Ledig stilling ved Universitetet i Agder

PhD Research Fellow in ICT - Artificial intelligence and morality

Deadline: 17.04.2020

University of Agder

The University of Agder has more than 1400 employees and 13 000 students. This makes us one of the largest workplaces in Southern Norway. Our staff research, teach and disseminate knowledge from a variety of academic fields. Co-creation of knowledge is our common vision. We offer a broad range of study programmes in many fields. We are situated at two modern campuses in Kristiansand and Grimstad respectively.

We are an open and inclusive university marked by a culture of cooperation. The aim of the university is to further develop education and research at a high international level.

About the position

A fixed-term 100% position is available at the University of Agder, Faculty of Engineering and Science, as a PhD Research Fellow, affiliated to the Department of Information and Communication Technology, for a period of 3 years. The position is located at Campus Grimstad. The starting date is as soon as possible or to be negotiated with the Faculty.

The Department of ICT has three large and active research groups in Information and Communication Technology including 8 Professors, 20 Associate Professors/Assistant professors and about 20 Research Fellows on the PhD programme in ICT. The Department of ICT pursues a variety of research interests, focusing especially on ICT and crisis management, artificial intelligence, eLearning and eHealth. The department has successfully led a number of large research projects funded by the Research Council of Norway, the EU research programmes FP7 and H2020 as well as national and international industries.


AI is already widely being integrated into people’s daily lives; yet, today, there are no AI systems sophisticated enough to understand morality and to act in accordance with moral standards. Our aim is to bridge this current gap between the engineering of autonomous systems and moral values and beliefs that drive human decision making. The challenges include the identification of features of AI systems that can lead to their morally relevant classification, the computational modeling of human moral decision-making, and a development framework for AI systems that follow morality-by-design principles thus making a significant contribution to the advancement of the research frontier in artificial morality. A very promising approach is the implementation of games with a strong moral component.

This research is interdisciplinary with the opportunity to work with AI researchers and philosophers in a highly stimulating environment with state-of-the-art resources and support.

This open position is associated with the Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research and part of the project “Artificial Morality and Causality”, which is a collaboration between computer scientists and philosophers.

Research Topics

Research topics for the PhD Research Fellow include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Machine ethics/artificial morality
  • Moral games
  • Learning cause and effect in moral domains

Required qualifications

  • Master’s degree in ICT, Computer Science, or a similar/related field and document competence in areas relevant to the position
  • The successful candidate will have a strong background in and a working knowledge of AI and machine learning algorithms including their implementation and a keen interest in the moral dimensions of AI.
  • Strong academic credentials
  • English proficency, both written and oral. Please check website to see if an English test is required.

A prerequisite for employment is that the candidate is to be admitted to UiA’s PhD programme at the Faculty of Engineering and Science, specialization in ICT, within three months of appointment.

Remarkably, the average grade for courses included in the bachelor's degree (or equivalent) must be C (or equivalent) or higher; whereas the average grade for courses included in the master's degree (or equivalent) and the master thesis must be B (or equivalent) or higher.

Provisions relating to the positions as PhD Research Fellows can be found in the Regulations Concerning Terms and Conditions of Employment for the post of Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Research Fellow, Research Assistant and Resident.

Desired qualifications

Personal qualities

Personal suitability, good communication and teamwork skills, inventiveness, and a proactive approach, will be emphasized in the evaluation as well as relevant practical experience. The PhD Research Fellow will be expected to contribute to an active research community that promotes the personal and professional growth of the doctoral candidate.

The position places great demands on the applicant’s capacity for independent goal-oriented work, ability to concentrate and attention to detail. In return, we offer the opportunity to contribute to the strat egic capabilities of a world-class research organization, along with intensive PhD supervision. You will collaborate with top scientists in your field and have excellent prospects for personal development in an innovative working environment for aspiring researchers.

Applicants will be assessed on the basis of academic background and results, attainment, and any previous research and development work.

We offer

  • Professional development in a large, exciting and socially influential organisation;
  • A positive, inclusive and diverse working environment;
  • Modern facilities and a comprehensive set of welfare offers;
  • Membership of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

More about working at UiA.

The position is remunerated according to the State Salary Scale, salary plan 17.515, code 1017 PhD Research Fellow, NOK 479 600 gross salary per year. A compulsory pension contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund is deducted from the pay according to current statutory provisions.

General information

A good working environment is characterised by its diversity. We therefore encourage all qualified candidates to apply for the position, irrespective of gender, age, disability or cultural background. The University of Agder is an IW (Inclusive Workplace).

Women are strongly encouraged to apply for the position.

The successful applicant will have rights and obligations in accordance with the current regulations for the position, and organisational changes and changes in the duties and responsibilities of the position must be expected. The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Appointment is made by the University of Agder’s Appointments Committee for Teaching and Research Positions.

Short-listed applicants will be invited for interview. With the applicant’s permission, UiA will also conduct a reference check before appointment. Read more about the employment process.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act § 25 (2), applicants may request that they are not identified in the open list of applicants. The University, however, reserves the right to publish the names of applicants. Applicants will be advised of the University’s intention to exercise this right.


The application and any necessary information about education and experience (including diplomas and certificates) are to be sent electronically. Use the link "Apply for this job".

The following documentation must be uploaded electronically:

  • CV
  • Certificates and/or grades for all post-secondary education, up to and including the bachelor's level
  • Master's degree/higher degree certificate, with a summary of the courses/subjects included in the degree
  • Applicants with a foreign higher education must attach an official description of the grading system used at the issuing institution
  • Summary (approximately 1-2 pages) of the master's thesis
  • Applicants who are required to document their English proficiency must submit their TOEFL or IELTS test results (these may be forwarded after the closing date)
  • Summary or links to the applicant's scientific publications (if any)
  • 1-page essay outlining the applicant’s interest in and perspective on artificial intelligence and morality

All documentation must be available in a Scandinavian language or English. The applicant is fully responsible for submitting complete digital documentation before the closing date.

Application deadline: 17.04.20


For questions about the position:

For questions about the application process:

Apply for this job