PhD in The Digital Society and Trust with Focus on Trust in Online Service Providers

Roskilde (By), Region Sjælland (DK)
20 Sep 2023
End of advertisement period
20 Oct 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

The Department of Communication and Arts (DCA), Roskilde University, invites applications for a salaried PhD position studying trust in digital service providers from 1 February 2024. The position as PhD fellow is limited to 3 years of full-time employment with DCA as the daily workplace.

Department of Communication and Arts

Your daily workplace will be Departement of Communication and Arts at Roskilde University. DCA covers RUC’s Communication programs (Communication, Journalism, and Performance Design) and Art programs (Danish, Philosophy, History, and Cultural Encounters).

We conduct excellent, interdisciplinary research in the intersection between Communication, Cultural Studies, Social Science, and Humanities, and offer an innovative and interdisciplinary university environment, characterized by diversity with respect to theory, method, and area of study in research and education. Our research is characterized by double impact, i.e., by the highest academic quality, and by direct interaction with public, private, and civil actors in society. We have strong research networks and partnerships with local, regional, national, and international partners with the goal of ensuring the highest quality in all our research-based activities.

Description of the PhD project

The PhD position is part of the research project Digital Society and Trust (DIS-TRUST) funded by the Velux Foundations. The PhD position is located at Roskilde University, and the successful applicant will be associated with the research group Science Studies and Centre for Digital Citizenship. The successful applicant will work closely with the project leader, Associate Professor Esther Oluffa Pedersen, and other members of the DIS-TRUST project at Roskilde University.

The DIS-TRUST project investigates how conditions for interpersonal trust and trust in institutions change in the digital society, how new forms of trust are formed, and what challenges digitalization poses to trust. The project originates in philosophy’s conceptual work with trust and digitalization. The constant digital transformations of social life worlds are studied conceptually and by confronting the conceptual analyses with concrete context embedded case studies. Consequently, DIS-TRUST advances and matures its analyses of trust oscillating within the poles of qualitative empirical research and philosophical conceptual theories. A brief description of the project can be found here:

In alignment with the goals of overall project, we invite original research proposals for a PhD project focusing on how users experience trust in service providers on the Internet. The project has two strains. Firstly, the question what are necessary and sufficient requirements for internet service providers to be trustworthy? For the success of this part, it is crucial to gain context-sensitive insights into how trustworthiness is established in digital environments. Secondly, the PhD project also questions how users (as consumers and citizens) experience trust to providers of services?

The Doctoral School

You will be enrolled as a PhD student at The Doctoral School of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University.Read more here

Responsibilities and tasks

The PhD position is an educational position and the main tasks are in accordance with chapter 3, Ministerial Order on the PhD Program at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions (


Applicants are expected to have a strong educational background and have a completed master’s degree (or equivalent) from the humanities for instance Philosophy, Information Science, Media and Communication Studies.

The ideal candidate has an interest in the social philosophy of trust and will preferable have worked within the philosophy of digitalization and will be willing to combine conceptual analysis with qualitative research.

Applicants are asked to submit a PhD project description (max. 5 pages of 12,000 characters, incl. spaces). The project description should outline the project proposed by the applicant and specify how the project relates to the research objectives of the overall project.

The PhD candidate is expected to:

  • Complete an article-based, PhD dissertation within the three-year project period. This will require producing international journal articles and/or book chapter publications, of which some may be written with other members of the project team, including the project supervisor.
  • Participate actively in the DIS-TRUST-project and relevant research activities at the DCA.
  • Participate actively in PhD activities at the doctoral school.

The successful candidate should possess good communication skills and be a visible, involved participant in the department’s daily activities, in addition to being willing to engage in disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration.


For further information about the PhD and the overall project, please contact project leader associate professor Esther Oluffa Pedersen on e-mail:

Terms of employment

The employment is on full time, 37 hours per week and you will refer to Dean Ida Willig,


To apply for the position go to 

Please submit your application no later than 20. October 2023.