PhD scholarship at the Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen (UCPH)

The Cognition, Intention, and Action (CoInAct) Research Group and Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark, invites applications for a PhD position in experimental psychology to be filled by 1 August 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is for 3 years. Enrolment will be at the Faculty of Social Sciences under Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences.

Information about CoInAct can be found at https://psychology.ku.dk/coinact/

Introduction
The PhD programme provides PhD students with strong research training which opens up a window of opportunity to a variety of careers within the private and public sectors. The programme includes the drafting of a PhD thesis, active participation in research networks, PhD courses, teaching, and other forms of knowledge dissemination. The PhD programme can be undertaken as a three-year full-time study within the framework of the 5+3 study programme, or as a four-year full-time study programme within the framework of the 4+4 study programme.  

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

https://samf.ku.dk/phd-skolen/english/

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.

Information about the PhD study programme is also available on the PhD website of the Department of Psychology: www.psy.ku.dk

Job content
The PhD student will be part of a project entitled Selection in Cognition funded by the Carlsberg Foundation and headed by Professor Søren Kyllingsbæk and Associate Professor Thor Grünbaum. Applicants are asked to situate and develop their research plan within the framework of the Selection in Cognition project.

The larger project develops and tests a new theory of basic cognitive selection mechanisms by combining methods and perspectives from experimental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, mathematical modelling, and philosophy. The core idea is that selection in cognition may be understood as a biased competition between representations in a stochastic race (Grünbaum, Oren, & Kyllingsbæk, 2021). In a series of experiments, we have consistently shown that tasks-sets are competing biased by their importance and that this selection process is severely capacity limited. We will extend our new experimental procedures and mathematical models to the study of selection in planning and problem-solving. If our conjecture is true, higher-order cognitive processes like task selection, planning, and problem-solving depend on the same type of selection.

The applicant should be a student with a strong background and interest in experimental psychology. During the employment, the candidate is expected to engage in the development of new experimental procedures that will enable us to test our general theory of cognitive selection in the domains of task selection, planning, and problem-solving at both psychological and neurobiological levels. We aim to use our intention selection paradigm to study task-sets within and between complex hierarchies of task-sets. Focus will be on the development of experimental paradigms that will enable us to test our basic computational model of selection processes in planning and problem-solving.

The successful candidate will be working in close collaboration with cognitive psychologists and philosophers, and other cognitive scientists and should be interested in the development of new experimental paradigms, modelling, and theory development. The PhD student is expected to conduct new experimental research during the period of employment. It is expected that the successful candidate will be present, part of the team, and partake in the activities at CoInAct on a daily basis. The PhD student will be physically located at the Cognition and Neuropsychology research section https://psychology.ku.dk/research/sections/cognition-and-neuropsychology/, at the Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen.

Qualification requirements
Emphasis will be placed on the following:

  • Experience in one or more of the following:
    • Designing and conducting psychological experiments
    • Statistical analyses of behavioural data
  • The applicant’s scientific record, e.g., publications in scientific journals within experimental and cognitive psychology
  • Previous experience with interdisciplinary collaboration and research
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Excellent skills in English, written and spoken.

Applications

  • The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society, and invites all qualified applicants, regardless of personal background, to apply for the positions.  
  • 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 can be awarded each term.  

Scholarship in the 5+3 or in the 4+4 PhD study programme
The 5+3 PhD study programme
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 4+4 PhD study programme
Students who have completed a BSc plus 60 ECTS of an MSc degree programme would enrol as PhD students simultaneously with their enrolment in the MSc degree programme. Applicants should check the study programmes for more detailed descriptions of the entry requirements. Until an MSc degree is obtained, the grant is paid partly in the form of up to 48 state education grant portions (in Danish: SU-klip). More specifically the PhD student will be paid two grant portions per month plus salary for work (teaching, presentations etc.) which totals a workload of at least 280 hours. Payment and conditions of employment are carried out in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). Upon completion of the MSc degree the student is transferred to the salary-earning part of the PhD studies. 

The Phd fellow is expected to seek funding for fieldwork as this is not included in the scholarship. 

How to apply
Submit a complete application at our online portal. Click on the “Apply now” icon at the bottom of the page to apply. The documents must be in Adobe PDF or Word.

  • Project abstract (Please fill in the project abstract in the application form. Must not exceed 1,200 characters.)
  • Cover Letter (detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project )
  • Project description (recommended no more than 12,000 keystrokes not including bibliography) 
  • CV   
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)   
  • Time schedule 
  • Budget 
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications, documentation of English language qualifications (if any)  

Please note that it is only possible to upload one document per attachment category. If more than one document has to be uploaded in the same category, please make sure that they are scanned and collected into one file.

Application process
On the website of Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences, you will find information about the application process, and enclosures to include with your electronic application:

https://samf.ku.dk/phd-skolen/english/applicants/application/current_advertisement/

The recruitment process
Further information on the recruitment process at University of Copenhagen can be found here: https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/

The following criteria are used when shortlisting candidates for assessment:

1. Research qualifications as reflected in the project proposal. 

2. Quality and feasibility of the project.  

3. Qualifications and knowledge in relevant psychological disciplines. 

4. Performance (grades obtained) in graduate and post-graduate studies. 

5. Department of Psychology 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, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, ethnicity etc. For more on the diverse working place environment at the University and the University’s participation in the HRS4R HR Excellence in Research, see https://employment.ku.dk/working-at-ucph/eu-charter-for-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: https://ism.ku.dk/

Contact information
Information about the recruitment process is available from Dorthea Andersen, HR, e-mail: hrsc@hrsc.ku.dk, please refer to ID number: 211-1701/24-2H #1.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Professor Søren Kyllingsbæk, e-mail: sk@psy.ku.dk, phone (+45) 93 56 50 38 or Associate Professor Thor Grünbaum, e-mail: tgr@hum.ku.dk for more information about the Selection in Cognition project and for additional information about the position.

The closing date for applications is 1 May 2024 at 23:59 CEST.

Applications received after the deadline will not be taken into account.

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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.

Info

Application deadline: 01-05-2024
Employment start: 01-08-2024
Department/Location: Department of Psychology
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