PhD Fellow in Open Data Usage in Elementary Schools

Are you passionate about research with a societal impact? Do you want to be part of an excellent, world-leading team of engaged open data researchers and practitioners? Check out this position! At the Department of Communication and Psychology, the Faculty of Humanities, Aalborg University in Copenhagen, a position is available as PhD fellow in Open Data Usage in Elementary Schools. The position will be open for appointment as of 1 January 2022. The appointment will be a fixed-term (3 years), full-time position, which will include both research and teaching activities.

Job description

This fully funded PhD position is part of the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie ITN project entitled “ODECO: Towards a Sustainable Open Data ECOsystem” (see ODECO is a four-year project involving 15 PhD projects each covering a specific part of the open data ecosystem. The central aim of the ODECO consortium network is to train the next generation of creative and innovative early stage open data researchers, to unlock their creative and innovative potential to address current and future challenges in the creation of user driven, circular and inclusive open data ecosystems.

Current developments in the field of open data are characterised as highly fragmented. Open data ecosystems are often developed in isolation of each other within different domains and with little involvement of potential users, resulting in approaches that significantly limit open data reusability for users. This reduces innovation and the ability to create new value added goods and services. Isolated domains also undermine interoperability for users acting as barriers to data sharing. In addition, efforts are uncoordinated in open data training and research, where multidisciplinary approaches are limited.

Bringing together different sectors (research, private sector, government, non-profit) and different perspectives (public administration, law, business, engineering), ODECO aims to address the central challenge of realizing a user driven, circular and inclusive open data ecosystem. Through its novel research and training programme, ODECO will provide early stage researchers with relevant open data knowledge, skills and research experience.

The offered position with the project title “Open Data Usage in Elementary Schools” is aimed towards development of new methods and processes for integrating accumulation, interpretation, and exploitation of open data in elementary public school education with a focus on strengthening real world problem solving and collaboration with professionals outside school. Sub-objectives are:

  • To explore how open data can be used as an educational resource;
  • To examine the current use of open data and design thinking in elementary public schools;
  • To identify requirements of public school teachers and elementary school pupils for enhancing the use of open data and design thinking as an educational resource;
  • To develop new methods to enhance open data use and design thinking in elementary schools;
  • To examine how teachers and elementary school pupils can be trained and educated to use the new design thinking methods as part of their learning activities to solve complex problems;
  • To test whether students and experiences that the new methods enhance the competencies and skills of elementary school pupils.

During the PhD, the candidate will conduct this research and prepare scientific articles presenting the research at conferences and in journals. To enable the candidate to do this successfully, TU Delft offers personal and professional training courses in the form of a graduate school, in which the candidate will participate (the fee is paid by the project and there are no additional costs ). Furthermore, in addition to scientific supervisors, an independent senior researcher will be appointed as mentor to promote your personal career development.

As a Marie Curie ITN researcher, you will have the opportunity to conduct practical internships at world leading universities and case studies at excellent open data intermediaries (for example ESRI) through the EU ITN network.

This PhD position is a joint supervision collaboration between Aalborg University (AAU) in Denmark and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands with a working place at Aalborg University, Department of Communication and Psychology, the Faculty of Humanities physically located in the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen.

The appointment will be a fixed-term, full-time position for 3 years, and will include both research and teaching activities.

During the employment as a PhD fellow, the ideal candidate will be expected to:

  • Deliver quality teaching, supervision, and associated examination, as required across the range of modules offered on the Communication and Digital Media programme
  • Undertake research and publish research output
  • Engage in International research networks and collaborations
  • Engage in knowledge collaboration within the portfolio of the position
  • Participate positively and constructively in the day-to-day activities of the Department of Communication and Psychology.

The position will complement and extend the existing expertise within open data in education and local governing and be part of the research group Science, Policy and Information Studies (SPIS) at Aalborg University in Copenhagen, which focuses its research on the following main themes:

  • Research on academic and societal networks of humanities scholarship and beyond
  • Development of methods to understand, analyse and reflect upon the co-production of impact of scholarly activities and understanding their value in society
  • Research on intelligent access, prediction, analytics and ethics of information in the face of large amounts of data.
  • Production of actionable insights from the analysis of information and the practices surrounding it.

More information about the research profile of the Department can be found here:

Aalborg University will recruit prospective, talented researchers of any nationality, gender, culture, religion, sexual orientation or age.

Since these PhD positions are part of a Horizon Marie Curie ITN project, several selection criteria apply:

  • You must comply with the early-stage researcher definition: At the time of recruitment (January 2022), you must be in the first four years (full‐time equivalent research experience) of your research career and not been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • You must comply with the mobility rule, meaning that you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark over a duration of more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date (January 2022).
  • You must stay for 4 months at other consortium organizations in Denmark and the Netherlands as part of placements and assignments; the secondments are at the Danish company CoC Playful Minds and at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

In addition, the candidate must have a master’s degree in data science, science education (education, learning, didactics, pedagogy, digital learning design), or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master’s degree in science education. Experience with qualitative research methods is expected and experience with quantitative research methods is ‘nice to have’. Good command of spoken and written English is required.

Experience, skills and achievements within teaching, project management, group work, interactive seminars or problem based learning approaches (PBL), Citizen Science, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) would be an advantage, but are not a prerequisite.

Qualification requirements

PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Master’s degree, or expect to have obtained the Master’s degree before the employment date (Statement from thesis supervisor, verified transcripts, thesis contract and documentation of the date of the exam must be enclosed). According to the PhD Order, the PhD study comprises among other requirements: Participation in active research environments, including stays at other, mainly foreign, research institutions, private research enterprises etc.

General information

It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at Doctoral School of the Faculty of the Humanities, in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of 27 August 2013 (PhD Order).


Please visit the website of the doctoral school for further information on the PhD programme, application procedure, and admission requirements.

The application must include the following and be written in English

  • Application for enrollment
  • A brief cover letter explaining your personal motivation for pursuing a PhD as part of ODECO, including how you see the PhD fitting into your career trajectory
  • Copy of diplomas/transcripts
  • Curriculum vitae (CV), which should include details of your eligibility (degree and residency)
  • Project description
  • A sample of writing, e.g., master thesis, scientific publications, professional or popular science writing
  • Two to three recommendation letters or contact details of references
  • Applicants WHO are planning to complete a doctoral thesis in English and who do not have English as a first language or WHO have not completed an English language-based Master’s programme (or an equivalent educational achievement in English) shall provide documentation that they have passed one of the following official tests with the respective minimum score: IELTS (band score): 7, TOEFL (paper-based): 600, TOEFL (internet-based): 100. The language test must be no more than five years old at the time of the application.

Shortlisting will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for applications the head of department supported by the chair of the assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All applicants will be informed whether they will be assessed or not.

The application can only be submitted by using the link on AAU’s job-portal (not other online job portals that may have reposted the position).. Please note that zipped files are not supported by the recruitment system, please upload only Word or PDF files.


For further information on the doctoral research programme, please visit the

For further information on the PhD stipend, please contact Associate Professor Rikke Magnussen at mail: or Phone +45 9940 3142

For general information about the application process etc., please contact Ruth Klitte, e-mail:, phone: +45 9940 7993.


Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of 29 June 2019, on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the current Circular on the employment structure at Danish Universities. AAU wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or belief.

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