PhD Scholarship 

The Center for Subjectivity Research, Department of Communication, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen (UCPH, invites applications for a PhD position in philosophy of perception to be filled by January 1, 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is fully funded for 3 years.

The PhD position is part of the research project Mapping Perceptual Presence, financed by the Independent Research Fund Denmark (DFF) and led by Associate Professor Søren Overgaard. The project combines philosophy of perception and philosophy of psychiatry in an effort to analyze key features of perceptual experience. Applicants are asked to situate and develop their research plan within the framework of the larger project.

The project
Perception seems to give us direct access to the reality we live in. Researchers often articulate this point in terms of a special ‘presence characteristic of perception. In everyday life, presence is what allows us to distinguish our genuine perceptions from imagery or daydreaming. In clinical settings, disturbances of presence seem a crucial factor in a host of mental disorders, including schizophrenia, delirium, and PTSD. Commercially, efforts to create perceptual presence artificially range from the entertainment industry (e.g., movies, gaming) through education (e.g., simulation tools) to computer-mediated communication (e.g., video conference platforms). Surprisingly, however, researchers rarely address presence explicitly, let alone analyse it in detail. Moreover, when they do explicitly address it, it is often unclear exactly what ‘presence’ is supposed to denote. The aim of the research project Mapping Perceptual Presenceis to answer the following overarching research question: What is perceptual presence, and how does it manifest or fail to manifest in a variety of pathological as well as non-pathological experiences?

The PhD project in philosophy of perception should address the nature and structure of presence. Key questions include these: Is presence a feature of perceptual content, or do we need to invoke brute acquaintance relations to account for presence?

The successful candidate will be working at the Center for Subjectivity Research in close cooperation with philosophers and psychiatrists. 

More information about the project – including the sub-project in the philosophy of perception (Sub-Project 3) – can be found here:

Potential applicants are invited to contact Associate Professor Søren Overgaard ( for more information about the project Mapping Perceptual Presence.

PhD studies consist of research programmes that qualify students for independent and wide-ranging research, development and teaching at international level. The main emphasis is on PhD students organising and conducting their own research project (under supervision). The programme culminates in the submission of a PhD thesis, which the student must defend in public. The programme is prescribed to 180 ECTS points, corresponding to three years of full-time study.

A PhD opens up a range of career opportunities in academia and elsewhere. As well as writing a thesis, PhD students work in active research environments in Denmark and abroad. They contribute to the academic environment, take research training courses and convey the results of their research in teaching, at academic conferences and to the general public. 

Qualification requirements
Applicants must have a two-year Master’s degree (120 ECTS) or equivalent and, as a minimum, have submitted a Master’s thesis for which they have received pre-approval at the time of application.

The qualifications of applicants with non-Danish Master’s degrees will be assessed to ascertain whether they correspond to the Danish level. For further information, please refer to the website of the Ministry of Education and Research:

Applicants must possess skills in written and spoken academic English at a high level. If deemed necessary, the department may request that applicants document their English skills.

All applications must be submitted online, in PDF or Microsoft Word format, via the link “Apply for the position” at the bottom of the page. 

The application must include: 

Project abstract
(max.1,200 characters with spaces)

Personal statement (max. one page)
In their personal statements, applicants are encouraged to: 

  • outline how the PhD project relates to other research activities at the department, including the availability of supervisors 
  • describe as clearly as possible their competencies and personal qualifications relevant to the PhD programme

Applications must be accompanied by a CV ( page) and a list of publications, where relevant. 

Documentation (diplomas and transcripts) 
Applicants must upload the following:

  • A copy of their Master’s degree diploma or similar (if this is not available by the application deadline, applicants must document pre-approval of their Master’s thesis)
  • A copy of their Master’s degree transcript
  • A copy of their Bachelor’s degree diploma
  • A copy of their Bachelor’s degree transcript.

Applicants with a degree from a university where the working language is not English or one of the Scandinavian languages must submit a translation of their Master’s diploma and/or diploma transcripts approved by the issuing university. These documents must be translated into English, Danish, Norwegian or Swedish. An official description of the grading scale (and a diploma supplement where relevant) must also be attached. 

Chinese applicants must attach a China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Evaluation Committee (CADGEEC) certificate. Read more about CADGEEC here.

Project description 
Applications must include a detailed project description covering the problem formulation, overall objectives, methodology, design and timetable (max. five pages/12,000 characters, incl. spaces, excl. bibliography).

Applicants who anticipate incurring extraordinary expenses (related to questionnaires, fieldwork, extended stay(s) abroad, equipment, etc.) must include brief comments about this in their project description.

Guidelines and good advice on project descriptions are available here.

Other relevant material 
Statements of consent, e.g. regarding access to special archives and approval of studies abroad, may be submitted along with the applications. It is not necessary to include commitments from supervisors.

Please do not upload or submit recommendations, publications, theses, etc. 

Documents for which there is no upload category should be uploaded under “Other relevant material”.

Assessment criteria
The following criteria are applied when assessing PhD applications:

  • The quality, originality and feasibility of the PhD project
  • Research qualifications, as reflected in the attached CV and project description 
  • Competencies and knowledge of relevant fields of academic research
  • Level (grades obtained) of Bachelor and Master’s studies. 

Please note that only a few scholarships are awarded at each call for applications and competition is intense. 

The recruitment process 
After the deadline for applications, the Head of Department considers advice from the Appointment Committee and then selects applicants for assessment. All applicants will be notified whether or not they have been shortlisted. After this, the Head of Department sets up an expert Assessment Committee to assess the shortlisted applications. The selected applicants will be informed who is serving on the committee. Individual applicants will be offered the opportunity to comment on the committee’s assessment of their application before the appointment is announced. 

It is a prerequisite for employment that successful applicants enrol at the PhD School of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Copenhagen. 

For further information about the structure of the PhD programme, please refer to:

For further information about the guidelines for PhD studies at UCPH, please refer to:

or write to

Remuneration and terms of employment 
Appointment as a PhD Fellow is subject to the collective bargaining agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). 

We seek to reflect the breadth and diversity of society and encourage applications irrespective of personal background.

The deadline for applications is September 25 at 23:59 [CEST (Central European summer time].

Any applications or additional material submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

However, changes may be made to the submitted application right up until the deadline.

For further information about the application procedure, please refer to the University of Copenhagen website:
Or you are welcome ot write to HR South and City Campuses, email

For further information about the structure and rules of the PhD programme, please email the PhD Administration at Søndre and City Campus, email:

If you have any questions about the academic content of the PhD programme, please e-mail the If you have any questions about the academic content of the PhD programme, please email the Deputy Head of Department for Research, Mette Mortensen,