PhD fellowship in Sensory and Consumer Science

The Department of Food Science, Section for Food Design and Consumer Behaviour, invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in Contextual effects on consumer choice behavior.

Start date is expected to be February 1st 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project

The PhD is part of a Novo Nordisk funded project led by Associate Professor Qian Janice Wang. Overall, the project aims to promote consumer behaviour change towards more sustainable food choices and consumption. Specifically, the PhD project will use a combination of virtual/physical retail spaces and biometric technology (e.g., eyetracking) to better understand and predict consumer food choice behaviour in both online and offline scenarios. A focus will be to manipulate context, defined as multisensory environmental elements as well as cognitive messaging, to study implicit and explicit consumer reactions and purchase behaviour. This research will help address the need to understand the drivers to shift consumer habits towards healthier and lower planetary footprint diets.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for candidates within the field(s) of food science, experimental psychology, behavioural sciences, cognitive neuroscience, marketing, or similar. It is an advantage to have previous work or research experience with human subjects in behavioural experiments. Experience with Virtual Reality or biometric methods (e.g., eyetracking, facial expression analysis, EEG) is also an advantage. The candidate should have a curious and creative mind-set with a strong interest to learn new disciplines and technologies. It is also necessary to possess excellent data analysis, communication, presentation, and academic writing skills in English.

Our group and research- and what do we offer?

The Food Design and Consumer Behaviour (DCB) section is part of the Department of Food Science, Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. We are located in Copenhagen.

The Department of Food Science is recognized for excellence in food research, education, and industrial collaboration. The DCB section is a cross-disciplinary research group integrating natural sciences and technology as well as sensory and behavioural sciences to support the development and consumption of palatable, healthy, and sustainable foods. Within the DCB section, the Sensory Science and Consumer Behaviour group has an extensive research expertise within sensory food quality assessment and the methodologies for sensory evaluation of foods. Furthermore, it has in-depth understanding of the sensory and non-sensory determinants of food preferences from early life to adulthood, and the changes in perception and preferences occurring in ageing. Over recent years, the group expanded the research focus from supporting the development of palatable healthy and nutritious foods, to the study of consumers views on sustainable foods and how to achieve behavioral changes towards more sustainable food choices and consumption.

We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. Our research facilities include modern sensory laboratories and the Future Consumer Lab.

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Qian Janice Wang,

The PhD programme

Qualifications needed for the regular programme
To be eligible for the regular 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. Food Science, Psychological and Behavioural Sciences, Marketing, or Data Science. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment
Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 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.

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). 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 mind-set with a strong interest in virtual reality, experimental design, and behavioural science
  • Good English language presentation and writing 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. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  2. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  3. 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.
  4. Publication list (if possible)
  5. Reference letters (if available)

Application deadline:

*The deadline for applications is 15 October 2023 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 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 and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at

Interviews with selected candidates are expected to be held in the week of October 30, 2023

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.


Qian Janice Wang


Application deadline: 15-10-2023
Employment start: 01-01-2024
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: FOOD
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Category: Marketing

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