PhD Scholarship in Software Engineering with An Emphasis on Human Factors in Ai-design

Chalmers University of Technology has an opening PhD position in artificial intelligence. The funding allows successful candidate to work for 3 years. Applicants should apply before August 16, 2019.

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering is strongly international, with approximately 270 employees from over 30 countries. The Department is a fully integrated Department with the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology as principals. The position is placed in the Division for Software Engineering at the Department, with the University of Gothenburg as the employer.

Subject area

Software Engineering

Subject area description

We are offering a position as a PhD student in a subproject of the H2020 MSCA-ITN project "SHAPE-IT: Supporting the interaction of Humans and Automated vehicles: Preparing for the Environment of Tomorrow" within the focus area "Human Factors in AI-based Automation Design" (ESR08 in SHAPE-IT). This position is one of 15 PhD-students to be recruited across six universities in Europe to be part of a Marie Skodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) Innovative Training Network (ITN), funded by the European Commission.

This position is a fulltime position for four to five years as a PhD student in the Division for Software Engineering at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. With 21 faculty members, the Division of Software Engineering is arguably one of the largest software-engineering institutes world-wide, conducting research at the highest international level in topics such as model-driven engineering, testing, software product lines, empirical software engineering, requirements engineering, autonomic computing, and cloud computing. Last year, the division organized two of the most influential software-engineering conferences, ICSE'18 and SPLC'18. The division is known for excellent ties to industry and hosts the award-winning Software Center, an associated institute with a network of five universities and 13 global companies including Ericsson, Bosch, Siemens, and Volvo.

The overall goal of the 15 student PhD-project "SHAPE-IT" is to enable rapid and reliable development of safe and user-centered automated vehicles (AVs) for urban environments. Vehicle automation has been identified as a game-changer in transport, promising substantial reductions in road-traffic fatalities while improving mobility. However, the processes to integrate automation in transport have been primarily technology-focused, with insufficient consideration given to how users both inside and outside of the AVs will interact with AVs.

The main objective of SHAPE-IT is to facilitate the safe, acceptable (and, ideally, desirable) integration of user-centred and transparent AVs into tomorrow's mixed urban traffic environments, using both existing and new research methods, designing advanced interfaces and control strategies.

The project aims to deliver a future generation of human factors researchers and engineers with an excellent multidisciplinary (cognitive and behavioural psychology, human-factors, computer science, and engineering) education in human factors, experimental and modelling methods, human-AV interaction, human factors requirements for AI-based AVs, and safety assessment for AV design.

Job assignments

Your major responsibilities as a PhD student is to pursue your own doctoral studies. You are expected to develop your own scientific concepts and communicate the results of your research verbally and in writing. Your research will be supervised by well-reputed senior researchers at the involved department. Your PhD studies will also include a number of doctoral courses, reviewing literature, interacting with industrial companies, other PhD-candidates, and senior researchers in the SHAPE-IT project, as well as analysing empirical data, and modeling and using models of human behavior.

The field of research for this position will be within the intersection of Software Engineering, Computer Science, AI, Machine Learning, Automotive Engineering, and Human Factors. Specifically, this position's PhD-student will be considering human factors from a software (AI development) requirement perspective, with the aim to understand and describe how AI-based AV (autonomous vehicle) design can account for human factors, such as driver comfort zone boundaries and AV acceptance. For example, methods will be developed to incorporate results from studies on acceptance which will improve AI-based AV-designs, taking human behavior into account. Recommendations on what information should be communicated between AV human factors researchers and AI-based AV designers to improve road-user acceptance, AV transparency, and vehicle safety, will be produced.

The research will be conducted in close collaboration both with the other 14 PhD students in the SHAPE-IT project, with senior researchers at University of Gothenburg and the other universities involved in SHAPE-IT, and with leading industry in the field as associated partners (Bosch, Toyota Motors Europe, Veoneer, Volkswagen, Volvo Cars Corporation). The position includes 2-3 longer (1-3 months long) secondments/visits to both industry and other universities. During SHAPE-IT, all 15 PhD candidates will join several project wide training activities, covering multiple aspects of the design and assessment of automated vehicles, including human factors and artificial intelligence, in the context of automated vehicles. As part of SHAPE-IT you are expected to collaborate with other PhD-students in the project.

Regulations for the evaluation of qualifications for education on a doctoral level are given in SFS 1998:80.

A new employment as a PhD Student applies for a maximum of one year. The appointment may be prolonged for up to two years at a time. The total employment period may not be longer than the equivalent of four years of full time doctoral studies. Departamental duties, such as teaching, can be included in the position, to a maximum of 20% of full time.


Starting the doctoral education requires an academic degree in an advanced level, at least 240 university points, of which 60 are on an advanced level, or similar knowledge acquired in another way.

The applicant must, at the date of recruitment by the beneficiary, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience, counted from the end of being awarded the MSc degree) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

A good applicant should like to work independently, and plan and think strategically. He/she should have an interest in human behavior and machine learning, and be able to understand and analyze results from machine learning quickly and correctly. A good applicant should also like to work in interdisciplinary projects and have the ability to discuss and communicate his/her work with people of different backgrounds. A good candidate should be a motivated person, with a genuine wish to learn more across a wide varietly of fields, including traffic psychology, human factors, software engineering, and arificial intelligence, to develop his/her skills and knowledge.

The candidate must have a background in software engineering and/or artificial intelligence. Mandatory educational qualifications include a Master of Science degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Data Science, or equivalent. Good technical skills, practical programming skills as well as good knowledge of the English language (both oral and written) and the ability to learn the Swedish language (to be able to teach in Swedish within two years) is manadatory.

The candidate must be interested in interacting in a multi-disciplinary team with other students and researchers from psychology, behavioral science, human factors and machine interface design, software engineering, and artificial intelligence.

The candidate should be interested in human behaviour and looking forward to working with human factors researchers. An experience with the automotive industry is meritorious.

In order to be approved for MSCA financing the applicant, at the time for the application, should not have resided in Sweden more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. Moreover the applicant must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.


Regulations for the evaluation of qualifications for education on a doctoral level are given in SFS 1998:80.


Type of employment: Fixed-term employment, HF 5 kap 7

Extent: 100 % of full time

Location: Department of Computer Science and Engineering /Division of Software Engineering

First day of employment: 2019-10-01 or as soon as possible

For further information regarding the position

Regarding the position please contact Associate Professor Eric Knauss (e-mail:

Regarding the appointment procedure, please contact HR-partner

How to apply

Apply here.

Closing date: 2019-08-16


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