PhD Candidate in Interaction Design and Built Environments

Trondheim, Norway
26 Nov 2021
End of advertisement period
07 Jan 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

Research Collaboration Sustainability

In 2015, the 2030 agenda with the 17 sustainability goals was adopted by all UN member states. The sustainability goals see the environment, economy and social development in context. The time horizon for necessary changes is short, and it is challenging to combine different considerations without conflicts of objectives and unintended consequences of measures.

NTNU is now announcing 43 individual PhD positions that will contribute to a greater understanding of system effects, societal changes and conflicts of interest related to the sustainability challenges. These positions are divided into 9 interdisciplinary projects with mainly 4-7 PhD positions in each project. Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research - Calls - NTNU

In this position, the candidate is expected to cooperate with the other PhD students in the project Sustainability - Built environments by SWELL - NTNU

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD fellowship in Interaction Design, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

The position is one of the four PhD fellowships belonging to a university-wide project called SWELL (Sustainable Built Environments for better Health and WELL-being). SWELL’s goal is to address the complex interaction between individual Humans’ HWB (health wellbeing) and the Built Environment (BE). Through new theoretical and empirical foundations by exploring and improving sustainable and adaptable BE (e.g. through technological and space innovations), this project will provide knowledge that allows for better HWB for individuals and societies. Interdisciplinary, cross-professional and multi-sector collaboration and Urban Living Labs (ULL) methodology will be employed as powerful vehicles for achieving greater social and economic goals.

This particular PhD fellowship will focus on Empowering Human-BE Interaction Working Package (WP). This research aims to leverage advancements in sensing and ubiquitous systems to address how physical, spatial, and social design opportunities (e.g., through interactive functionalities and visualizations) can contribute to increasing liveability in BE and environmental, economic and social benefits. The implementation of this WP includes collecting requirements from the stakeholders on what interactions need to be strengthened, integrating the extracted requirements into services, prototyping the necessary interfaces/software, and iteratively testing via case studies. The development of these components entails careful consideration and interdisciplinary work (collaboration with the other 3 PhD fellowships and teams from the healthcare and urban design domains), on how the requirements, design insights and capabilities (e.g., visualizations, gamification) will be incorporated.

You will report to Heri Ramampiaro.

Duties of the position

The candidate will be a member of the Information Systems and Software Engineering research group.

The goal of this project is described above. 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:

  • Conduct a literature review
  • Collect requirements from the stakeholders,
  • Integrating the extracted requirements into services,
  • Prototyping the necessary interfaces/software,
  • Plan and conduct empirical studies
  • Collect and analyze empirical data
  • Write up reports and research articles
  • Participate in the collaborative activities within the SWELL.

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in Computer Science or equivalent education (with a focus on interaction design, HCI, wearable computing, ubiquitous computing or alike) with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

  • A solid knowledge on interaction design, wearable computing, ubiquitous computing, Human-Computer Interaction or similar is essential, and a research-oriented master thesis within one of these or related areas is expected
  • Hands-on experience with designing, and developing design interactive systems
  • Hands-on experience with conducting user studies and collecting, and analyzing data
  • A solid knowledge on quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Good programming skills
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the PhD in Computer Science
  • Good written and oral English skills. Applicants must provide evidence of good English language skills, written and spoken. 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
  • In extraordinary circumstances, formal documentation of language skills can be relinquished. In such cases the candidate’s language skills will be assessed in a personal interview

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and 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 an advantage:

  • Relevant experience as a research assistant in research projects
  • Published or submitted relevant research work

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 in teams
  • Result-oriented
  • Strong motivation to contribute to good working and social environment

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement.

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 491 200 per annum, 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 applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

The application must contain:

  • One-page cover letter including your motivation and how your background would fit the position.
  • Information about education and relevant experience (academic CV)
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and certificates
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grading system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree
  • A short essay (up to 1000 words) describing their view of the main research challenges in designing technologies to empower Human-Space Interaction
  • The master thesis and any other work which the applicant wishes to be taken into account should clearly indicate the applicant's contribution
  • Names and contact information of at least two references

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

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.

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.

In accordance with The Public Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Associate Professor Michail Giannakos, phone +47 94 11 81 08, email:

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. 

Application deadline: 07.01.2022.

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 .

Deadline 7th January 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service NTNU Campus Gløshaugen

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