Doctoral student in Critical Analysis of Drones Ethics & Movement #2

KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Application deadline:
12 February, 2020


KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

Project description
Third-cycle subject: Mediated Communication; Human-Computer Interaction

Autonomous systems play an increasingly important role in our everyday lives – as tools for automation or collaboration at work, surveillance, for artistic purposes, or for play. In this project we ask how ethics is enacted and shaped in relationship to how autonomous systems are designed, focusing in particular on aerial drones. As we interact with drones, we, in a sense, get superhuman powers: we become cyborgs or centaurs as we get entangled with these autonomous systems.The successful applicant will be enrolled in the third-cycle education in Mediated Communication specialization towards HCI, but will also participate in the WASP-HS research school investigating the effects of Artificial Intelligence on society.
The position is in the Soma Design team at KTH, an interdisciplinary research group. The successful applicant will engage in empirical and conceptual research to critically investigate the social practices arising around autonomous technologies, with a particular focus on drones. This will involve a range of methods, such as ethnography, interactional research, micro-phenomenology, and autoethnography.

Supervision: The doctoral student will be supervised by Professor Kristina Höök at KTH and Associate Professor Airi Lampinen at Stockholm University. 

What we offer

  • The possibility to study in a dynamic and international research environment in collaboration with industries and prominent universities from all over the world. 
  • A compulsory individual study plan to support your development in your area of interest.
  • A workplace with many employee benefits and monthly salary according to KTH’s doctoral student salary agreement.
  • Postgraduate education at an institution that is active and supportive in matters pertaining to working conditions, gender equality and diversity as well as a study environment.
  • Help to relocate and be settled in Sweden and at KTH.
  • Research at the forefront of the interaction design field in an internationally recognized research group. 

To be admitted to postgraduate education (Chapter 7, 39 § Swedish Higher Education Ordinance), the applicant must have basic eligibility in accordance with either of the following:

  • passed a degree at an advanced level,
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 higher education credits at an advanced level, or
  • in any other way acquired within or outside the country acquired essentially equivalent knowledge.

Degree in HCI or 4-year university education in an HCI-related education such as behavioral science, humanities, cognitive science or communication.

In order to succeed as a doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal-oriented and persevering in your work. In the selection of the applicants, the following will be assessed:

  • ability to independently pursue his or her work,
  • ability to collaborate with others,
  • have a professional approach and
  • analyze and work with complex issues, 
  • excellent command in spoken and written English. 

The applicant should hold an MSc degree in the Social Sciences, Humanities, Human-Computer Interaction or similar, and have a strong interest in ethics, aesthetics, and design. Ideally, we are looking for a student with prior experience in ethnographic fieldwork: observations, video data, interviews & participant observation. After the qualification requirements, great emphasis will be placed on personal qualities and personal suitability.

Target degree: Doctoral degree

Information regarding admission and employment
Only those admitted to postgraduate education may be employed as a doctoral student. The total length of employment may not be longer than what corresponds to full-time doctoral education in four years ‘ time. An employed doctoral student can, to a limited extent (maximum 20%), perform certain tasks within their role, e.g. training and administration. A new position as a doctoral student is for a maximum of one year, and then the employment may be renewed for a maximum of two years at a time.

Apply for the position and admission through KTH’s recruitment system. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement.

Applications must be received at the last closing date at midnight, CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time).

Applications must include the following elements:

  • A CV including your relevant professional experience and knowledge.
  • Application letter with a brief description of why you want to pursue research studies, about what your academic interests are and how they relate to your previous studies and future goals. (Maximum 2 pages long)
  • Copy of the degree certificate(s) and transcripts of records from your previously attended university-level institutions. Translations into English or Swedish if the original documents are not issued in one of these languages.
  • Representative publications or technical reports. For longer documents, please provide a summary (abstract) and a web link to the full text.

Other information
Gender equality, diversity and zero tolerance against discrimination and harassment are important aspects of KTH’s work with quality as well as core values in our organization.

For information about the processing of personal data in the recruitment process please read here.