211-0971/21-2H PhD fellowship in Fabrication for Human-Centred Computing

PhD fellowship in Fabrication for Human-Centred Computing
PhD Project in 3D Printing End-User Customisable Devices
Computer Science / Datalogisk Institut
Faculty of SCIENCE
University of Copenhagen

The Human-Centred Computing Section at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Copenhagen (DIKU) invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in digital fabrication, sensing techniques, and design to support measuring and adjusting input devices for individuals’ bodies.. The project is financed by The Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Start date is expected to be 1 July 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project
We are building tools that enable users to customize input devices for their own bodies, tasks, preferences, and needs. Such tools can measure the dynamic capabilities of users’ bodies, sense their individual limits of perception, analyze their tasks, and combine these metrics to help a user customize and build an interactive object—such as a video game controller or input device for a robotic surgery or endoscopy system—fit to their own body and capabilities. This could enable more precise input, reduce risk of repetitive strain injuries, and broaden the target population of input devices to include people with accessibility requirements.

In particular, the successful applicant will be exploring relevant questions through 1) design and fabrication of functional electromechanical interactive devices and 2) implementation of software-based design, simulation, and sensing tools.

Who are we looking for?
We are looking for candidates within the field(s) of Computer Science, Mechancal Engineering, or Industrial Design. Applicants should be very comfortable with programming (both software development and analysis/scripting) and curious about 3D design. Experience in 3D modeling, basic electronics, and/or designing/performing user studies is helpful.

Our group and research—what do we offer?
The Human-Centred Computing section is a mix of technical and social HCI faculty and students who work on diverse topics including perception in virtual reality, gender equity in computing, haptics, human-robot interaction, and fabrication. We are 9 faculty and approximately 10 PhD students who share a building, and our research methods span from building and testing hardware and software, to running psychophysical studies, to ethnography.

The group is a part of the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. We are located in Copenhagen ’s Nørrebro neighbourhood, which was recently rated the coolest in the world by Time Out magazine. Copenhagen is consistently recognized as one of the world’s most-livable and safest cities, and the country of Denmark is ranked one of the three happiest in the world.

We offer creative and stimulating working conditions and significant freedom in a dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include a modern fabrication space (3D printers, laser cutters, electronics tools, etc.) as well as virtual reality headsets and tracking tools (HTC Vive, Oculus Quest 2, Optitrack, etc.).

Supervisory duties​​ will be shared by Assistant Professor Valkyrie Savage and Associate Professor Daniel Ashbrook, Department of Computer Science, dan@di.ku.dk, Direct Phone: +45 81 94 12 38.

The PhD programme
Depending of your level of education, you can undertake the PhD programme as either:

Option A: A three year full-time study within the framework of the regular PhD programme (5+3 scheme), if you already have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master’s degree.

Option B: An up to five year full-time study programme within the framework of the integrated MSc and PhD programme (the 3+5 scheme), if you do not have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master´s degree – but you have an education equivalent to a Danish bachelors´s degree.


Option A: Getting into a position on the regular PhD programme

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, e.g., Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, or Industrial Design. 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.

Option B: Getting into a position on the integrated MSc and PhD programme

Qualifications needed for the integrated MSc and PhD programme

If you do not have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master´s degree, you might be qualified for the integrated MSc and PhD programme, if you have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish bachelor´s degree. Here you can find out, if that is relevant for you: General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.  

Terms of the integrated programme
To be eligible for the integrated scholarship, you are (or are eligible to be) enrolled at one of the faculty’s master programmes in Computer Science.

Students on the integrated programme will enroll as PhD students simultaneously with completing their enrollment in this MSc degree programme.

The duration of the integrated programme is up to five years, and depends on the amount of credits that you have passed on your MSc programme. For further information about the study programme, please see: www.science.ku.dk/phd, “Study Structures”.

Until the MSc degree is obtained, (when exactly two years of the full 3+5 programme remains), the grant will be paid partly in the form of 48 state education grant portions (in Danish: “SU-klip”) plus salary for work (teaching, supervision etc.) totalling a workload of at least 150 working hours per year.
A PhD grant portion is DKK 6,243.

When you have obtained the MSc degree, you will transfer to the salary-earning part of the scholarship for a period of two years. At that point, the terms of employment and payment will be according 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.

Responsibilities and tasks in both PhD programmes

  • Complete and pass the MSc education in accordance with the curriculum of the MSc programme

 (only for the integrated MSc and PhD programme)

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

We are looking for the following qualifications:

  • Strong skills in programming and technical computer science, demonstrated through contributions to personal and/or group software projects.
  • Curious mindset with a strong interest in 3D printing, geometric modeling, mechanical systems, electronics, anatomy, ergonomics, and user-centred design and analysis. Prior experience in at least one of these areas is helpful and should be highlighted but is not required.
  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project, for example publications or demonstrations at conferences, work experience, independent or open source projects, or other relevant activities.
  • Proficiency in both written and spoken English.


Application and Assessment Procedure

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

Please include

  1. Letter of application describing why you are applying for this PhD project and why you are a great fit (max. two pages)
  2. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position. If applicable, include your github handle.
  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 acceptable. If you have a research-based master’s degree, please include a copy of your master’s thesis (provisional or final) and your thesis assessment (provisional or final).
  4. Publication list, including PDFs (if applicable)
  5. Portfolio showcasing any relevant mechanical, electronic, and design projects (if applicable)
  6. Reference letters (if available)

Application deadline:

The deadline for applications is 16 January 2021, 23:59 GMT +1

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 https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.

Interviews with selected candidates are expected to be held in week 11-13/2022

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact Valkyrie Savage.

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website: https://www.science.ku.dk/phd/.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 


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: 16-01-2022
Employment start: 01-06-2022
Department/Location: Department of Computer Science