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PhD student in Computing Science with focus on fairness-awareness in AI decision support system

Department of Computing Science




  • Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
  • Extent 100%
  • Place Umeå

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. And 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 what it is all about. But also about delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. This is simply where the future is built.

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

The Department of Computing science has been growing rapidly in recent years where focus on an inclusive and bottom-up driven environment are key elements in our sustainable growth. The 50 Doctoral students within the department consists of a diverse group from different nationalities, background and fields. If you work as a Doctoral student with us you receive the benefits of support in career development, networking, administrative and technical support functions along with good employment conditions. See more information at:

Is this interesting for you? Welcome with your application at latest February 15, 2023.

Project description

As the need for Trustworthy AI-based decision support systems keeps increasing, this project aims to provide effective methods to assess and detect undesired bias in AI systems, and provide guidelines, methods, and software technology for fair design of new bias-free systems.  The project is part of AEQUITAS, the new Horizon Europe project funded by the European Commission, building on a strong consortium of AI and domain experts, social scientists and representatives of minorities and at-risk groups. The project will address the challenges on how to translate fairness into technical, functional, and lawful requirements in AI system design, by developing an experimental test environment to detect, diagnose and address injustice, bias, inequality and discrimination in AI systems.  More information about the project can be found here.

The successful candidate will contribute to the Social and Ethical Artificial Intelligence group and Deep Data Mining group at the Department of Computing Science within, collaborating with researchers in, e.g., machine learning, mathematical statistics, optimization, responsible AI and social AI.

Admission requirements

The general admission requirements for doctoral studies are a second- cycle level degree, or completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits are at second-cycle level, or have an equivalent education from abroad, or equivalent qualifications. To fulfil the specific entry requirements for doctoral studies in computing science, the applicant is required to have completed at least 90 ECTS credits in computing science. Applicants who otherwise have acquired skills that are deemed equivalent are also eligible.

Documented knowledge and a solid background in machine learning and responsible AI or machine learning and ethical AI is a requirement. Candidates are expected to have an interest in Trustworthy AI, very good knowledge in programming (e.g., Python, Java, R, Matlab etc.) and applying open source web-based software. English proficiency, at least European C1 level or equivalent level, is also a requirement. Good understanding of AI-oriented decision support systems and experience of developing and/or working with AI-based decision support system in real applications (e.g., medical, recruitment, education etc.) is considered a merit. Other desirable qualifications include experience of processing large data sets, experience of web service deployment under Windows/Linux.

Important personal qualities are, besides creativity and a curious mind, the ability to work both independently and in a group and experience in scientific interaction with researchers from other disciplines and in other countries. 

About the position

The position provides you with the opportunity to pursue PhD studies in Computing Science for four years, with the goal of achieving the degree of Doctor in Computing Science. While the position is mainly devoted to PhD studies (at least 80% of the time), it may include up to 20% department service (usually teaching). If so, the total time for the position is extended accordingly, resulting in a maximum of five years.

The procedure for recruitment for the position is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance (chapter 12, 2§) and the decision regarding the position cannot be appealed.

Starting date:  as soon as possible or as otherwise agreed.


Applications must be submitted electronically using the e-recruitment system of Umeå University.

A complete application should contain the following documents:

  • A cover letter including a description of your background and interests, showing your skills and experience matching with the need for this position. The letter must include a plan.
  • A curriculum vitae
  • Copies of completed BSc and/or MSc theses and other relevant publications, if any
  • Copies of degree certificates, including documentation of completed academic courses and obtained grades
  • Contact information for three persons willing to act as references
  • Documentation and description of other relevant experiences or competences

The application must be written in English or Swedish. Attached documents must be in pdf format. Applications must be submitted electronically using the e-recruitment system of Umeå University, and be received no later than February 15, 2023.

The Department of Computing Science values gender diversity, and therefore particularly encourages women and those outside the gender binary to apply for the position.

For additional information, please contact Associate prof. Lili Jiang (lili.jiang@cs.umu.se) or senior research engineer Andrea Aler Tubella (andrea.aler@umu.se).

We look forward to receiving your application!

Information box


As soon as possible or as otherwise agreed



Application deadline


Registration number

AN 2.2.1-36-23


Lili Jiang


Andrea Aler Tubella


Union representative







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 people with different backgrounds and experiences to apply for the current employment. We kindly decline offers of recruitment and advertising help.