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Call for PhD position in testing data-centric systems using collective intelligence

Simula Research Laboratory AS



About Simula
Simula Research Laboratory AS is a publicly owned research institute located outside Oslo, Norway. We are a multi-cultural organization, employing about 140 individuals from 25 countries. Simula conducts ICT research in the fields of communication technology, scientific computing and software engineering, with the main objective of generating new understanding and creating vital knowledge about fundamental scientific challenges that are of genuine value to society. This is achieved through high quality research, education of graduate students, industry collaboration, technology transfer and commercialization

Call for PhD position in testing data-centric systems using collective intelligence

Project Description
The Certus Center at Simula focuses on verification and validation of complex software systems. We are looking for a PhD student to join our team on the subject of testing data-centric systems using collective intelligence.

Data-centric systems such as in e-governance and social networking, garner and process data coming from numerous sources such as sensors and end users. Data from these sources can be unreliable or processed incorrectly leading to low quality of the overall operation of the system Can we use the collective intelligence of end user expertise to improve quality of data-centric systems? This is the question that the PhD topic aims to address.

This PhD proposal aims to develop and assess strategies for testing and improving the quality of data-centric systems through piloting a social computing platform based on ideas from gamification, crowdsourcing and user engagement. The research will be held in close collaboration with a public-sector partner, the Directorate of Norwegian Customs and Excise. You are expected to interact with customs officers and test managers to develop the social computing platform to test data/information quality in the system. For instance, this can be quality and semantic in images from X-ray scanners, or verification of customs rules applied on customs declarations. You are expected to perform rigorous scientific experiments to validate the effectiveness of the social computing based approach.

The student will be employed by Simula Research Laboratory (, but spend working time both at Simula and at the premises of the Directorate of Norwegian Customs and Excise ( He/she will be enrolled at the University of Oslo, Norway.
As a PhD student, you will work closely with your supervisor and the project leader on designated tasks for the position¿s duration. The tasks mainly include performing (a) a literature review on social computing techniques (b) systematically garner requirements from end users (c) build a social computing system to gather collective intelligence to test and possibly improve data/information quality (d) perform evaluations to determine the effectiveness of the system.

At Simula, you will have the opportunity to be part of the larger community, and participate in social and networking events. We strive to create an environment at Simula where everyone matters and everyone's engagement is the key: you are expected to participate in creating a fun working environment, build future networks, and help each other out when needed.

Your Profile
We are looking for applicants with

- A Master's degree in computer science/engineering, information technology or similar/equivalent fields, human-computer interaction, (Preferably a research based Master's degree)
- Experience with mobile and web application development
- Good knowledge of software engineering and social computing
- Good background on modelling and data analysis
- Experience with user interaction design
- Excellent communication skills to derive user stories
- Publications on peer reviewed international conferences/journals will be considered in the evaluation
- The successful candidate must fulfill the requirements for admission to the PhD program at the University of Oslo, as the educational partner of Simula.

Simula Offers
- Excellent working environment with highly competent and motivated
- Good office facilities located close to the Oslo fjord and 10 minutes drive from the centre of Oslo, the capital of Norway
- Competitive salary
- Simula strives to achieve a good balance between male and female employees, and women are particularly encouraged to apply

Application Requirements
Candidates MUST send their application via the link at the bottom of this page. Applications sent by e­mail will not be examined.
The application MUST include:
- A Curriculum vitae, with full contact information, education, positions and academic work (including a full list of scientific publications).
- A cover letter/application letter explaining the candidate's background (including a summary of the Master's thesis), qualifications and research interests.
- Copies of relevant diplomas / degree certificates, transcripts of records and letters of recommendation.
- Contact information of 2-­3 reference persons (name, current position, relation to the candidate, phone and e-mail).
- For non-native English speakers, a proof of proficiency in English is optional but recommended (e.g. results from standard tests; having completed a university degree in an English­ speaking country counts as proof of proficiency).
- A maximum of 5 relevant publications and academic work that the applicant would like the evaluation committee to consider.

Note that ALL documents MUST be submitted in PDF format, and with the exception of the CV, combined into one single PDF­document in the same order specified by the list above. To avoid misplacement, please make sure to include your first and last name in the filenames of all documents that you send us.

We are interested in how you first came to learn about this position ­ please let us know in your cover letter.

Applications should be submitted as soon as possible, and no later than September 10, 2015.
Submit your application:

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
For more information please contact Sagar Sen, Simula Research Laboratory ( or Bodil Susanne Johnsen, Directorate of Norwegian Customs and Excise (

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