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Educational data across public and private data infrastructures (4+4 or 5+3), 2024-2

PhD scholarship/fellowship in the field of Educational data across public and private data infrastructures (4+4 or 5+3)

The Graduate School at Arts, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, in collaboration with the Villum Foundation and the Velux Foundation, invites applications for a fully funded PhD scholarship/fellowship in Educational data across public and private data infrastructures provided the necessary funding is available. This PhD scholarship/fellowship is available as of 1 September 2024 for a period of up to three years (5+3) and of up to four years (4+4). The candidate who is awarded the scholarship/fellowship must commence his/her PhD degree programme on 1 September 2024. 

We are offering a PhD scholarship/fellowship in the broad interdisciplinary areas of science and technology studies/critical data studies/education studies commencing 1 September 2024. The PhD position forms part of the larger interdisciplinary project “Algorithms, Data and Democracy” (www.algoritmer.org) funded by the VELUX Foundations.

The widespread digitalization of Danish education has created new digital information infrastructures that enable data to flow between students’ private homes, educational institutions and private companies delivering the digital interfaces and services to schools. 

The PhD sub-project focuses on how different actors such as students/parents, teachers, educational administrators, and private companies make sense of educational data as they are produced and move through digital infrastructures. How are data mobilized as ‘private’ or ‘public’, as something in need of protection or an asset for improving education as it moves across different digital devices and organizations?

Within this thematic frame, the PhD sub-project is responsible for conducting a qualitative or ethnographic study of how citizen data become a matter of concern in emerging educational digital infrastructures and their concomitant political and economic arrangements.

We are looking for a candidate with a background in anthropology, science and technology studies, education studies, sociology or related fields. Knowledge about digitalization and datafication are considered an asset, as is experience with qualitative research methods. Given the nature of the project’s empirical work, basic Danish or other Scandinavian language skills will be advantageous but are not required. We require that applicants will be fluent (or near fluent) in speaking and writing English.

Associate Professor Helene Ratner (Aarhus University) will be the principal supervisor and Professor Torben Elgaard Jensen (Aalborg University) will be secondary supervisor of the PhD project.

Enrolment and place of work
The PhD student must complete the studies in accordance with the valid regulations for the PhD degree programme, currently the Ministerial Order of 27 August 2013 on the PhD degree programme at the universities: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/thephddegreeprogramme/

Description of the graduate school’s PhD degree programme: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/phdstudystructure/

Rules and regulations for the PhD degree programme at the Graduate School at Arts: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/thephddegreeprogramme/  

The PhD scholar/fellow will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Graduate School at Arts, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, with the aim of completing a PhD degree at the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University.

The PhD student will be affiliated with the PhD programme Learning and Education.

The PhD student’s place of work will be the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Emdrup. In general, the student is expected to be present at the school on an everyday basis.

The PhD degree programme is expected to include a lengthy research stay at a foreign institution, cf. Description of the graduate school’s PhD degree programme.

Danish School of Education’s research programme: http://edu.au.dk/en/research/research-programmes/

4+4 programme
When you apply for a SU PhD scholarship (4+4), you must be able to document relevant qualifications in the academic area of the PhD project in the form of a Bachelor’s degree and one year of Master’s degree studies or equivalent qualifications. A prerequisite for allocation of SU PhD scholarships is that these qualifications are acquired no later than 31 August 2024.

Applicants who have acquired 60 ECTS credits in a Master’s degree examination and applicants who will have acquired 60 to 90 ECTS credits in a Master’s degree examination after the deadline for application can apply for a combined SU and PhD scholarship in the 4+4 scheme. Applicants who have already earned 90 ECTS credits at the time of application should apply for the 5+3 PhD fellowship as long as the Master’s degree programme is completed no later than the day before the PhD enrolment starts.

The duration of Part A of the PhD degree programme depends on the number of ECTS credits earned at the commencement of study. The duration is estimated based on the information in the application about the number of ECTS credits earned and those to be awarded upon satisfactory completion of current courses.

A condition for being allocated a combined SU and PhD scholarship is that the applicant passes this examination prior to the commencement of studies.

SU PhD scholarships are allocated in accordance with the Ministerial Order regarding state educational support (SU), section II: https://www.retsinformation.dk/eli/lta/2023/395 (Danish State Education Grant and Loan Scheme Authority – only in Danish. Please see this page for further information http://www.su.dk/english/).

In connection with the SU PhD scholarship, a PhD scholar can undertake paid work amounting to 280 hours distributed over part A of the studies. Employment in accordance with protocol regarding PhD scholars; agreement regarding payment of PhD students for work carried out in connection with the PhD degree programme: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/thephddegreeprogramme/

SU PhD-points and hourly pay: http://phd.arts.au.dk/financing/salary-and-employment/#SU

5+3 programme
When you apply for a 3-year PhD fellowship (5+3), you must have completed your two year Master’s degree (120 ECTS) no later than 31 August 2024.

The PhD fellow will be employed as a PhD student at the Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University. The terms of employment are in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (see section 6.1.4), as well as with the protocol to the agreement covering staff with university degrees in the state sector (see enclosure 5). The agreement and the protocol including amendments are available online: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/thephddegreeprogramme/

Salary: http://phd.arts.au.dk/financing/salary-and-employment/salary-5-3/


How to apply
The application must include:

  • Motivation/cover letter (statement of motivation and research interests, max one A4 page of 2,400 characters including spaces)
  • CV (including a complete list of education, positions, publications and other qualifying activities)
  • Project description outlining how the candidate envisages completing the work to be undertaken during the course of the term of appointment.
    The overall project description (excl. list of project literature/bibliography/reference list and timetable) must not exceed 12,000 characters including spaces, tables, diagrams, footnotes, endnotes and illustrations (5 A4 pages of 2,400 characters each)
  • Project literature/reference list
  • Timetable (mandatory form)
  • Cover sheet (form stating your degrees)
  • Copies of educational certificates (Bachelor and Master’s degrees). The diplomas or diploma supplement/transcript of records must state: name of university, education (Bachelor or Master), duration (number of years, full-time), courses, marks and (if given) ECTS credits.

Please see a detailed description of the requirements for the application in the guide for the application facility: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/how-to-apply/  

If you require professional guidance regarding your application for the PhD scholarship/fellowship please contact the PhD programme director at Learning and Education:  http://phd.arts.au.dk/about-us/contact/

For further information, please contact Associate Professor Helene Friis Ratner, Danish School of Education, helr@edu.au.dk, phone + 45 30 82 60 19.

The application must be submitted in English.

Child protection certificate

In accordance with Ministerial Order no. 554 of 23 May 2023, Aarhus University is obliged to obtain a statement of no previous convictions in respect of children in connection with the appointment and employment of staff whose work will involve direct contact with children under the age of 15. If you, in connection with your PhD project, will be in direct contact with children under the age of 15 who are not accompanied by a parent or guardian, childcare professional or teacher, you will be covered by the requirements of the ministerial order.
    If you are covered by these requirements and read Danish, please complete the section “Samtykkeerklæring” (declaration of consent) in the police form and upload the file under “Other information to consider” in the application form. You can download the form here: https://politi.dk/-/media/mediefiler/landsdaekkende-dokumenter/straffeattest/brneattest-p274.pdf
    If you are covered by these requirements and do not read Danish, please upload a brief statement with the headline “Child protection certificate needed” under the field “Other information to consider” in the application form.

All applicants must provide documentation of excellent communication skills in English which are considered essential, and you must therefore be able to read, write, and speak academic English fluently. English language requirement is comparable to a minimum of TOEFL 83 or IELTS 6.5. Please see this page for further information: http://phd.arts.au.dk/applicants/english-test/

Applications for the PhD scholarship/fellowship and enrolment in the PhD degree programme can only be submitted via the application form in Aarhus University’s web-based facility.

Deadline for applications: 15 March 2024 at 23.59 Danish time (CET/CEST).
Reference number: 2024-2

During the assessments, Aarhus University can conduct interviews with selected applicants.