2 Ph.D. Positions Technologies in Practice – Sociocultural Carbon (Denmark) Deadline: Feb.20, 2019

The IT University of Copenhagen

Application Deadline

Feb 20, 2019

Program Commencement

June 01, 2019

Duration of the Program

3 Years

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Program Details

The IT University of Copenhagen (ITU) is a teaching and research-based tertiary institution concerned with information technology (IT) and the opportunities it offers. The ITU has more than 70 full-time Faculty members. Research and teaching in information technology span all academic activities which involve computers including computer science, information and media sciences, humanities and social sciences, business impact and the commercialization of IT. 
The TiP research group at the ITU is a world-leading hub for ethnographic based STS-research, and currently houses around 15 research faculty, 5 postdocs, and 10 PhD students. Its members contribute to 3 interdisciplinary degree programmes at the ITU – BSc in Global Business Informatics, MSc in Digital Innovation Management and a professional master’s in IT Leadership. 

The university invites highly motivated individuals to apply for 2 fully-funded PhD stipends. The applicants are expected to have a background in qualitative social science approaches to IT such as science and technology studies (STS), anthropology, geography, sociology or similar disciplines. The successful candidates will be part of the Technologies in Practice (TiP) research group and employed in the ITU’s Dept. of Business IT. There they will work as part of the research project SOCCAR (Sociocultural Carbon) funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark’s Sapere Aude programme. The SOCCAR project consists of a small dedicated team aiming at understanding the sociocultural role and value of carbon data and carbon technologies in the contemporary social context of the climate crisis. 

PhD 1 is expected to conduct an independent ethnographic project studying the use and value of carbon data within one or more church communities, for example, related to the Danish Green Church initiative. Key questions include how the value of carbon data and climate change more generally is assessed in relation to choices or habits of consumption, lifestyle, and community.  
PhD 2 is expected to conduct an independent ethnographic project studying the value of carbon data within an urban community dependent upon fossil fuel, for example, the Norwegian city of Stavanger. Key questions include how the value of carbon data and climate change more generally is assessed in relation to choices or habits of consumption, lifestyle, and community.  
The successful candidates are expected to perform independent subprojects leading to a PhD dissertation, but at the same time contribute to the overall project. They must work within the practice- and process-oriented social science framework presented by the project, and pay attention to questions such as in what ways ‘carbon’ is becoming a social and a cultural fact through technologies of datafication, and under what circumstances data technologies generate change in everyday practice.  

Eligibility/ Requirements

Essential qualifications: 
  • A two-year MA/MSc-degree (or equivalent) in a field such as those mentioned above
  • Documented competence with qualitative social science methods/ethnography
  • Familiarity with practice- and process-oriented social science theories and analysis
  • High-level of oral and written proficiency in English
  • Team-player driven by curiosity about the imponderabilia of everyday life 
Desirable qualifications: 
  • Familiarity with digital methods/use of digital data for qualitative social/cultural analysis
  • Familiarity with social science discussions of climate change, especially of technologies involved in managing and measuring greenhouse gas emissions
  • Fluency in a Scandinavian language 

Application Process

Apply online by pushing the button “Apply for position” in the job announcement on the university website:

Applications must be in English and include the following: 

  • A cover letter summarising the candidate’s background and qualifications, their motivation for working with academic research and for the project applied for
  • A research proposal aimed at one of the two subprojects mentioned above. This must be max. 3 pages.
  • Documentation of academic degrees including grade transcripts
  • Curriculum Vitae including the names and addresses of two professional/academic references
  • Up to 3 academic publications (incl. MA/MSc thesis) may be enclosed 
All documents, such as transcripts must be accompanied by a translation in English or Danish.
Applications without the above-mentioned documents will not be assessed. 
Selected candidates may be invited for an interview either at the ITU or via Skype. More details here. Early contact regarding the application is encouraged. Questions about the position, the SOCCAR project, and its goals and research publications can be directed to Associate Professor Steffen Dalsgaard, sdal@itu.dk. Questions related to the application procedure may be directed to the HR, Kristina Køj-Udsen, kuds@itu.dk.

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