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Job ID: 185756

PhD scholarships (3) in Travel Behaviour Change
Technical University of Denmark

Date Posted May 16, 2022
Title PhD scholarships (3) in Travel Behaviour Change
University Technical University of Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark
Department DTU Management
Application Deadline Jun. 30, 2022
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Graduate Student
  • Urban Studies and Planning
    Sociology - Social Psychology
    Public Policy & Administration
    Psychology - Behavior Analysis
    Psychology - General
    Political Science - General
    Government - Policy/Public Affairs
    Economics - General

We offer three PhD scholarships as part of the ERC Consolidator GRANT “Choice, necessity or chance? Understanding behaviouR chanGE iN Transport - URGENT” within the EU Commission’s H2020 Framework.

The URGENT project examines under which individual and contextual circumstances people change their mobility behaviour and what mental mechanisms are involved in these behaviour change processes. The project will use an interdisciplinary approach based on a unique longitudinal dataset combining data from a large panel survey, in-depth interviews and an intelligent mobility diary app.

The 3 PhDs will examine how people adapt their mobility behaviour in prospect and response to:

  • residential relocation (PhD 1);
  • anticipated vs. sudden life events (e.g., retirement vs. crash involvement) (PhD 2);
  • transport technology adoption (e.g., EV or e-bike adoption) (PhD 3).


URGENT will additionally examine rebound effects of changed mobility behaviour and reveal under which conditions, and to what extent, behaviour change in one area (e.g. commuting) positively or negatively spills over to other areas (e.g. air travel, food consumption). URGENT applies a novel analytical strategy that brings together concepts from psychology (behaviour change models), human geography (mobility biographies approach), sociology (mobility cultures) and machine learning (causal discovery and causal inference).

Responsibilities and qualifications
You will become a member of the Transport Psychology Section and form an interdisciplinary project team with other PhD students and your supervisors. You will collaborate with colleagues from the Machine Learning for Smart Mobility Section and the Travel Demand Modelling Section and academic partners abroad.

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. More specifically, we are looking for applicants with a master’s degree in Psychology, Human Geography, Human Ecology, Transport/Spatial Planning, Sociology, Economics, Environmental Science or related.

Applicants for PhD position 1 should be interested in ‘mobility biographies’, ‘mobility culture’, and ‘residential self-selection’. For PhD position 2, knowledge and interest in psychological behaviour (change) models is presumed. Applicants for PhD position 3 should be interested in technology adoption and rebound effects.

All positions require skills in quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis and specialization in at least one method as part of the master’s thesis or other (student) projects.

Your primary tasks will be to

  • design, manage and conduct longitudinal data collections (surveys, app, qualitative interviews) in cooperation with the project team,
  • conduct in-depth interviews related to one of the three PhD topics (PhD 1: residential relocation; PhD 2: anticipated vs. sudden life events; PhD 3: transport technology adoption),
  • analyse survey, interview and app data in a mixed-method design,
  • write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals,
  • participate in international conferences,
  • participate in advanced classes to improve academic skills, and
  • disseminate research results and teach as part of the overall PhD education.


Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education.

We offer
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.

Salary and appointment terms
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. The period of employment is 3 years. Starting date is October, 1, 2022 or later (subject to mutual agreement). The position is a full-time position. If desired, the full-time position can also be changed to a 4-years part-time position (subject to mutual agreement).

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information related to all three positions may be obtained from Senior Researcher Sonja Haustein.

Related to PhD 1, you can also contact Associate Professor Mikkel Thorhauge

Related to PhD 2, you can also contact Senior Researcher Mette Møller,

Related to PhD3, you can also contact Associate Professor Anders Fjendbo Jensen or Assistant Professor Rico Krueger.

You can read more about the DTU Management’s Transport Division here:

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 30 June 2022 (Danish time).

Apply online here: PhD scholarships (3) in Travel Behaviour Change.

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. 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. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale


You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.


DTU Management
DTU Management conducts high-level research and teaching with a focus on sustainability, transport, innovation and management science. Our goal is to create knowledge on the societal aspects of technology - including the interaction between technology and sustainability, business growth, infrastructure and prosperity. Therefore, we explore and create value in the areas of management science, innovation and design thinking, business analytics, systems and risk analyses, human behaviour, regulation and policy analysis. The department offers teaching from introductory to advanced courses/projects at BSc, MSc and PhD level. The Department has a staff of app. 350. Read more here.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Sonja Haustein
    DTU Management
    Technical University of Denmark
    Building 358
    Copenhagen 2800
  • 0045 45256519


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