PhD vacancies Denmark – Travel Behavior and Mental Health – DTU

    PhD vacancies Denmark - Travel Behavior and Mental Health - DTU

    PhD project is part of a larger project entitled “eMOTIONAL Cities – Mapping the cities through the senses of those who make them”, to join the Machine Learning for Smart Mobility Group, DTU Management, Denmark

    PhD student in Digital Sensing and Modelling of Travel Behavior and Mental Health


    Apr 15, 2021 (GMT +1)


    PhD Position

    No. of Position(s)


    Research area

    • Behavioural Modelling
    • Cognitive Neuroscience
    • Mental Health
    • Transportation
    • Computer Science
    • Applied Statistics
    • Probability theory


    According to standard norms


    DTU Management

    Contract period

    3 Years


    Associate Prof. Carlos Lima Azevedo

    Senior Researcher Sonja Haustein


    • A MSc degree in Behavioural Modelling, Cognitive Neuroscience, Mental Health, Transportation, Computer Science, Applied Statistics or related.
    • Excellent background in statistics and probability theory is required.
    • Good programming capabilities in at least one scientific language is required.
    • Experience with digital sensing is favoured.
    • Behavioural modelling or mental health disciplines in the education background is favoured.


    • Curiosity and interest about current and future mobility challenges and digital technologies.
    • Good communication skills in English, both written and orally.
    • Experience in writing and publishing scientific papers is an advantage.
    • Willingness to engage in group-work with a multi-national team.

    Responsibilities/Job Description

    • Design, implement and pilot the data collection architecture for outdoor natural experiments
    • Develop mathematical models of individual behaviour through the mapping of the underlying neuro- and cognitive- processes and its relationship with mental health
    • Collaborate with researchers from behavioural modelling, computational and neurosciences in a truly interdisciplinary environment.
    • Co-author scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals.
    • Participate in international conferences.
    • Participate advanced classes to improve academic skills
    • Carry out work in the area of dissemination and teaching as part of the overall PhD education.

    How to Apply?

    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

    Documents required

    • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
    • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

    About Project

    The eMOTIONAL Cities project was designed to provide robust scientific evidence on how the natural and built urban environment shapes the neural system underlying human cognitive and emotional processing. Furthermore, it has the goal to map such neurobiological reactivity through time and space as the urban landscape change. Grasping the spatial cognition of the citizens’ behaviour and decisions while interacting with their real-life surroundings will be a breakthrough, as it will foster more inclusive urban design resulting in better individual health and well-being.

    This specific PhD project will focus on the joint sensing and modelling of travel decision, neuro- and bio-signals and mental health, in outdoor environments, with different groups of people and across various urban scenarios.

    Together with our team (with a background in discrete choice modelling, psychology, machine learning and technology management) the successful candidate will design, pilot and implement the data collection architecture for outdoor natural experiments, combining existing smartphone- and biosensing-based technologies targeting the exploration of causal relationships between multiple urban environments and individual behavioural signals. Participants will be asked to carry smartphones with apps specifically designed for customized adaptive stated perception surveys regarding context-specific built and travel environment, as well as for detailed data on daily travel and activity patterns across multiple days. Moreover, participants will also wear several types of environmental (for measuring climate and outdoor comfort data) and neurobiological (e.g.: eye tracking glasses, wearable EEG, physiological biosignals) sensors.

    Behaviour modelling methods from discrete choice, cognitive processes and machine learning will be used to construct the linkage between context and environmental stimulus, neurophysiological metrics, stated and measured emotional and cognitive indicators and the underlying travel and activity participation decision making.

    Finally, the modelled relationships will be integrated in a new activity-based travel behaviour model for scenario evaluation at the urban scale.

    Other Benefits

    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.


    • 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
    • If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark

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    Post expires at 8:59am on Friday April 16th, 2021 (GMT+9)