally.
  • Submit PhD thesis.
  • Required selection criteria

    For this position, the selection committee will prioritise candidates with a strong knowledge of personal and persuasive technologies and the application of ICT for sustainability related research and activities. The following qualifications are required:

  • Documented strong background in HCI and the design and development of purposeful technologies.
  • Knowledge and interest in the areas of sustainability and sustainable cities.
  • Knowledge on quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • Programming skills.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the PhD programme in Computer Science.
  • Excellent written and oral English skills: Excellent English skills, written and spoken, are required. Applicants from non-European countries, where English is not the official language, must present an official language test report. The following tests can be used as such documentation: TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:
  • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)
  • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)
  • CAE/CPE: grade B or A.
  • The appointment is to be made in accordance with Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant

    Preferred selection criteria

    The following qualifications will be considered as advantages:

  • Experience in conducting activities using participatory methods such as co-design workshops and Living Labs.
  • Published or submitted relevant research work.
  • Norwegian language skills will be beneficial.
  • We seek an ambitious and highly motivated individual with a master's degree in Information Systems or related field. Applicants are required to justify their candidateship by explicitly explaining their personal motivation and academic aptitude for pursuing a doctoral degree within this research field.

    The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work with related collaborative projects.

    Emphasis will be put on personal qualities and potential as a researcher. High importance will also be attached to personal communication and cooperation skills.

    Personal characteristics
  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively.
  • You are motivated to contribute to a more sustainable future.
  • Strong motivation to contribute to good working and social environment.
  • Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

    We offer
  • exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment
  • an open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues
  • favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • employee benefits
  • Salary and conditions

    As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 501 200 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

    The period of employment is 3 years.

    Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Computer Science within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

    The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU.

    After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

    It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

    About the application

    The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

    Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

    The application must include:

  • One-page cover letter including the following:
  • your motivation for applying for this position;
  • how your background would fit the position
  • how you meet the Required Selection Criteria for this position;
  • your view of research challenges for the PhD position, as well as your theoretical and methodological approach to the challenges.
  • A Research portfolio which provides an overview of your work and experience related to this position. This could be examples of applications developed and projects you have participated in.
  • CV, including information relevant for the qualifications and contact information for at least 2 reference persons.
  • Certificates and Diplomas.
  • Applicants from universities outside of Norway are requested to send a diploma supplement (or a similar document) which describes in detail the study and grading system, and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree.
  • The Master's thesis and any other academic work in English - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (max 5). Joint work will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint work, you must attach a brief description of your participation.
  • If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

    We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short description of your participation.

    In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates.

    NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

    General information

    Working at NTNU

    A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background.

    The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

    As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

    A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation. You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

    If you have any questions about the position, please contact Associate Professor Sobah Abbas Petersen, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR at the Department, email

    If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.

    Application deadline: 20.01.23

    NTNU - knowledge for a better world

    NTNU - knowledge for a better world

    The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

    Department of Computer Science

    We are the leading academic IT environment in Norway, and offer a wide range of theoretical and applied IT programmes of study at all levels. Our subject areas include hardware, algorithms, visual computing, AI, databases, software engineering, information systems, learning technology, HCI, CSCW, IT operations and applied data processing. The Department has groups in both Trondheim and Gjøvik. The Department of Computer Science is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .


    20th January 2023


    NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology




    Fulltime (1 positions) Fulltime (%)



    Place of service

    NTNU Campus Trondheim

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