Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

15 PhD positions as part of DCODE (H2020 MSCA)

This job offer has expired

    Delft University of Technology
    Computer scienceOther
    Computer scienceSystems design
    Cultural studiesOther
    EngineeringDesign engineering
    Political sciencesGovernance
    SociologySocial shaping of technology
    TechnologyInformation technology
    TechnologyInterface technology
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    14/02/2021 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Multiple locations, see work locations below.
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions


We are pleased to announce the opening on January 8th of 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) / PhDs to rethink design and its role in the digital transformation of society within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network DCODE (Fundamentals of Design Competence for Our Digital Future). We are looking for backgrounds in design, anthropology, media studies, science and technology studies, design informatics, human-data/AI interaction, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. An overview and brief description of all PhD positions can be found at: www.dcode-network.eu.

Key dates

  • Opening job applications: January 8, 2021
  • Application deadline: February 14, 2021 (ESR2-ESR15); March 15, 2021 (ESR1)
  • PhD start date: June 1, 2021 (or as close to this date as possible)

DCODE brings together a European consortium of world-class universities and design institutes with partners from industry, government and civil society from seven countries, including Philips Design Innovation, RISE Research Institute of Sweden, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, Advanced Care Research Center and Centrum Cyfrowe (Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom, Denmark, Latvia, Italy and Poland).

Signature of DCODE is the idea of prototeams. Teams of ESRs with different disciplinary backgrounds will be iteratively deployed in real-world settings to develop and prototype future design roles and practices, including the scientific knowledge needed to support them. ESRs will carry out their PhD in contexts that cut across private and public sectors, and connect domains such as urban mobility, energy sharing, health and care, insurance, banking and digital ethics in creating design-led ecosystems.

DCODE is a pioneering PhD training programme, which aims to develop future researchers and leaders capable of anticipating and guiding the digital transformation of society towards inclusive and sustainable futures. DCODE positions agency as foundational to digital design today, just like function was critical to industrial design. This new foundation will require the holistic integration of five key research challenges identified in both engineering and the social sciences:

  • WP 1: Anthropological study and principled engineering of human-algorithm relations.
  • WP 2: Design of trusted interactions with and across decentralised systems.
  • WP 3: Inclusive approaches to value creation in data-driven socio-economic models.
  • WP 4: Digital sovereignty and democratic governance of data flows across decentralised systems.
  • WP 5: Future design practices upholding anticipatory, deliberative and responsible innovation approaches.

ESRs will be supervised by multidisciplinary teams cutting across the different organisations. The main supervisor will be located at the recruiting organisation. A programme of training will be provided including core research skills, design research methods, public engagement and communication, participatory leadership, responsible innovation, digital inclusion and literacy, gendered perspectives, and policy issues around data and artificial intelligence.

List of available PhD / ESR positions

The application and selection process might differ per organisation. For inquiries, please write an email with subject DCODE ESR# to the first supervisor listed next to the position. To review the vacancy text and submit your application, go to: www.dcode-network.eu.

    • ESR 1: Design anthropology for sustainable human-machine relations (University of Aarhus, Department for Digital Design and Information Studies, Denmark). Supervisory team: Dr. Rachel Charlotte Smith (rsmith@cc.au.dk), Prof. Elisa Giaccardi, Dr. Daria Loi.
    • ESR 2: Design and engineering methods for principled development of data, models and behaviours (Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Netherlands). Supervisory team: Dr. Dave Murray-Rust (d.s.murray-rust@tudelft.nl), Prof. Alessandro Bozzon, Prof. Irina Jackiva.
    • ESR 3: Machine learning methods for sustainable design futures (Transport and Telecommunications Institute, Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Research Cluster, Latvia). Supervisory team: Dr. Neil Rubens (neil@hrstc.org), Dr. Nazli Cila, Prof. Somaya Ben Allouch.
    • ESR 4: Designing for multi- intentional interaction (Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Netherlands). Supervisory team: Prof. Elisa Giaccardi (e.giaccardi@tudelft.nl), Dr. Dave Murray-Rust, Prof. Johan Redström.
    • ESR 5: Designing co-predictive relations (Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Netherlands). Supervisory team: Dr. Roy Bendor (r.bendor@tudelft.nl), Prof. Elisa Giaccardi, Prof. Johan Redström.
    • ESR 6: Designing for contestable systems (Umeå University, Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden). Supervisory team: Prof. Johan Redström (johan.redstrom@umu.se), Dr. Marco Rozendaal, Prof. Elisa Giaccardi.
    • ESR 7: Designing for trusted collaboration in human-AI teams (Philips, Design Innovation, Netherlands). Supervisory team: Dr. Saskia Bakker (saskia.bakker@philips.com), Prof. Peter Lloyd, Prof. Somaya Ben Allouch.
    • ESR 8: Multi-sided value in data-driven services (University of Copenhagen, Department of Computer Science, Denmark). Supervisory team: Prof. Irina Shklovski (ias@di.ku.dk), Prof. Jens-Erik Mai, Dr. Ewa Luger.
    • ESR 9: Co-creating multi-sided value propositions (University of Edinburgh, Institute of Design Informatics, UK). Supervisory team: Prof. Chris Speed (c.speed@ed.ac.uk), Dr. Bettina Nissen, Dr. Rachel Charlotte Smith.
    • ESR 10: Designing sustainable socio-economic futures (University of Edinburgh, Institute of Design Informatics, UK). Supervisory team: Dr. Bettina Nissen (bettina.nissen@ed.ac.uk), Prof. Chris Speed, Dr. Heather Wiltse.
    • ESR 11: Envisioning models of data governance (University of Edinburgh, Institute of Design Informatics, UK). Supervisory team: Dr. Ewa Luger (ewa.luger@ed.ac.uk), Prof. Irina Shklovski, Dr. Daria Loi.
    • ESR 12: Designing alternatives for the Terms of Service (ToS) (Umeå University, Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden). Supervisory team: Dr. Heather Wiltse (heather.wiltse@umu.se), Prof. Johan Redström, Dr. Larissa Pschetz.
    • ESR 13: Designing mechanisms for public deliberation on data use (Umeå University, Umeå Institute of Design, Sweden). Supervisory team: Dr. Heather Wiltse (heather.wiltse@umu.se), Prof. Johan Redström, Prof. Gerd Kortuem.
    • ESR 14: An ethics-in-action framework for designing data-driven product service systems (University of Copenhagen, Department of Computer Science, Denmark). Supervisory team: Prof. Irina Shklovski (ias@di.ku.dk), Prof. Jens-Erik Maj, Dr. Marco Rozendaal.
    • ESR 15: Prototyping new professional roles and design practices for the digital society (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Digital Life Centre, Netherlands). Supervisory team: Dr. Nazli Cila, Prof. Elisa Giaccardi (e.giaccardi@tudelft.nl), Prof. Johan Redström.

More Information


Why should you apply?

  • IMPACT: You want to improve people's live through better design and you have a demonstrable interest in the role of technology in society.
  • WORK ACROSS SECTORS & DISCIPLINES: You enjoy working across disciplines and sectors, conducting high quality research both individually and within our prototeams.
  • RETHINK DESIGN: You believe that agency is foundational to digital design today, just like function was critical to industrial design, and are keen to fundamentally rethink design .
  • REAL-WORLD CHALLENGES: You thrive when faced with concrete cases and challenges, and are not afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
  • INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT: You are keen to work both abroad at your chosen institution, but also internationally for assignments and placements.
  • MENTORING PROGRAM: You seek a training program for future design leaders that is serious about participation, inclusion and diversity.
  • FUNDING: You seek a fully funded PhD and the possibility to attend international events and conferences.

You will get a very attractive salary plus an allowances package in accordance with the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) rules and the personal circumstances of the applicant. The exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment and is dependent on the Country correction factor (to allow for the difference in cost of living in different EU Member States). In addition to their individual salaries, all fellows will benefit from support from the hosting organisation for secondments, training modules and active participation in workshops and conferences. Visa costs and tuition fees are eligible.


For further information please visit the EU MSCA website.


Selection process

The application deadline is February 14th. You are allowed to apply for multiple positions but you are required to indicate this in the cover letter and indicate priority.


What you have to submit:

  • A short cover letter explaining your personal motivation in pursuing a PhD as part of DCODE, including how you see the PhD fitting into your career trajectory (the letter should also include whether you are applying for multiple positions and rank them according to priority);
  • A CV, which should include details of your eligibility (degree and residency);
  • A research statement outlining what questions would you be interested in pursuing within the scope of the PhD, and how would you go about addressing those questions (3 to 5 pages);
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc);
  • 1-3 recommendation letters or 1-3 contact details (depending on vacancy);
  • A sample of writing, e.g., master thesis, scientific publications, professional or popular science writing;
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. design portfolio, artworks, patents, professional media content (if any).

Applicants to positions in Aarhus (ESR 1) and Edinburgh (ESR 9-11) will also need to submit an English certificate.


Selected candidates will be invited for interviews. Online interviews for ESR 2-15 will take place in the weeks of March 1-12, 2021 (first round) and March 22-26, 2021 (second round). Online interviews for ESR1 will take place in the weeks of March 15-26, 2021. Please observe that incomplete applications will not be processed.


General inquiries can be sent to DCODE (info@dcode-network.eu). For eligibility queries, please include a summary CV. Inquiries on the specific PhD position should be directed to the main supervisor (see list above).


Additional comments

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused major disruptions for many researchers, projects and organisations, including those working with EU funding. In agreement with the European Commission, D-CODE may adopt a flexible approach to how mobility rules are applied, including remote working and online collaboration until travel and relocation become feasible.


Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

    ENGLISH: Excellent


  • A passion for improving people’s lives through better design and a demonstrable interest in the role of technology in society.
  • A background and experience in design, anthropology, media studies, science and technology studies, design informatics, human-data/AI interaction, artificial intelligence, machine learning, or other relevant area.
  • Ability to conduct and deliver high quality research both independently and as part of an interdisciplinary team. 

  • Excellent communication skills in English, both in written and oral. 
  • Good people skills, including the ability to run workshops, co-design activities and collaborate with various stakeholders, depending on position.

  • Relevant prototyping skills (e.g., software development, interactive prototyping, user experience and service design), depending on position.
  • Meet the eligibility criteria listed below.


Specific Requirements

MSCA Eligibility Criteria

Please make sure you comply with the eligibility criteria listed below before applying, and that this information is clear on your CV.

  • MSc degree or equivalent (at the moment of acceptance, not necessarily at submission).
  • To be in the first four years of your research career and have no PhD degree.
  • To have not resided/worked for more than 12 months in the past 3 years in the country where the position is carried out at the start of your contract. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account. 
  • Researchers can be of any nationality.

MSCA Mobility Criteria

  • D-CODE is funded by the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme and ESRs are expected to be embedded and engage for two to four months at other organizations in the consortium as part of placements and prototeam assignments, before returning to complete their PhD in their respective institutes.


Work location(s)
3 position(s) available at
Delft University of Technology
2628 CE
3 position(s) available at
Umeå Institute of Design
3 position(s) available at
University of Edinburgh
United Kingdom
2 position(s) available at
University of Copenhagen
1 position(s) available at
Aarhus University
1 position(s) available at
Transport and Telecommunication Institute
1 position(s) available at
Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
1 position(s) available at

EURAXESS offer ID: 587517


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