PhD in computational social science with a focus on Global North-South disparities in science

The Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), invites candidates for a PhD position in computational social science from 1 September 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is for 3 years.

The PhD will collaborate with Associate Professor Mathias Wullum Nielsen and Postdoc Andrew C. Herman on the project “Global North-South Disparities in Science”, funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. A project description is available here: Mathias Wullum Nielsen — Independent Research Fund (

The successful applicant will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Faculty of Social Sciences and benefit from the rich academic environment of the Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences.

The PhD programme includes the drafting of a PhD thesis, active participation in research networks, PhD courses, teaching, and other forms of knowledge dissemination.

Job description
The global expansion of science is lauded for its potential to drive economic and social progress. Yet, key components of this expansion, such as international collaboration, migration and knowledge transmission, reflect persistent Global North-South disparities. Using large-scale scientific metadata and cutting-edge methods from quantitative- and computational social science, this project will provide much-needed evidence on (i) the roles and influence of Global South scientists in international research collaboration, (ii) the consequences of scientific migration for Global South countries’ domestic research activities, (iii) and the presumed citation disadvantage facing Global South scientists in the transmission of scientific knowledge. As part of the project team, the PhD will work on a sub-project focusing on the role and influence of Global South scientists in international research collaboration.

As a PhD researcher in the project, your tasks will include:

  • Gain expertise in social-science literatures on Global North-South disparities in international research collaboratioN
  • Design and run large-scale empirical studies examining the role and influence of Global South scientists in international research collaboration
  • Authoring and co-authoring scientific journal articles
  • Presenting project results at international conferences
  • Help plan and run international advisory board meeting.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society and world at large, and thus invites all qualified applicants, regardless of personal background, to apply for the positions.

Salary and work conditions
PhD students are paid a full-time salary including social benefits 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. This implies a full-time employment of 37 hours per week. The work obligation includes teaching obligations. Residency in Denmark implies full health care coverage and access to public services such as childcare facilities or schools.

The successful applicant will have access to a fully equipped office workplace at the Department of Sociology and will be integrated as a member of the department’s staff.

Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences
Enrolment in the Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences provides PhD students with a rigorous and supportive PhD environment dedicated to nurturing outstanding researchers. The program equips students with the skills needed to complete a high-quality PhD dissertation, including involvement in research networks, participation in relevant courses, teaching opportunities, and other avenues for knowledge sharing. This approach ensures PhD students not only develop their research expertise but also refine their professional skills, preparing them for success in diverse career paths.

Further information about the PhD study program 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 program and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD program at the Universities. 

Information about Sociology’s PhD study program is also available on the PhD website of the Department of Sociology:

In order to be eligible for the position, the applicant must have completed a two-year Master’s degree program in the social sciences (Sociology, Political Science, Economics, Social Data Science) or a related discipline, or have earned 120 ECTS credits at an equivalent academic level before starting their employment. Talented applicants who are about to finalize their Master’s degree are also eligible to apply.

Above and beyond a two-year Master’s degree (or close to completion), the successful applicant should have the following qualifications:     

  • Interest in the sociology of science and issues of Global North-South disparities in research
  • Strong background in computational social science and/or quantitative social science methods.
  • Firm knowledge of conducting statistical analyses using R.
  • English writing and communication skills.

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.

  • Cover Letter (detailing your motivation and background for applying for the position)
  • Project description: A two-page description of a potential research design examining disparities in Global North-South research collaborations that could be implemented as part of the larger research project.
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (Bachelor and Master)   
  • 1-2 examples of the applicant's methodological skills, e.g. publications, working papers, BA- or MA thesis or exam papers.
  • Applicants should familiarize themselves with the past and ongoing work of the Principal Investigator, Mathias Wullum Nielsen.

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:

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

The recruitment process
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. Quality and feasibility of the project proposal. 

2. Qualifications as specified under requirements. 

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

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 themselves. You can read about the recruitment process here

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
Information about the recruitment process is available from HR, e-mail:, Please refer to ID number: 211-1778/24-2H #1.

Additional information about the position can be obtained from Mathias Wullum Nielsen, e-mail:

The closing date for applications is 5 May 2024, 23:59 CETS.
Applications received after the deadline will not be taken into account. 




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: 05-05-2024
Employment start: 01-09-2024
Department/Location: Department of Sociology
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