The Department of Computing Science at Umeå University invites applications for a Wallenberg Autonomous Systems Program (WASP) PhD student position in Computer Science with a focus on social aware AI in 2019.

The Socially Aware Artificial Intelligence group (led by prof. Frank Dignum) conducts research into AI systems that start from the premise that AI is used in social contexts and should be aware of the social consequences of its behaviour. For this purpose the group investigates (formal) models of social concepts and their implementation in AI systems ranging from social robots to social simulations and multi-agent systems

The project is part of the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP), Sweden’s largest ever individual research program, and a major national initiative for strategically basic research, education and faculty recruitment. The program is initiated and generously funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW) with 2.6 billion SEK. In addition to this, the program receives support from collaborating industry and from participating universities to form a total budget of 3.5 billion SEK. Major goals are more than 50 new professors and more than 300 new PhDs within AI, Autonomous Systems and Software.

The aim of this project is to develop an agent-based social simulation platform based on a solid theoretical foundation of social concepts. The theoretical foundations will be based on existing work from our group, but will have to also take into account the dynamic aspects of social reality. The implementation of these concepts in the social simulation platform is another very important goal of this project. This will determine how well usable these concepts will be in practice. In order to test the usability aspects they aim to have at least one use case related to policymaking.

Worth of Award

Employment is limited to four years of full-time or up to five years for teaching part time. Salary is set in accordance with the established salary ladder for PhD position.


  • The applicant is required to have completed a second- cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits are at second-cycle level, or have an equivalent education from overseas, or equivalent qualifications.
  • To fulfil the specific entry requirements for doctoral studies in computing science, the applicant is required to have completed courses at second-cycle level degree equivalent to 60 ECTS credits in computing science, or in a subject considered to be directly relevant for the specialisation in question.
  • Candidates are expected to have very good knowledge in Social Simulation and software engineering. Demonstrable knowledge of systems design and modelling, multi-agent systems, or software development is a prerequisite.
  • In particular, candidates should be well acquainted with modelling and implementing social simulations and have a knowledge of the agent-based social simulation platforms such as Netlogo and Repast. They particularly invite female candidates to apply to ensure gender balance.
  • Since research is conducted in an international research environment, the ability to collaborate and contribute to teamwork, and a very good command of the English language, both written and spoken, are key requirements.

How to Apply

  • A complete application should contain the following documents:
  • A cover letter including a description of your research interests, your reasons to apply for the position, and your contact information
  • A curriculum vitae
  • If applicable, copy of completed BSc and/or MSc thesis and other original research publications
  • Copies of degree certificates, including documentation of completed academic courses and obtained grades
  • Contact information for two persons willing to act as references
  • The application must be written in English or Swedish, and attached documents must be written in or translated to English or Swedish.
  • Documents must be in Word or pdf format.
  • Applications must be submitted electronically using the e-recruitment system of Umeå University;
  • Interested applicants are also encouraged to apply for the position with the reference number: AN 2.2.1-414-19.

Deadline: Deadline for application is May 31, 2019.


Click here for more details and to apply

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