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Social Scientific PhD Scholarship at Lund University

Lund University, Sweden is inviting applicants to apply for a PhD position in artificial intelligence. The funding allows successful candidate to work for 5 years. Candidates are welcome before May 14, 2020.

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world's top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malm. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

LTH forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, with approximately 9 000 students. The research carried out at LTH is of a high international standard and we are continuously developing our teaching methods and adapting our courses to current needs.

The department of technology and society employs around 80 senior lecturers, PhD students and administrative staff. The department is currently developing a multidisciplinary research environment around the adoption of artificial intelligence (artificial intelligence scholarships) (AI) in society at large, including ethical, social and legal issues. Current PhD position is one of five planned within the five-year research project Artificially Intelligent use of Registers (AIR Lund), primarily funded by the Swedish Research Council. This means that while the PhD candidate is located at the department for technology and society and appointed to the research subject with the same name, the project will be highly collaborative within the social, medical, technical and legal sciences.

Technology and Society is a third-cycle subject that encompasses multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary studies of technology's role, interplay and importance in different sectors of society.

The highly interdisciplinary project will in its entirety critically assess the added value of machine learning compared to standard statistical approaches for predictions and decision aids for prevention, diagnosis and prognosis, focussing on cardiometabolic diseases. AIR Lund represents a unique research environment at five different faculties at Lund University (Lund University scholarships) that collaborate closely with applied intelligent systems research at Halmstad University. We expect to bring substantial interdisciplinary novelty into register-based research, and at the same time to open up the Swedish register infrastructure to AI research.

Specifically, the PhD candidate in Technology and Society will be part in a work package (WP) addressing ethical, legal, societal and methodological challenges directly related to the proposed use of machine learning (ML) on rich register data.

One particularly challenging task for the interdisciplinary team behind this WP will be to evaluate and refine two major approaches to explainability used within ML today. While the used methods seem promising from a mathematical perspective, it is far from that certain that they can deliver explanations that make sense in the applied settings, and thus contribute to transparency. Nor is it certain that these approaches are safe-guarded from bias and stigmatization with respect to, e.g., gender, country of origin or socioeconomic conditions that may arise from registers. A critical assessment of these issues will thus be a central task for this WP and this PhD candidate.

In sum, we are looking for a doctoral student to study issues of explainable AI and transparency in a medical registry-based health project, primarily from a social scientific perspective.

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in mentioned research project and third cycle courses. The work duties could also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student's potential to profit from such studies, including the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 .

Applications shall be written in English or Swedish and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (graduation thesis, grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).
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