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Umeå Universitet announces...

Umeå University - with its 33,000 students and over 4,000 employees - is an organisation in constant change and development. Umeå University conducts groundbreaking research within several areas - several in which we are among the best in the world - within others regarded as the leaders in Sweden. We are one of Sweden’s largest providers of education and offer a broad and attractive range of courses and programmes. Our campus constitutes an inspiring environment for everyone that studies and works here. We wish to co-operate with companies and organisations throughout the Umeå region and all over the world.

2 PhD positions in Industrial Design with an orientation towards mobile interaction design
At Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå University

Description of the research environment
Umeå Institute of Design at Umeå University, recently named Center of Excellence in Higher Education 2008, is one of Sweden's few design education environments with post-graduate studies in industrial design. Umeå Institute of Design is also a strong actor in the formation of the new Umeå Arts Campus at Umeå University.

Umeå Institute of is making a strategic investment in basic research in design. As part of the building of a nationally and internationally leading research environment where fundamental questions about design meet the surrounding society's need for knowledge, we are announcing several PhD student positions.

At Umeå Institute of Design basic research is conducted in three areas: better understanding users, modelling of creative processes and understanding our digital everyday.

In the first area we have a user focus, aiming to develop methods and processes for understanding what makes people tick in this global world, including the users in the creative process more efficiently and creating new theory in the area.

We are also looking at how we could apply processes of creativity in a new way, ranging from the individual to networks of people to the multinational transdisciplinary organisation.

In our digital everyday we seek to understand how the merger between the digital and physical changes the world around us. This re-creates the landscape of services, forms new approaches of materiality, and becomes ubiquitous in our everyday lives.

We are now seeking a number of PhD students with an interest in studying, researching, modelling and theorizing these processes from a design perspective. We are interested in new methodological and multidisciplinary approaches to these three areas, from in-depth studies to experimental approaches, hopefully resulting in PhD projects that challenge our current understanding of these processes.

These two PhD positions are part of an ongoing research project, and as a PhD student you can formulate your PhD project quite freely, while using the project context for conducting case studies and gathering material for your research. Based on the current issues in design research, you will focus on interaction design for mobile services in close collaboration with our partners including CDT - Center for Distance-spanning Technology at LTU, Ericsson Research, TeliaSonera, and others. Central to our evaluation is that the applicant can produce  a clear vision statement on how a project with focus on this special area of mobile interaction design could contribute to the larger field of basic design research.

Essential Qualifications
Essential prerequisites at the time of registration as a PhD student include either i) 240 ECTS credits (Swe. högskolepoäng) of higher education studies of which 60 should be on an advanced level (Master level) within industrial design, or equivalent competence, or ii) 120 Swedish (old) credits (Swe. poäng; corresponding to 180 ECTS-credits) of higher education studies if they were taken before July 1, 2007 or equivalent competence. You must have a good command of oral and writing skills in English.

Contact Information

For more information about the position or the research program, contact Research Director, Umeå Institute of Design,, phone +46 (0)90-786 70 30, or Tapio Alakörkkö, Head of Department, Umeå Institute of Design,, phone +46 (0)90-786 98 35 or Anna Valtonen, Rector, Umeå Institute of Design,

About the Position and the Start Date
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The position (doktorandtjanst), incremental increases in salary will occur according to a stipulated scale. The position may require teaching (up to 20%), which will lengthen the overall duration of the position.

The position is scheduled to start on the 1st June 2010.

The Application
Written in English, your application must include:
  • a cover letter that states your personal motivation for the PhD position
  • a research sketch describing your proposed PhD project
  • your curriculum vitae including a complete list of university courses with grades
  • any other documents supporting your competence and suitability for the position
  • names and contact details (telephone and email) of at least two suitably qualified persons willing to act as referee on your behalf
For the evaluation of the research sketch it is important that the applicant clearly state how a proposed PhD with an orientation towards mobile interaction design can contribute with important knowledge to the broader field of design research.

Union information is available from SACO, +46-(0)90-786 53 65, SEKO, +46-(0)90-786 52 96 and ST, +46-(0)90-786 54 31.

The procedure for recruitment for the position is in accordance with the
Higher Education Ordinance (chapt. 12, 2 §) and the decision regarding the position cannot be appealed.

Documents sent electronically should be in MS Word or PDF format.

The application period for this advert has expired.


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