PhD candidate – with design / UX expertise and experience

PhD candidate (m/f/d) – with design / UX expertise and experience

09 July 2020

You are a young expert in the research and development of artificial intelligence (AI)? You are not only interested in technical aspects but also in the societal implications of AI? You want to explore how AI can be developed and used in a way that is oriented towards the common good? If you are interested in becoming part of a new interdisciplinary research team, then join us!

The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) is looking for a

PhD candidate (m/f/d) with design/ UX expertise and experience

for the scientific collaboration (doctorate) in a newly emerging research project (75%, depending on the qualification in accordance with TVL 13, plus family, literature and travel support, limited until September 2024). Corresponding to the funding requirements, women will be given preference in the case of equal qualifications. The research group consisting of 5 persons (2 PostDocs & 3 PhD students) is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and is part of the newly founded AI & Society Lab at HIIG. The interdisciplinary cooperation of the group, practical work with civil society organizations as well as the transfer of knowledge and exchange with the public are central pillars of the overall project.

Most of the work – apart from traveling for fieldwork, conferences, and meetings – will take place on-site at our HIIG office in Berlin.

Key Responsibilities

  • Conducting an independent doctorate that investigates how the design of  AI systems is beneficial or detrimental to a public welfare orientation
  • Supporting the further development of the research project on Public Interest AI
  • Collaborating in the development of an interdisciplinary and practice-oriented public welfare concept in close cooperation with the project lead (philosopher of technology) and the postdoctoral researcher (technical perspective)
  • Investigating practical cases – alongside project partners – for the development of a UX model for the implementation of public welfare orientation in AI
  • Participating in the development of interdisciplinary research and workshop formats for expert workshops and formats of knowledge transfer

Requirements and Preferred Qualifications

  • Eligible candidates will have  an outstanding university degree (in a thematically relevant field or in the field of Design / UX) 
  • First experience in the field of design / UX in the context of AI (in academia or in the private sector)
  • Interest in working on AI projects, e.g. in the fields of deep learning and natural language processing (NLP), from a design / UX perspective 
  • Interest in interdisciplinary research and the ability to identify and use points of contact with other disciplines
  • Strategic thinking and organisational talent
  • Independence, creative will, sense of responsibility, motivation and teamwork
  • Business fluent knowledge of German and English is mandatory.

Resources & Benefits

  • Participation in the development and establishment of a new research project with room for own ideas and new formats in cooperation with the project leader and in close coordination with the research directorate in a recognized, innovative research institute
  • Support in the establishment of the recently founded AI & Society Labs
  • Excellent position to start your own research career, develop your own initiatives and influence ongoing debates on AI
  • The opportunity to obtain a doctorate, participation in the doctoral student and doctoral mentoring programme and other excellent (professional) exchange and networking opportunities
  • The opportunity to become part of a research group that explicitly supports the qualification and promotion of women in AI research
  • An attractive and family-friendly working environment with flexible working hours, flat hierarchies in an embodied alternative to the traditional science business
  • A highly motivated team that works very closely together and committed colleagues from various disciplines in a forward-looking institute in the heart of Berlin

Application Instructions

Do you recognize yourself in the profile described? Then we look forward to receiving your application with a letter of motivation, CV and relevant certificates. Ideally, you should also include relevant work samples. Please submit the documents using the online form below.

The review of applications will start in October 2020 and the call for applications will remain open until a suitable applicant is found. The careful screening and selection of our new team members is very important to us and we ask for your patience that we will conduct several interviews during the process. If you have any questions regarding the content of the job advertisement, please contact Carina Breschke (

We are looking very forward to your application!


Carina Breschke

HRM and Programmes

About HIIG

The HIIG researches the development of the internet from a societal perspective with the aim to better understand the digitalisation of all spheres of life.

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