Umeå University, Department of Computing Science

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest institutions of higher education with over 35,000 students and 4,200 faculty and staff. We are characterised by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison. Umeå University is also the site of the pioneering discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors - a revolution in genetic engineering that has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

At Umeå University, everything is nearby. Our cohesive campus environment makes it easy to meet, collaborate and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture where we rejoice in each other's successes.

The research group Responsible Artificial Intelligence (RAI) at the Department of Computing Science at Umeå University is seeking outstanding candidates for a post-doctoral position in Computer Science with focus on tools and methods for participatory deliberation. Deadline for application is May 15, 2021.

The Department of Computing Science is a dynamic environment with around 140 employees representing more than 20 countries worldwide. We conduct education and research on a broad range of topics in Computing Science. The department’s work on Artificial Intelligence has a strong international position, in particular on the topics of collaborative and responsible AI. In these areas, the focus of the RAI research group is on methods and tools for the design, analysis and verification of the ethical and societal impact of AI. Researchers collaborate with several national and international research groups, and have active links with industry and policy organisations. Visit for more information.

The project is financed by the Marcus and Marianne Wallenberg Foundation and affiliated with WASP-HS, the Wallenberg Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – Humanities and Society. WASP-HS aims to realize excellent research and develop competence on the consequences and challenges of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems for the humanity and society For more information about the research and other activities conducted within WASP-HS please visit

Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP) is Sweden’s largest individual research program ever, a major national initiative for strategically motivated basic research, education and faculty recruitment. The program addresses research on artificial intelligence and autonomous systems acting in collaboration with humans, adapting to their environment through sensors, information and knowledge, and forming intelligent systems-of-systems. The vision of WASP is excellent research and competence in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and software for the benefit of Swedish industry. Read more:

Research project
Artificial intelligence (AI) can radically change the existing political paradigm, empowering more diffused forms of political participation. The use of AI systems, in particular recommender and filtering applications, and the possibility of sharing opinions among citizens, has large impact in the way public opinion is shaping. At the same time, the voting and decision-making processes still retain the same structure as it did in the early years of parliamentary democracy. Voting systems are oversimplified, for instance plurality voting, and high-level decisions are taken mostly by the public administrations. Even when citizens are consulted, e.g. through referenda, the questions are often posed as yes/no alternatives, restricting the available options.

The objective of this research is to investigate how AI can be used to empower political participation. This project extends previous work on open online deliberation by investigating how deliberation platforms structure public debates and the moral acceptability and the social acceptance of a debate outcome. The project is expected to deliver a comprehensive participatory framework, which combines elements of participatory design, gamification, and citizen scientist practices, to identify and align values and preferences of different stakeholders, and verifiably inclusive, and fair deliberation processes.

About the position
The successful applicant will be employed by Umeå University and receive a competitive salary for a period of two years fulltime. Expected starting date is 1 August 2021 or as otherwise agreed.

Admission requirements
Applicants must have earned a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, interaction design, human-computer interaction, or similar subjects relevant for the position. The PhD degree should not be more than three years old by the application deadline, unless special circumstances exist. Special circumstances include absence due to illness, parental leave or clinical practice, appointments of trust in trade unions or similar circumstances. This must be clearly stated in the application.

Strong research merits and excellent publications in the area of the position are required. Proficiency in English, both spoken and written, is required.

The candidate is expected to have an overall interest in responsible AI concepts and methods, and expertise in participatory methods and interaction design, as demonstrated by publications and other scientific output.

Ideal candidates are research driven, organized, and would like to work on challenging problems and innovative solutions. Demonstrated skills in design and modelling, user experience (UX), HCI, user studies or software development are meriting.

A complete application includes:
• An introductory letter including a 2-page statement of research interests relative to the above topics and a motivation of why your expertise is appropriate for the position.
• Curriculum Vitae (CV) including a complete list of scientific publications.
• Certified copies of degree certificates, including documentation of completed academic courses and obtained grades
• A copy of your PhD thesis and copies of (max 5) original research publications relevant to the above topics, numbered according to the publication list.
• Names and contact information for three persons willing to act as references.

Incomplete applications or applications with a generic letter of intent will not be considered.
The application must be written in English or Swedish, and attached documents must be written in or translated to English or Swedish. Documents must be in Word or pdf format. Applications must be submitted electronically using the e-recruitment system of Umeå University, and be received no later than April 30, 2021. Reference number: AN 2.2.1-314-21. Log on to the system and apply via the button at the bottom of the web page.

Umeå University wants to offer an equal environment where open dialogue between people with different backgrounds and perspectives lay the foundation for learning, creativity and development. We welcome women, non-binary people and people with different backgrounds and experiences to apply for this position.

For additional information, please contact Prof. Virginia Dignum

We look forward to receiving your application!

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Expected starting date is 1 August 2021 or as otherwise agreed.
Salary Monthly
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-314-21
  • Virginia Dignum,
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 09.Mar.2021
Last application date 15.May.2021 11:59 PM CET

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