PhD Position in Social Data Science
University of Copenhagen Faculty of Social Sciences

PhD scholarship at the Center for Social Data Science (SODAS), University of Copenhagen (UCPH), with emphasis on digital methods

Applications are invited for a PhD scholarship at the Center for Social Data Science (SODAS), with an emphasis on digital methods. Enrolment will be at the Faculty of Social Sciences under Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences.

The PhD scholarship is part of a collaborative research project called ‘Risk attention ecologies: Mapping socio-symbolic constellations of climate and COVID-19 via social media data’, which lies within the newly founded and interdisciplinary SODAS-Climate research cluster. The project overall investigates whether the coronavirus pandemic crowds out or, conversely, re-energizes government, business, and civil society attention to and plans for green transition across Scandinavia. It does so by harvesting and analyzing data from three platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) across the three Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden), combining these digital traces with online observation and interviewing (netnography). Preliminary data collection and analyses are available here (in Danish): Further information may be obtained from the project PI Anders Blok (see details below).

Within this thematic frame, the PhD sub-project is focused on digital methods development, with the aim to combine an independent netnographic campaign with own large-scale harvesting of textual and/or visual data into a so-called quali-quantitative mapping of socio-symbolic networks across platforms. This means focusing on how relevant collective actors use symbols to frame their commitments to green transition and variably link this to the coronavirus situation. The notion of socio-symbolic networks and the possibility to map them using a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques (like netnography, content, and network analysis) represent cutting-edge method developments in the interdisciplinary domain of digital methods as well as context- and interpretation-sensitive approaches to ‘big and broad’ digital trace data.

The ideal candidate possesses relevant training and/or experience in the practical use of both qualitative (e.g. ethnography, netnography, interviewing) and quantitative (e.g. network analysis, descriptive statistics, computational text analysis) social science methods, including familiarity with digital methods and preferably some skills in web-scraping (e.g. via python programming) to further build on. Note that, while the successful applicant will be able to demonstrate some of these skills, they do not represent absolute requirements, since the early part of the PhD is meant to facilitate further training and up-skilling according to needs and interests of the successful applicant. Hence, a track record for thinking methodologically about digital trace data and an aptitude to further learn qualitative and quantitative techniques for their analysis will be important in the assessment.      

The position starting date is on 15 October 2021.

Introduction to the PhD programme

The PhD programme provides PhD students with strong research training which opens up a window of opportunity to a variety of careers within the private, public, and voluntary sectors. The programme includes the drafting of a PhD thesis, active participation in research networks, PhD courses, teaching, and other forms of knowledge dissemination. The PhD programme can be undertaken as a three-year full-time study within the framework of the 5+3 study programme, or as a four-year full-time study programme within the framework of the 4+4 study programme.   

Duties and Responsibilities

Further information about the PhD study programme is available on the website of Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences: 

Under "Legal basis" on the website you will find information about the rules and guidelines for the PhD programme and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD programme at the Universities. 

The PhD scholarship is undertaken with a view to obtaining a PhD degree in social science, as administered by SODAS. More information on SODAS as an interdisciplinary learning environment is available here:

Applicants are invited to familiarise themselves with the ongoing research at SODAS before submitting their application.


  • The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society, and invites all qualified applicants, regardless of personal background, to apply for the positions.  
  • In order to be awarded a PhD scholarship the applicant has to enroll as a PhD student at the Faculty of Social Sciences, cf. the rules of the Danish Ministerial order No 1039 of 27 August 2013.   

Scholarship in the 5+3 or in the 4+4 PhD study programme 

The 5+3 PhD study programme 

In order to be eligible for a scholarship in the 5+3 PhD study programme the applicant must have completed a two year MSc degree programme, or have earned 120 ECTS credits at an equivalent academic level before starting his or her employment. PhD students are paid a salary in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The PhD student has a work obligation of up to 840 hours over the 3-year period of time without additional pay. The work obligation can include for instance teaching.  

The 4+4 PhD study programme 

Students who have completed a BSc plus 60 ECTS of an MSc degree programme would enroll as PhD students simultaneously with their enrolment in the MSc degree programme. Until an MSc degree is obtained, the grant is paid partly in the form of up to 48 state education grant portions (in Danish: SU-klip). More specifically the PhD student will be paid two grant portions per month plus salary for work (teaching, presentations etc.) which totals a workload of at least 280 hours. Payment and conditions of employment are carried out in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). Upon completion of the MSc degree the student is transferred to the salary-earning part of the PhD studies. 

How to apply

Submit a complete application at our online portal. Click on the “Apply now” icon at the bottom of the page to apply. The documents must be in Adobe PDF or Word.

  • Cover Letter, detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD scholarship
  • PhD project description of no more than 7,200 keystrokes (3 normal-size pages, not including references) detailing a research question, a state-of-the-art of the relevant research field, a methodological design within the remit of the overall research project, and a suggested time schedule (incl. for training and skills upgrading)
  • CV   
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc)   
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications, documentation of Scandinavian language qualifications (if any)  

Please note that it is only possible to upload one document per attachment category. If more than one document has to be uploaded in the same category, please make sure that they are scanned and collected into one file.  

Application process  

On the website of Copenhagen Graduate School of Social Sciences you will find information about the application process, and enclosures to include with your electronic application:

The recruitment process

Further information on the recruitment process at University of Copenhagen can be found here:

The following criteria are used when shortlisting candidates for assessment: 

1. Research qualifications as reflected in the PhD project proposal. 

2. Quality and feasibility of the project.  

3. Qualifications and knowledge in relevant method traditions. 

4. Performance (grades obtained) in graduate and post-graduate studies. 

5. SODAS can offer adequate supervision for the methodological design in question. 

Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the assessment committee, and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself. 

An Equal Opportunity Workplace
The University of Copenhagen is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to creating an inclusive working environment and therefore encourages all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of personal background, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, ethnicity etc. For more on the diverse working place environment at the University and the University’s participation in the HRS4R HR Excellence in Research, see 

International applicant?
The University of Copenhagen offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including support before and during your relocation and career counselling to expat partners. Please find more information about these services as well as information on entering and working in Denmark here:

Contact information
Information about the recruitment process is available from Lotte Strandberg, HR South City, e-mail:, please refer to ID number #1 211-0786/21-2H

Additional information about the position can be obtained from overall project PI Anders Blok, e-mail:, phone +45 35323577

The closing date for applications is 23:59 (CEST) on 22 August 2021.

Applications received after the deadline will not be taken into account.


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 22-08-2021
Employment start: 15-10-2021
Department/Location: The Faculty of Social Sciences

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Socioloxy


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