PhD fellowship in science education research with a focus on translating embodied cognition perspectives to science teacher education

The Department of Science Education, Section for Science Education, invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in science education research with a focus on translating embodied cognition perspectives to science teacher education and/or practice development concerning science teaching in lower secondary or primary school (grade 1-9). The start date is February 1st, 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project
The recent years have seen a growing commitment to embodied cognition as a new paradigm for knowing and learning. The study of embodied cognition builds on the assumption that thinking may occur in action and not only in the head or the brain. This shift in perspective has profound implications for science education research and practice. The goal of the PhD project is to break exciting new ground in the emerging field of embodied science education by systematically translating embodied cognition perspectives to science teacher education and/or science teaching practices. This work will also contribute to furthering the education of teachers within the Master Degree Program in STEM-Teaching. The PhD candidate will develop practical resources and establish design principles for instruction that facilitate embodied engagement to support science learning. There will be considerable room to shape and adapt this PhD project to the academic background and interests of the PhD candidate. Possible areas of specialisation could be a focus on a particular STEM discipline, e.g., embodied cognition in physics education, or a focus on certain formats of instruction, such as technology-enhanced science education viewed from an embodied-cognition lens. For questions or more information on the project, contact Magdalena Kersting (

Who are we looking for?
We are looking for candidates with a background in science didactics, STEM teaching, or a related field of study. Applicants can have a professionally relevant background in education or related area (e.g., educational psychology, pedagogy, learning sciences, philosophy of education, etc.), but it is an advantage to have previous experience in educational research in the STEM disciplines or relevant knowledge of a science subject. Applicants should preferably be familiar with the Scandinavian school system, either through previous work or research experience in schools. Due to the specific nature of the PhD project, we are seeking a candidate who, from the time of employment, has professional working proficiency in either Danish, Norwegian or Swedish. Knowledge of the literature on embodied cognition in science education is advantageous.

About the Section for Science Education
The Section for Science Education is a part of the Department of Science Education, Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. We are located centrally in Copenhagen, in the Niels Bohr Building near the central park Fælledparken. The Department has since 2007 developed into one of the largest European research units in science education. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment.

Principal supervisor is Dr Magdalena Kersting, Section for Science Education, Department of Science Education,, Direct Phone: +4535323775 (Dr Jesper Bruun will act as a formal supervisor until Magdalena Kersting is promoted to associate professor.)

The PhD programme

Qualifications needed
To be eligible for the PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. science didactics, STEM teaching, or a related field of study. For information on eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and the Assessment database.

Terms of employment in the regular programme
Employment as PhD fellow is full-time and for a maximum of three years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Responsibilities and tasks

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision 
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project

We are looking for the following qualifications:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other relevant professional activities
  • Curious mindset with a strong interest in science education research and practice
  • Good language skills

Application and Assessment Procedure

 Your application, including all attachments, must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  1. Cover letter (max. one page)
  2. Your motivation for applying for the specific PhD project/ Project proposal (max. two pages)
  3. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, work experience, language skills, relevant teaching experiences and other skills relevant to the position
  4. Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  5. Publication list (if applicable)
  6. Names and email addresses of two references (reference letters are not required)

Application deadline:

The deadline for applications is Sunday 16 October 2022, 23:59 GMT+2. 

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After the deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified whether you will be passed for assessment.

The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above-mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website:

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all, regardless of personal background, to apply for the position. 


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.


Magdalena Kersting


Jesper Bruun


Application deadline: 16-10-2022
Employment start: 01-02-2023
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Science Education
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