PhD Position at NTNU, AI4Citizens Responsible AI for Citizen Safety in Future Smart Cities

Gjøvik, Norway
06 Dec 2021
End of advertisement period
19 Dec 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

The Department of Information Security and Communication Technology has a vacancy for a position as a PhD Candidate in the cross-disciplinary field of AI, video analytics and object identification and fingerprinting.

This is a researcher training position aimed at providing promising researcher recruits the opportunity of academic development in the form of a doctoral degree in areas where there are high demands for candidates with deep knowledge and insight. 

I4Citizens is an international and interdisciplinary research collaboration between The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), The University of Agder (UiA), BI Norwegian Business School, and public safety departments from Norway, Germany, The Netherlands, and The United Kingdom. The project and workplace will be located close to NORCICS Center of Excellence in Research-Based Innovation - The Norwegian Center for Cybersecurity for Critical Sector - hosted by NTNU and opportunities exist for close collaboration with the NORCICS consortium.

The appointment is for 4 years including 25% duty work.

The position’s working place is NTNU’s campus in Gjøvik. It reports to Head of Department, and research responsible are Professor Katrin Franke and Associate Professor Lasse Øverlier.

Duties of the position

Police organizations around the world routinely collect large amounts of digital data to fulfil their mandate of maintaining public safety. There is an urgent need for research and development of novel non-intrusive security solutions that overcome the growing volume and complexity of the collected surveillance data. Artificial intelligence offers the opportunity to simultaneously address the imperatives of improved security, privacy protection, and promotion and safeguarding of human rights. Our aim is the creation of a balanced and responsible socio-technical approach and solution to smart-city policing that helps diminish sociocultural biases and achieve public acceptance.

The successful candidates will contribute with novel research in three main areas: video analytics, object fingerprinting, and object tracking and identification with context in videos. The PhD will work closely with Police and the other project partners with requirements for safety improvements and follow a path of research to extract context from video together with object segmentation, extracting features from objects in order to build a more descriptive object model, and creating object fingerprints from this model. In addition, indexing and search algorithms is an essential part of making the results available.

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, information security, engineering or equivalent education 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.

In addition, the successful candidate will have excellent general working knowledge of relevant algorithms and expert level programming skills. Willingness to work in a collaborative research project is essential.

This PhD is expected to collaborate closely with the researchers in the NTNU Digital Investigation Group and the new NORCICS center and will be an integral part of the relevant research groups.

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

Documented and relevant background in at least two or more of the following fields: 

  • computer vision and 
  • AI, machine learning for video analytics, tracking of multiple objects through video, object segmentation in videos, video context analysis.
  • Publication activities in the aforementioned disciplines will be considered an advantage
  • High motivation for research work and ability to work independently
  • Good organization and communication skills with interest in wider context of own research and ability to engage in cross-disciplinary teams.
  • Eager to disseminate research results through publications and presentations at international conferences.
  • Good written and oral English and Norwegian language skills. 

Applicants who do not master a Scandinavian language 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.

Personal characteristics

We are searching applicants who are

  • highly motivated by fundamental scientific research of practical relevance
  • highly motivated by deep technical research
  • highly comfortable picking apart bits and bytes to extract knowledge about the data
  • well organized and have interests beyond their own research and ability
  • eager to disseminate research results through publications and presentations at international conferences

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, 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 for a term of 4 years including 25% duty work.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Information Security  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.

The position is subject to external funding.

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 include:

  • Cover letter (1 page) explaining your motivation and how your skills and experience relate to the research associated with the position
  • Project proposal
  • A draft research plan (1 page).
  • CV, certificates and diplomas
  • transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted.
  • A copy of the Master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your Master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed Master's degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • Name and address of three referees
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work

Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement (for European Master Diplomas outside Norway) or a similar document that describes in detail the study and grading system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree.

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.

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must at-tach a brief 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 Gjøvik has a population of 30 000 and is a town known for its rich music and cultural life. The beautiful nature surrounding the city is ideal for an active outdoor life! The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world.

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 Lasse Øverlier, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Katrine Rennan, e-mail:

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: 19.12.2021

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 Information Security and Communication Technology

Research is vital to the security of our society. We teach and conduct research in cyber security, information security, communications networks and networked services. Our areas of expertise include biometrics, cyber defence, cryptography, digital forensics, security in e-health and welfare technology, intelligent transportation systems and malware. The Department of Information Security and Communication Technology is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

Deadline 19th December 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Gjøvik Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service NTNU Campus Gjøvik

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