PhD Position in Psychology, with a Focus on using Virtual Reality to Shedd new Light on Measuring and Developing Curiosity in Children

Who are we looking for?
The Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), invites candidates for a PhD position (100%, 36 months). Supported by the Tryg Foundation, the chosen candidate will primarily work in a project related to curiosity in children and adults, together with a PhD student and a post-doc (both at the Copenhagen Center for Social Data Science, SODAS), Ingo Zettler (SODAS and Department of Psychology), and Guido Makransky (Department of Psychology).

The position is available from 1 August 2024, but a sooner or later starting date is also possible.

The chosen candidate will be part of the research project “Shedding New Light on Curiosity in Children and Adults”. The main goal of this project is to generate new knowledge that can support children and adults in having a positive life both mentally and socially, by increasing the understanding of: 1) how to best conceptualize and measure curiosity in children and adults; 2) how interventions can foster individual’s curiosity levels; and 3) the role of (different aspects of) curiosity for important outcomes. The project has three intertwined work packages focusing on psychometrics; Virtual Reality (VR) measurement and interventions with children; as well as survey, experimental, and register data studies with adults.

The chosen candidate will be primarily responsible for the VR measurement and interventions with children. The chosen candidate will be expected to organize and conduct VR intervention studies in schools, and to publish scientific articles in international journals as well as to present findings at national and international conferences. In general, the position is research-focused, and funding is available for conducting studies, conference attendances and a research visit such that candidates can start building their international network and their research expertise. For the selected candidate, there will be possibilities to influence the project and develop new project ideas within the project frame. In addition, the chosen candidate will also be asked to fulfill other work obligations (typically teaching or supervising) to a small degree in the overall period.

Applicants should have pursued a Master degree in Psychology or a related field. It is desired, but no precondition that applicants have already gained experiences in one of the following research areas: Educational psychology, curiosity, VR experiments, psychometric measurement, quantitative analyses. Candidates with strong research interests and methodological skills in these or related areas are especially encouraged to apply. It is expected that applicants will publish in internationally recognized scientific journals in English, and that the chosen candidate will contribute continuously with their collaboration skills to the interdisciplinary, international research team. High proficiency in spoken and written English is a requirement. It is also an advantage to speak Danish, as the candidate will collaborate with schools in Denmark.

What do we offer?
The chosen candidate will become part of the Virtual Learning Lab at the Department of Psychology University of Copenhagen (see for more information).  The Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen ( hosts a large group of productive faculty, post docs and PhD-students. The research of the department covers a wide range of topics and methodologies, and has an international work environment.

How to Apply
Submit your completed 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. 

Your application needs to be written in English and include the following documents:

  • Cover/Motivation letter (max. 3 pages)
  • Curriculum vitae (including publications and conference presentations if applicable)
  • Diplomas and transcript of grades (bachelor and master, if applicable)
  • An abstract of the master thesis written in English (1 page)
  • An abstract of the bachelor thesis written in English (1 page)
  • Master thesis (if applicable)
  • Bachelor thesis (if applicable)

Terms of Employment

  • In order to be awarded a PhD scholarship the chosen candidates have to enroll as PhD students at the Faculty of Social Sciences, cf. the rules of the Danish Ministerial order No 1039 of 27 August 2013. Most likely, the applicants will be enrolled in the PhD program at the Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen.  
  • 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.    
  • The exact salary depends on the chosen pension scheme and taxation but starts at DKK 29,000.

The Recruitment Process
Shortlisted 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 themselves. Further information on these recruitment process at University of Copenhagen can be found here:

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

International Applicants
The University of Copenhagen offers information and services for international researchers. Please find more information about these services as well as information on entering and working in Denmark here:

Contact Information
Information about the recruitment process is available from HR, e-mail: please refer to ID number: 211-1786/24-2H #1.

Additional information about the position can be obtained from Guido Makransky (

The closing date for applications is 23:59 CEST 30/04/2023.
Applications or enclosures received thereafter will not be considered.





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: 30-04-2024
Employment start: 01-08-2024
Department/Location: Department of Psychology
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