Ph D student

Umeå university
October 02 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Research topic: Socially Intelligent Systems for Human-Agent Collaboration

Umeå University, the Department of Computing Science, is seeking outstanding candidates for a Wallenberg Autonomous Systems Program (WASP) PhD student position in Computer Science with focus on socially intelligent systems for human-agent collaboration. The Department of Computing Science is a dynamic environment with around 100 employees representing more than 20 countries worldwide. We conduct education and research on a broad range of topics in Computing Science. The User, Interaction and Knowledge Modelling group at the department conducts research in formal methods for reasoning and decision making, methods for user modelling, user adaptation and human-agent collaboration. The group collaborates with a number of research groups in the medical and health domains, and is providing a vibrant multi-disciplinary research environment. Visit for more information.

Research project

The aim of the research project is to develop socially intelligent software agents for human-agent collaboration. The fundamental challenge lies in how intelligent autonomous agents may collaborate with humans in decision making tasks to achieve goals, and in making prioritizations among potentially conflicting goals, needs, motivations, preferences and choices of actions, e.g. in medical situations where healthcare professionals diagnose or select treatment methods. This is also highly important in situations where a person aims to change unhealthy behaviour, or needs to take action in order to reduce risk in work situations.

To provide socially intelligent systems that humans can trust enough to collaborate with, algorithms for explaining automated learning, reasoning, and values of arguments and decision outcomes will be developed. Artificial intelligence-based methods for user modelling, user adaptation, and for the system to act in a socially acceptable way tailored to a situation will also be developed, partly by formalising theories about human behaviour. Methods that handle uncertain and incomplete information, as well as different types of values, norms, or utilities in such situations will be explored.

About the position

The successful applicant will receive a competitive salary for a period of four years full time research, provided that expected study and research results are achieved. No teaching is expected. Expected starting date is 1st of January 2018.


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

Applications must be submitted electronically using the e-recruitment system Varbi, and be received no later than October 20, 2017. Reference number: AN 2.2.1-1652-17. Log on to the system and apply via the button at the bottom of the web page.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess