PhD Fellowship position in Social Robots for Children

Oslo Metropolitan University
August 01, 2024
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Faculty of Technology, Art and Design, Department of Art, Design and Drama

Oslo Metropolitan University is Norway's third largest university with almost 22,000 students and over 2,500 employees. We have campuses in central Oslo and at Romerike. OsloMet educates students and conducts research that contributes to the sustainability of the Norwegian welfare state and the metropolitan region.

The Faculty of Technology, Art and Design (TKD) offers higher education and research and development (R&D) activities within technical subjects, arts and design. The Faculty has approximately 4.000 students and 400 staff members and is situated at Pilestredet Campus in downtown Oslo and at Kjeller Campus in Viken.

The Department of Computer Science offers three bachelor's degree programmes, a master's degree programme, and is part of a cross-departmental PhD program. Academic staff at the department are pursuing research in a wide range of areas including computer science, the natural sciences, and innovation and management. Both students and researchers are also involved in an increasing number of interdisciplinary initiatives across the university.

The Department of Computer Science (IT) has a vacant PhD Fellowship position in Social Robots for Children. The PhD candidate will be member of the Universal Design of ICT research group and the Design, Culture and Sustainability research group. The PhD candidate will also have access to the Interaction Lab at IT and the workshops at the department of Product design (PD).

Successful candidates will be co-supervised by three experienced researchers from IT, PD and Health Sciences, who possess the relevant expertise and complementary research profiles that align with the goal of the PhD project.

Area of research

Social robots offer substantial promise for helping children in different contexts such as healthcare and education. However, off-the-shelf robots often do not meet the specific needs of children and there is a lack of knowledge regarding how social robots can be designed to support children and their subsequent impacts on children and their families.

This interdisciplinary PhD project aims to address this knowledge gap by applying participatory and co-design approaches to engage children and families in the design, development, and evaluation of social robots.

The PhD project will include 2-3 cases from different contexts. One of the cases is social robots in the context of enhancing the life quality of siblings of children in palliative care, who struggle with complex feelings concerning their brother or sister's pain and suffering and who often receive insufficient attention from their parents already overwhelmed by caring for the sick child.

The PhD candidate will be expected to propose two more cases from different contexts based on experiences and personal interests.

The position is advertised as a 3-year position with 100% research, or a 4-year position with 75% research and 25% other tasks (teaching, supervision and/or administrative work). The goal must be to complete the PhD program/degree within the decided time frame. The decision on a 3- or 4-year position will be discussed as part of the interviews in the hiring process.

Qualification requirements and conditions
  • Master's degree within Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, Product Design, Universal Design, Interaction Design, Health Informatics, or a related relevant field. The degree must contain 120 credits (ECTS).
  • An academic profile that suits the research group's needs.
  • Good communication skills in English, oral and written.
  • Proficiency in a Scandinavian language is an advantage.
  • The following grade requirements are a condition for employment in the position:

  • Minimum average grade B on subjects included in the master's degree.
  • Minimum grade B on the master's thesis.
  • Minimum average grade C on the subjects included in the bachelor's degree. If you have an integrated master's degree, the grades from the first three standard years of the degree will be assessed.
  • Admission to the doctoral program Innovation for Sustainability at the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design within three months of employment is a prerequisite for the position. If you already have a doctorate in a related field, you will not qualify for the position.

    In assessing the applicants, emphasis will be placed on the department's overall needs and the applicant's potential for research within the field.

    General criteria for employment in academic positions are covered by the Regulations on employment conditions for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, scientific assistant and specialist candidate.

    Preferred selection criteria
  • Experience with interdisciplinary projects.
  • Experience with involving users in design, development, or evaluation of digital systems.
  • Experience with design, development, or evaluation of social robots.
  • Experience with design, development, or evaluation of digital applications for children.
  • Experience with co-design or participatory design.
  • Ability to independent, planned and goal-oriented work.
  • Good communication skills in Norwegian, oral and written.
  • Personal suitability will be emphasised.

    It is important to OsloMet to reflect the population of our region, and all qualified candidates are welcome to apply. We make active endeavours to further develop OsloMet as an inclusive workplace and to make adaptations to the workplace where required. You are also welcome to apply for a position with us if you have had periods where you have not been in employment, education or training.

    We can offer you
  • An exciting job opportunity at Norway's third largest and most urban university
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • Beneficial pension arrangements with the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund (spk.no/en/)
  • Beneficial welfare schemes and a wide range of sports and cultural offers
  • Free Norwegian language classes to employees and their partners/spouses
  • Workplace in downtown Oslo with multiple cultural offers
  • Practical information about relocation to Oslo and living in Norway (oslomet.no/en/work)

    Application

    To be considered for the position, you must upload the following documents by the application deadline:

  • Application letter describing your motivation and how your professional profile is relevant for this position.
  • Copies of diplomas and transcripts for bachelor's and master's degrees (which list subjects and grades) and certificates. Please note that a description of the grading system at the university/country where you took your degree must be attached. This must be an official document with a stamp from your university. Foreign diplomas must be translated into English by the university that issued the diploma.
  • Your master's degree must be completed at the time of application. If you have not received a diploma before the application deadline, you must attach a preliminary transcript in English or a Scandinavian language from your university by the application deadline, in addition to an official confirmation from the educational institution that all examinations for the master's degree, including the master's thesis, have been completed. Official diploma and transcript must be forwarded by the joining date.
  • Name and contact information of two references (name, relationship, e-mail and telephone number).
  • Scientific work that you want to be assessed and Master thesis.
  • The application should include a description of two cases in different contexts where social robots can be helpful for children. The description should be in English or a Scandinavian language. Each case description is max one page. The cases can be based on the candidate's experiences or personal interests.
  • Applicants from countries where English is not a first language must submit the result of an official language test. The following applicants are exempt from this language requirement:
  • Applicants from EU/EEA countries.
  • Applicants who have completed at least one year of study in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Great Britain or the United States.
  • Applicants who hold an “International Baccalaureate (IB)” diploma.
  • The following language tests are approved documentation: TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). In these tests, you must have achieved at least the following scores:

  • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)
  • IELTS: 6.5, where none of the sections should have a lower score than 5.5 (only the Academic IELTS test is accepted).
  • We only process applications sent via our electronic recruitment system and all documents must be uploaded for your application to be processed. The documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language. Translations must be authorized. You must present originals at any interview. OsloMet checks documents, so that you as a candidate will get a real evaluation and fair competition.

    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. A background check may be conducted to verify information in submitted CVs and available documents. Background checks are not conducted without the consent of the applicant and relevant applicants will receive further information about this.

    Other information

    If you would like more information about the position, feel free to contact:

  • Siri Fagernes, [email protected], +4767238663
  • Weiqin Chen: [email protected], +4767238671
  • Arild Berg: [email protected], +4767238593
  • The position is paid according to the pay scale for Norwegian state employees, position code 1017 PhD fellow, NOK 532 200 per year.

    If you have documents that cannot be uploaded electronically, please contact [email protected].

    If you would like to apply for the position, you must do so electronically through our recruitment system.

    Deadline for applications: August 1st 2024

    Ref.: 24/19733

    OsloMet is a Charter & Code certified institution by the EU Commission holding the right to use the logo HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R). OsloMet is a member of the EURAXESS network supporting a positive work environment for researchers in motion.

    OsloMet has signed The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). DORA recognizes the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated.

    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 are seen to be in conflict with the criteria in the latter law will not be considered for the position.

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    Type of employment Fixed-term post

    Contract type Full time Number of positions 1 Full-time equivalent 100% City Oslo County Oslo Country Norway Reference number 24/19733 Contact

  • Siri Fagernes , 67238663
  • Published 20.Jun.2024 Last application date 01.Aug.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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