Uppsala University, Department of ALM

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 45,000 students, more than 7,000 employees and a turnover of around SEK 7 billion.

At the Department of ALM (Archival Studies, Library and Information Studies, Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies) with starting date October 1, 2021 at the earliest.

Project description: This PhD position is part of the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program on Humanities and Society (WASP-HS) which aims to realize excellent research and develop competence on the consequences and challenges of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems for humanity and society. This 10-year program is initiated and generously funded by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation (MMW) with 660 million SEK. In addition to this, the program receives support from collaborating industry and from participating universities. Major goals are more than 10 new faculty positions and more than 70 new PhDs.

For more information about the research and other activities conducted within WASP-HS, please visit this website.

The WASP-HS graduate school provides foundations, perspectives, and state-of-the-art knowledge in the different disciplines taught by leading researchers in the field. Through an ambitious program with research visits, partner universities, and visiting lecturers, the graduate school actively supports forming a strong multi-disciplinary and international professional network between PhD students, researchers and practitioners in the field. It thus provides added value on top of the existing PhD programs at the partner universities, providing unique opportunities for students who are dedicated to achieving international research excellence with societal relevance.

Currently, research within the program is being carried out in the disciplines of Digital Humanities, Digital Cultural Heritage, Critical Heritage Studies, Gender Studies, Artificial Intelligence, Computational Linguistics, and Digital Image Processing.

Duties: The doctoral student will be working in the research project Quantifying Culture: AI and Cultural Heritage Collections, financed by the WASP- HS Programme and directed by Associate Professor Anna Foka.

The doctoral student is expected to study diversity as inclusion, specifically in relation to how gender and ethnicity can be articulated in pictorial heritage collections (images, photographs) which were originally collected for the purposes of exhibiting difference in what are now considered to be problematic ways. This is all the more urgent in a context where artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is becoming ubiquitous in the curation process, risking the reproduction of problematic taxonomies. Drawing on relevant cultural theories (i.e. categorization through the lens of intersectionality and decolonization; critical cultural and critical curatorial/heritage studies; new materialisms), the PhD will conduct theoretical and empirical research in 3 interrelated tracks:

  1. Theoretically study how issues of a qualitative nature (e.g. gender and ethnicity) interrelate with the quantitative nature of AI/ML methods used for the classification and categorization of heritage collections.
  2. Desktop research with a smaller survey of current software used by institutions (research software or of-the-shelf solutions) to examine institutional decisions regarding the promotion of diversity as inclusion.
  3. A critical analysis of heritage institution and curating approaches regarding the interrelation between qualitative data and AI/ML, to identify best practice scenarios.

The research will be conducted in collaboration with a number of already formally committed Swedish cultural heritage institutions. Furthermore, this PhD research will develop and advance a theoretical understanding of how AI/ML can be productively used in curating heritage collections with societal acceptance and cultural diversity at its core, for the future inter/national audience through the lens of equality and inclusion.

More information about the project can be found here.

Requirements: In order to be considered, the application must take care to explain clearly how the proposed project will constitute a contribution to the overall aims of the WASP-HS program and the project Quantifying Culture: AI and Cultural Heritage Collections.

Education at the doctoral level consists of 4 years doctoral studentship (doktorandanställning). Doctoral students are expected to pursue their studies full-time and actively take part in the activities of the department. Departmental duties (typically teaching and administration) not exceeding 20% can be included in the position.

Doctoral education in Information Studies is regulated by the general study plan: abm.uu.se > Forskning > Utbildning på forskarnivå. English translation of the official Swedish version can be found at abm.uu.se > Research > Doctoral studies

Obligatory Qualifications: Applicants must have a Master’s degree in Information Studies, Library and Information Science or equivalent, Archival Science, Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies, or a degree oriented towards information studies in Digital Humanities. Eligible are also those who in another order, within or outside the country, acquired essentially corresponding knowledge. For current rules, see the Higher Education Ordinance, Chapters 5 and 6 and the university's guidelines for postgraduate education.

Desired Qualifications: Applicants who have professional experience within research projects that deal with digitization more generally. Priority will be given to applicants with previous experience with computational tools (including programming) or quantitative methods for the humanities more generally.

For regulations, see Uppsala University's guidelines for doctoral studies.

Application: Applications should include

  • short CV
  • verified copy of the degree certificate for a relevant Master’s degree (or equivalent) and a diploma supplement, and a transcript of records (if applicable)
  • a research plan (see below)
  • copies of written material (e.g. Master’s thesis, publications) and other relevant documentation the applicant chooses to present as a support for his/her application

Research plan: The research plan shall not exceed 2,000 words and is expected to contain a tentative heading, aim and problem statement, present the subject area and focus of the research, theoretical frameworks and specific methods to be applied, and a preliminary timetable for the 4-year period.

Selection: The selection will be based on the candidate’s ability to profit from this education and to successfully complete a doctoral degree. Considerable emphasis will be placed on the submitted research plan.

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.

Starting date: October 1, 2021 or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7.

Scope of employment: 100 %

For further information about the position please contact: please contact Head of the Department Åse Hedemark ase.hedemark@abm.uu.se, +46 18 471 25 98; Director of Doctoral Programme Isto Huvila, isto.huvila@abm.uu.se, +46 18 471 34 20; the Research Director for Quantifying Culture and Director of the Centre for Digital Humanities, Anna Foka anna.foka@abm.uu.se

Please submit your application by 16 th of August 2021, UFV-PA 2021/1976.

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Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 211011
Salary Fixed salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Uppsala
County Uppsala län
Country Sweden
Reference number UFV-PA 2021/1976
Union representative
  • ST/TCO, tco@fackorg.uu.se
  • Seko Universitetsklubben, seko@uadm.uu.se
  • Saco-rådet, saco@uadm.uu.se
Published 28.May.2021
Last application date 16.Aug.2021 11:59 PM CET

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