PhD Position in Intelligent and Interactive Health Systems (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

Hours per week: 
30 to 40
Faculty of Science
Department of Information and Computing Sciences, Human-Centred Computing Group
Application deadline: 

Job description

Living a healthy life is a significant factor in preventing non-communicable diseases, increasing resilience, and lowering health costs in society. Human-Centred AI research can contribute to healthy living by measuring, modeling, predicting, and effectively changing factors in the health behaviour of individuals. On the algorithmic side, this can include decision support and advice, identification of relevant factors, simulation and comparison of outcomes, personalisation to personality type, past behaviour, and biological markers. To make such intelligent systems accessible to the targeted user group, adaptive interactive interfaces need to be designed. Such systems can include, among others, persuasive applications, serious games, and visual feedback.

As a PhD in this research project, you will work on designing, implementing, and evaluating intelligent interactive systems for healthy living. This requires both qualitative methods (participatory design, surveys, interviews, focus groups, think-aloud studies) and quantitative methods (algorithmic benchmark tests, online surveys, randomized controlled trials, field studies).

The position includes research as well as teaching, where the teaching commitments account for 30% of employment time. You will be involved in supporting the preparation of Bachelor's and Master's courses offered by the Department of Information and Computing Sciences. Furthermore, you will teach such courses in class and supervise student theses.


You are a motivated researcher with a curious and critical mindset. You have a strong interest in health behaviour (e.g., nutrition, activity, sleep, stress) or a related field in health and in conducting interdisciplinary research. We would also like you to bring: 

  • a master's degree in Computer Science, Information Science, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Computational Psychology, or a related field;
  • good programming skills and preferably knowledge of statistics;
  • good communicative skills in English, both in writing and speech;
  • preferably knowledge in machine learning and data science;
  • preferably knowledge in human-computer interaction and interest in conducting humans-centred research (e.g., Experimental Design, User Studies).


  • A position for 5 years.
  • A full-time gross salary that starts at €2,541 and increases to €3,247 per month (scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (CAO)).
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • A pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the CAO for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.

For more information, please visit working at the Faculty of Science.

About the organisation

Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world's happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our informal atmosphere and the can-do mentality of our people. This lively and inspiring academic environment attracts professors, researchers and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the University and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.

At the Faculty of Science, there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity's most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.

You will join the Human-Centred Computing group of the division Interaction within the Department of Information and Computing Sciences. In our constantly changing (digital) society, the Department of Information and Computing Sciences is constantly looking for new, realistic ways to push the boundaries of both science and social application.

The human-centred computing group conducts research that aims to understand how people use computerised systems in their everyday lives. Our research areas include, amongst others, personalised and adaptive systems, user modeling and recommender systems, persuasive technology, and serious games. You will be working closely with other members in this research group, other research groups within and outside of the faculty, and collaborators from outside of Utrecht University. Great examples of collaborations related to the research area include the AI Lab for Healthy Living and the focus area Human-centred Artificial Intelligence.

Additional information

If you have questions about this position, don't hesitate to contact Hanna Hauptmann via

Do you have a question about the application procedure? Please send an email to


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, then simply respond via the "Apply now" button!
Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • scans of BSc and/or MSc transcripts (incl. grade list), with a certified translation in English if the degree qualification is not in German, Dutch, or English;
  • your MSc-thesis (if not available, then BSc-thesis);
  • the contact details of at least two references.

If this specific opportunity isn't for you, but you know someone else who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.

Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

The application deadline is 15 August 2022.