Ledig stilling ved Universitetet i Agder

PhD Research Fellow in assistive robotics - Department of Engineering Sciences

Deadline: 28.09.2020

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.

PhD Research Fellow in assistive robotics for augmenting situational awareness (SA) of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

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 in assistive robotics for augmenting situational awareness (SA) of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for a period of three years. The position is affiliated to the Department of Engineering Sciences and is located at Campus Grimstad. The starting date is negotiable with the Faculty.


The research topic’s links to the research environment at the Faculty

Top Research Centre Mechatronics: The project is in line with the activities of the newly established Top Research Center in Mechatronics (TRCM). In particular, important synergies will be created with the following Research Themes (RT): Human-Robot Interaction and Collaborative Robots. The mechatronics laboratory will be used to prototype multi-sensor/actuator wearables.

Top-Research Center eHealth: The Center for eHealth carries out high-quality user-centred and evidence-based research in health and technology in a multi-disciplinary collaborative setup.

CeDiT: Centre for digital transformation: The project development and application of particular technologies as a new facility/tool/means of intervention for subjects with ASD perfectly fits with the CeDiT sphere of interest.

I4Helse AS: I4Helse is a collaboration between UiA, municipalities, business and users on technology, innovation, health research and practice. I4Helse will be used as a show case.

The research topic’s links with user associations

The project will also involve the Autismeforeningen i Norge Sør-Trøndelag fylkeslag, the Autism Association in Norway.

The research background and main objective

The Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a disorder that affects communication and behaviour. The ASD is wide and includes different diagnoses that are related to each other, such as child autism, Asperger’s syndrome, atypical autism and unspecified pervasive developmental disorder (PDD-NOS). Examples of this variety may be developmental disabilities of different degrees, language and communication difficulties, epilepsy, mental disorders, various somatic disorders and extensive sleep problems, all of which impact the productivity at work. ASD is further considered as a pervasive disorder that can cause sensory-perceptual anomalies, such as a hypersensitivity to contact with other people. This is even more challenging when considering the workplace environment.

The overall objective of the project is to design a personalisable, enabling technology solution to exploit the vast variety of ASD and similar challenges in the workplace and in the everyday life. Such solution shall be obtained by combining information from different channels, such as personal sensors (i.e. on board of a mobile device) or environmental sensors (i.e. embedded in smart buildings), with the aim of increasing situational awareness (SA) and to minimise the impact of stress.

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

  • Mechatronics
  • E-Health
  • Human–robot interaction
  • Machine learning
  • Sensor fusion

Required qualifications

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in technology of engineering with focus on modelling and with knowledge in automatic control, mechatronics, cybernetics, computer science and/or similar fields. This year’s candidates/candidates who are in the closing stages of their master’s degree can also apply.
  • English proficiency, both written and oral. International candidates that are not exempt from the English language requirements pursuant to the guidelines of the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT), must document this through one of the following tests with the stated results or better:
    • TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language with a minimum score of 600 for the Paperbased Test (PBT), or 92 for the Internet-based Test (iBT)
    • IELTS - International English Language Testing System, with the result of 6.5

A prerequisite for employment is that the candidate is to be admitted to UiA’s PhD programme in Engineering and Science, Specialisation in Engineering Sciences, Scientific Field in Mechatronics. More information is to be found here.

Further 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

  • Working knowledge of Linux, the Robot Operating System (ROS), and multiple programming languages
  • Experience with the challenges of designing and rapid-prototyping robotic systems
  • Strong academic credentials and previous publications

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 strategic 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

UiA is an open and inclusive university. We believe that diversity enriches the workplace and makes us better. We, therefore, encourage qualified candidates to apply for the position independent of gender, age, cultural background, disability or an incomplete CV.

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 with grades
  • Master’s thesis
  • At least 3 references
  • Academic work and R&D projects, as well as a list of these if achieved
  • Project description with a maximum scope of 3 pages, including reference list. The project description must contain the following sections:
    • Relevance to the announced position;
    • Excellence. Summarise the state of the art of the research area/field. State the overall project objectives. Describe the research questions and/or hypotheses. Describe thoroughly the theoretical approach and/or methodology chosen to address the project objectives. Use a structure of work packages;
    • Novelty and ambition. Describe the potential for development of new knowledge beyond the current state of the art;
    • Potential impact of the proposed research. Describe the importance of the anticipated results in terms of the potential academic impact and the potential societal and/or industrial impact of the research;
    • Project organisation and management. Outline a Gantt chart for the project.

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

Application deadline: 28.09.20


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