Doctoral Candidate (PhD student) in a Project on On-line Disinformation

Posted 2 months ago

Language: English (UK)
Location Belval
Country: Luxembourg

Organisation data: Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (DBCS)
Job Number: UOL05064
Contract Type: Fixed Term Contract
Duration 36 Month
Schedule Type: Full Time
Work Hours 40.0 Hours per Week

Job (internal): Doctoral Researcher
Functions: PhD Candidates

The University | About us…

The University of Luxembourg is an international research university with a distinctly multilingual and interdisciplinary character. The University was founded in 2003 and counts more than 6,700 students and more than 2,000 employees from around the world. The University’s faculties and interdisciplinary centres focus on research in the areas of Computer Science and ICT Security, Materials Science, European and International Law, Finance and Financial Innovation, Education, Contemporary and Digital History. In addition, the University focuses on cross-disciplinary research in the areas of Data Modelling and Simulation as well as Health and System Biomedicine. Times Higher Education ranks the University of Luxembourg #3 worldwide for its “international outlook,” #20 in the Young University Ranking 2021 and among the top 250 universities worldwide.

Funded by the Fonds National de la Recherche Luxembourg, REMEDIS (REgulatory and other Solutions to MitigatE online DISinformation) is an interdisciplinary project teaming up research(ers) in digital law, social and communication science, history, and computer science. It aims to enable innovative regulatory frameworks and novel, legally compliant, socio-technical solutions to counter online disinformation (“fake news”) and its effects. The project intends to complement the regulatory arsenal with training modules in media education based on an understanding of the effects of relative media literacy skills and behaviors on the spread of disinformation.

Your Role…

As part of the Human-Computer Interaction Group, you will conduct research for a doctoral thesis positioned in psychology / human-computer interaction, supervised by Prof. Vincent Koenig. As a Ph.D. student in this project, your work will concentrate on psychological factors that lead to believing and sharing fake news. We want to detect the groups of online users who are particularly vulnerable or resistant to accepting or disseminating misinformation and provide social, psychological and UX design recommendations for protecting vulnerable groups from fake news.

We are also interested in investigating how fake news is reproduced and disseminated via different media channels and how innovative tools may help user online to tell legit information apart from disinformation. By the end of your Ph.D. project, you will have an opportunity to participate in the development and evaluation of technical solutions to counter some types of online misinformation.

* Conduct original and interdisciplinary research in psychology and human-computer interaction
* Conduct empirical (experimental) research with human participants and implement a UX design process and the relevant associated methods where appropriate
* Collaborate with researchers coming from various disciplines, as the project explores online disinformation through an interdisciplinary approach
* Participate in joint research group activities (e.g., colloquia, creativity sessions, teaching)
* Present research findings at workshops and conferences
* Publish scientific articles in peer-reviewed international journals of high quality
* Write a cumulative PhD thesis

What we expect from you…

* Completed Master’s Degree in Human-Computer Interaction, Psychology, Cognitive Science, Learning Sciences, Computer Science, or related fields; it is possible to apply if the respective degree is to be obtained very soon
* Training/experience in either one, ideally both, quantitative methods (e.g., descriptive, inferential, and multivariate statistics, data analysis and modeling) OR training/experience in qualitative methods (e.g. interviews, diary studies, contextual inquiries, surveys, focus-groups etc.)
* Strong skillset and knowledge in HCI concepts and methods; alternatively passion and willingness to learn HCI concepts/methods for UX design and evaluation; Interest and experience with interface design is a plus
* Good command of written and spoken English; proficiency in French or German is a plus
* The ambition to conduct interdisciplinary research, with both fundamental and applied outputs
* You are a team player but also able to organize your work autonomously

We offer…

* An exceptional opportunity to be part of an innovative research partnership
* An exciting and relevant research topic
* A dynamic, collaborative work environment and a supportive academic community
* Access to cutting-edge research facilities
* Full funding as well as financial support for participation in scientific activities (workshops, conferences, summer schools, etc.)
* Regular full-time work contract in line with the regulations of University of Luxembourg including paid leave, health insurance, pension funds, and other benefits
* Enrolment in the doctoral school with an interesting offer of disciplinary or interdisciplinary courses and transferable skills training
* A personal workspace at the University
* Excellent prospects for your future career development

In Short…

* Contract Type: Fixed Term Contract 36 Month (extendable up to 48 months if required)
* Work Hours: Full Time 40.0 Hours per Week
* Location: Belval
* Employee and student status
* Job Reference: UOL05064

The yearly gross salary for every PhD at the UL is EUR 38.028,96 (full time)

How to apply…

Applications should be submitted online and include:

* Curriculum Vitae
* Digital copy of University diploma and a transcript of results
* Motivation letter detailing why you intend to undertake a PhD, an explanation of your motives for participating in this research program
* A brief research proposal, stating how you intend to advance the state-of-the-art in the research topic (max. 5 pages)
* Contact information of two references (we might contact them)
* List of publications (if applicable)

Early application is highly encouraged, as the applications will be processed upon reception. Please apply formally through the HR system. Applications by email will not be considered.

The University of Luxembourg embraces inclusion and diversity as key values. We are fully committed to removing any discriminatory barrier related to gender, and not only, in recruitment and career progression of our staff.

Here’s what awaits you at the University

* Multilingual and international character. Modern institution with a personal atmosphere. Staff coming from 90 countries. Member of the “University of the Greater Region” (UniGR).
* A modern and dynamic university. High-quality equipment. Close ties to the business world and to the Luxembourg labour market. A unique urban site with excellent infrastructure.
* A partner for society and industry. Cooperation with European institutions, innovative companies, the Financial Centre and with numerous non-academic partners such as ministries, local governments, associations, NGOs …

* Find out more about the University
* Addresses, maps & routes to the various sites of the University

Further information…

For further information concerning this position, you can contact Prof., Dr Vincent Koenig ( or Dr Anastasia Sergeeva (

Apply here

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