PhD Scholarship in Digital Phenotyping for Comorbid Mental Health

Tuesday 16 Aug 22

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Apply no later than 15 October 2022
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DTU Health Tech is looking for a PhD candidate in the design and development of digital phenotyping for comorbid physical and mental health. The purpose of this project is to research and identify important digital phenotypes for comorbid physical and mental health conditions, and to incorporate these in a real-time data collection and processing pipeline and data analytics setup for meaningful presentation to health professionals. The use case is to enable clinicians to monitor and identify at an early stage important digital phenotypes which indicate or predict comorbid physical and mental health problems.

You will join the Digital Health section of DTU Health Tech. We are a multi-disciplinary team of biomedical engineers, computer scientists, and UX researchers who research digital technologies for health, healthcare, and life science, in order to improve healthcare delivery and make healthcare more personalised and precise. We have an extensive research record within personal health technologies, and you will join a team of senior researchers and other PhD students working with us. You will also work with clinicians and researchers at the School of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen who will provide health science supervision.

Responsibilities and qualifications
Your research will be in the field of “digital phenotyping”, i.e. the use of mobile and wearable technology for the collection of physiological, behavioural, contextual, and patient-reported data which is used to identify and extract higher-order features (called “digital biomarkers”), which again can be used for health data science analysis. Such analysis could include identification of correlations and clusters, predictive modelling, and visual analytics. This project focuses on identification and use of digital biomarkers of mental health and comorbid physical health.


The goal is to implement such digital phenotyping for comorbid mental health as part of a data science platform for digital phenotyping (the CACHET Research Platform (carp.cachet.dk)) and should be put in use for patients and clinicians. This research will take place as part of the SOFIA project. The first phase of this work will entail a data science research process wherein data is collected, processed, and analysed, and the second phase a user-centred design research process, comprising the conduct of interviews and workshops to support the design, implementation and evaluation of novel tools for patient and clinician interaction.

This position requires skills in both data science methods, software development, and user interface design, including user-centred design practices. Furthermore, a structured approach to research and strong communication skills in English in written and oral form is essential. Finally, since you will be spending time with diverse health professionals and patients, excellent collaborative skills and an understanding of clinical work are also important.   

From an academic point of view, you must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree in addition to a bachelor’s degree (180 ECTS points).

Ideally, your master degree should be in computer science, software engineering, data science, or biomedical engineering with a solid academic track record in data science, mobile software development and user experience design.

More specifically you should have most of the following qualifications:

  • Strong theoretical and practical background in data science, software development, interaction design, and human-computer interaction.
  • Experience in mobile development, ubiquitous computing, and wearable devices.
  • Experience in collection and analysis of patient-generated health data.
  • Experience in qualitative research methods, incl. interviewing and design research workshops.
  • Strong mastery of programming languages like Python, Java, Swift, or similar.
  • Strong communication skills in English – both in writing and orally.
  • Knowledge of clinical work, e.g., in mental health or general practice

The language of communication at DTU is English.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education.   

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.


Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years. Start date is as soon as possible.


You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
If you want to know more, please contact the main supervisor directly – Jakob E. Bardram at: jakba [at] dtu.dk.

Read more about:

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 15 October 2022 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale
  • Links to, or copy of any research papers you may have been part of
  • Link to a code portfolio stored in an online repositories like GitHub

Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

Technology for health
DTU Health Tech engages in research, education, and innovation base on technical and natural science for the healthcare sector. The Healthcare sector is a globally expanding market with demands for the most advanced technological solutions. DTU Health Tech creates the foundation for companies to develop new and innovative services and products which benefit people and create value for society. DTU Health Techs expertise spans from imaging and biosensor techniques, across digital health and biological modelling, to biopharma technologies. The department has a scientific staff of about 210 persons, 140 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 160 persons, of which a large majority contributes to our research infrastructure and related commercial activities.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.