Umeå University

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37,000 students and about 4,700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. Notably, the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

The ongoing societal transformation and large green investments in northern Sweden create enormous opportunities and complex challenges. For Umeå University, conducting research about – and in the middle of – a society in transition is key. We also take pride in delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. In fact, the future is made here.

Are you interested in learning more? Read about Umeå university as a workplace

This position is part of the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program - Humanities and Society (WASP-HS). WASP-HS aims to realize excellent research and develop competence on the consequences and challenges of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems for the individual person and society. This 10-year national program is initiated and generously funded by the Wallenberg Foundations and is managed by Umeå University. Umeå University is also mobilising a 10-year strategic effort on interdisciplinary research in artificial intelligence and autonomous systems.


Human-centred artificial intelligence (AI)

Human-centred AI focuses on how AI-based systems can be developed to collaborate with humans, enhancing human capabilities, and empowering humans to better achieve their goals. It is an interdisciplinary research field that addresses the complexity of human-AI collaboration for improving daily living.  This particular position is part of the the UMeHealth research environment focusing on intelligent, person-tailored eHealth interventions, behaviour change systems and decision support. This includes issues such as how individuals may influence and collaborate with AI-based systems, in participatory design processes and as part of everyday living; what risks may arise in terms of self-determination and autonomy and how they may be mitigated; how trust, transparency and sense of control can be promoted; and how individuals relate socially, culturally and emotionally to AI systems in their everyday lives.


We are looking for a researcher from a field relevant to human-centred AI, who wants to be involved in developing Umeå University’s AI profile with a focus on health, autonomy, and well-being. Together with the national research programme Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program–Humanities and Society (WASP-HS), Umeå University is investing in the study of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems and their effects on humans and society.

The position as a Assistant professor is a tenure track position, in which the successful candidate is given the opportunity to develop her/his independence as a researcher and to acquire research and teaching qualifications in order to meet the requirements for promotion to a Associate professor. The primary focus (at least 80 percent of working hours) of an appointment as a Assistant professor is to acquire research qualifications; the rest of the time shall mainly be focused on acquiring teaching qualifications.

Research is thus the primary work responsibility, but tasks also include teaching and supervision within the field of human-centred AI, with a focus on health, autonomy and well-being. They also include the management of staff and activities, as the Assistant professor is expected to build and lead her/his own research group. The language of instruction is English but the university’s main language is Swedish, and part of the communication beyond teaching may be conducted in Swedish. Administrative tasks may also be included.

You will be based in Umeå, but work at other locations may occur.

Qualification requirements

A doctorate or equivalent academic competence is required for appointment as a Assistant professor. Priority will be given to candidates who have completed their doctoral degree or equivalent academic competence no more than five years before the deadline of application. Special reason for considering applicants who completed their doctorate or equivalent competence earlier may be leave of absence due to illness, parental leave or other similar circumstances (see Chapter 4, Section 4a of the Higher Education Ordinance).

For this appointment in an interdisciplinary research field, the completed PhD may be in e.g. cognitive science, ethnology, informatics, nursing, occupational therapy, philosophy, physiotherapy, psychology, sociology or other disciplines relevant to how people – individually and in social contexts – perceive, make sense of and engage with AI-based tools that are developed and used to improve health, autonomy and well-being.

To be qualified for the position, the applicant must possess a mastery of good written and spoken English. Applicants who do not speak Swedish are expected to acquire the knowledge required to speak Swedish at an adequate level within three years in order to, for example, participate in administrative education planning within the faculty, as well as provide basic teaching in Swedish.

Assessment criteria

The assessment criteria for the position of a Assistant professor are, in order of importance, scientific expertise, teaching expertise, administrative expertise, and expertise in leading staff and activities.

A general basis for assessment for academic staff at Umeå University is both good cooperative skills and the expertise and suitability in general required to complete the work duties satisfactorily.

The weighting of assessment criteria

Assessment criteria will be weighted as follows: scientific expertise (3), teaching expertise (2). In addition, the applicant’s degree of administrative expertise and expertise in leading staff and activities are taken into account (1).

Description of the assessment criteria

In assessing scientific expertise, particular emphasis will be placed on originality, independence and the applicant’s potential to develop her/his own successful line of research in the field of human-centred AI for health, autonomy and well-being. Completed postdoctoral research, especially outside the research environment in which the applicant has completed his/her PhD, is considered a qualification.

In assessing teaching expertise, consideration will be given to the planning, implementation and evaluation of teaching, as well as to academic supervision and examinations. Administrative expertise can be demonstrated through experience in planning, developing and conducting conferences, leading research projects, developing and leading other, etc. 

We attach particular importance to documented experience with interdisciplinary research.

We also attach importance to experience with research within any of the following fields or themes: eHealth; behaviour change systems; participatory design methodologies of AI systems; human-AI collaboration; individual autonomy in relation to AI systems; and social, cultural and emotional aspects of how humans comprehend and relate to AI systems.


More about this position

The position is funded by the national research program The Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – Humanities and Society (WASP-HS,, and comes with a competitive starting package including a budget for expenses as well as two PhD students, or one PhD student and one postdoc, that will form part of the assistant professor’s team.

The position is intended to strengthen the interdisciplinary research environment UMeHealth, which engages researchers across Umeå University as well as stakeholders such as health providers or municipalities. UMeHealth has as a physical meeting point in UMeHealth Lab at the Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine. The successful candidate will have an important role in the development of research within AI-based eHealth at Umeå University as part of this research environment. The successful candidate is also expected to develop cooperation across faculties, outside the university and within WASP-HS.

The placement of the position within Umeå University’s organisation (department and faculty) is decided at employment.

The position is limited to five years, with a right to apply, and be evaluated for promotion to a associate professor in accordance with Chapter 4, Section 4a of the Higher Education Ordinance. The application for promotion must be submitted no later than six months before the employment contract ends.  If the criteria for promotion are not fulfilled, the employment contract is ended. At the start of employment, plans will be set up for the development of scientific and teaching skills, and two mentors will be appointed to assist in the realization of the plans.

Please don't hesitate to contact Professor Ingeborg Nilsson at, should you have any further questions about this position.

Last application date is 10/02/ 2021. Instructions for the application and a list of the documents to be attached to the application can be found here:

You apply via our e-recruitment system which you can reach via the application button below. When the application is received, you will receive a confirmation email.

We welcome your application!

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment October 1st, 2021, or according to agreements
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-1663-20
  • Ingeborg Nilsson, 090-7866133
Union representative
  • SACO, +4690-786 53 65
  • SEKO, +4690-786 52 96
  • ST, +4690-786 54 31
Published 15.Dec.2020
Last application date 10.Feb.2021 11:59 PM CET

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