PhD Scholarship (3 years, full time) in Social Data Science at University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

Who are we looking for? 
We are looking for a PhD fellow in the area of Social Data Science, broadly defined. The PhD fellow will be a part of the research initiative “Understanding Human Behaviour: From Prediction to Theory”, which evaluates the utility of a prediction-first approach to inform theory in the social sciences. The initiative aims to 1) To critically investigate the current state-of-the-art methods in machine learning and explainable AI in their ability to inform theories in the social sciences; 2) To draw from different disciplines to inspire new methodologies and ways in which machine learning can be used to inform, test, or challenge theories of human behaviour; 3) To assess the ethical concerns and privacy risks of combining and compiling sensitive datasets to be used together with powerful predictive algorithms as research tools into the human psyche.

The PhD fellow will work on research projects at the intersection of social science and data science/machine learning. Applicants can have a background either in a quantitative social science discipline (e.g., economics, sociology, political science, behavioural science, education, psychology) or in (social) data science, computer science, complex systems, or related discipline. We are looking for the most talented candidates that ideally bring some knowledge and experience into the methods from the social sciences, data/computer science, or ideally both. Preferred skills include programming ability (preferably in python), knowledge of machine learning, statistics, and an understanding of the content and theory in at least one social science discipline.

The preferred starting date is 01.09.2023, but an earlier or later starting date might also be possible.

What do we offer? 
The PhD student will be enrolled in the PhD programme in Social Data Science and the PhD scholarship will be hosted at the Copenhagen Center for Social Data Science (SODAS,, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. SODAS offer a lively research environment and host several researchers who have expertise in various social science areas and computational/data science methods. 

We offer a competitive, fully funded PhD position for 3 years. The PhD fellow will be based in Copenhagen. 

In order to be eligible for a scholarship in the 5+3 PhD study programme the applicant must have completed a two-year MSc degree programme, or have earned 120 ECTS credits at an equivalent academic level before starting his or her employment. Applicants should check the study programmes for more detailed descriptions of the entry requirements. PhD students are paid a salary in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The PhD student has a work obligation of up to 840 hours over the 3 year period of time without additional pay. The work obligation can include for instance teaching.

The application should consist of:
•  Cover/motivation letter (max. 2 pages) 
•  Diplomas and transcripts of grades (if applicable) 
•  Bachelor and Master theses (if applicable) 
•  Proposal for a PhD research project in the area of social data science (1,500-2,000 words, excluding references) including the main objectives, data to be collected/analyzed, and methods used for analyses. 

Applications must be submitted electronically no later than 1 May, 2023 through the electronic application system via the link below. The documents must be in PDF or Word. Applications received by email or after the deadline will not be taken into account.

Duties and Responsibilities 
Further information about the PhD study programme is available on the website of Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences: 

Under "Legal basis" on the website you will find information about the rules and guidelines for the PhD programme, and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities. 

Application process
•  In order to be awarded a PhD scholarship the applicant has to enroll as a PhD student at the Faculty of Social Sciences, cf. the rules of the Danish Ministerial order No 1039 of 27 August 2013. 
•  Please note that normally there is strong competition for these scholarships, and only a few applicants will be shortlisted. 

Further information on the recruitment process at University of Copenhagen can be found here:

The following criteria are used when shortlisting candidates for assessment: 
1. Research qualifications as reflected in the project proposal and fit of the project proposal with the research initiative
2. Quality and feasibility of the project.  
3. Qualifications and knowledge in relevant disciplines. 
4. Performance (grades obtained) in graduate studies. 
5. SODAS can offer adequate supervision for the research topic in question. 

Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the assessment committee, and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself.

An Equal Opportunity Workplace 
The University of Copenhagen is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to creating an inclusive working environment and therefore encourages all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of personal background. For more on the diverse working place environment at the University and the University’s participation in the HRS4R HR Excellence in Research, see researchers/ 

International applicant? 
The University of Copenhagen offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including support before and during your relocation and career counselling to expat partners. Please find more information about these services as well as information on entering and working in Denmark here:

Contact information 
For further information about the position, please contact Assistant Professor Rosa Lavelle-Hill at SODAS, (only available after 1 March)
For further information on the PhD program, please contact the Head of the PhD program at SODAS: Professor Ingo Zettler, 



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: 01-05-2023
Employment start: 01-09-2023
Department/Location: Faculty of Social Sciences, SODAS
Content not available due to cookie preferences

You cannot see the content of this field because of your cookie preferences.

Click here to change your cookie settings.

Category: Marketing

Search all vacancies