PhD in Organization and Management Studies - The Use of Robotics in Hospitals

The use of robots in hospitals

Department of Social Sciences and Business, Roskilde University, invites applications for a position as PhD in organization and management studies from 1st of November 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position as PhD is limited to a period of 3 years.

Description of the PhD project The title of the PhD project is Robots in hospital practices.

The PhD project is linked to the project entitled “Robot technology in hospitals: An extended ethnographic study of the next generation of organizational practices” funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. The larger project investigates 1) why robot technologies are employed and how they affect hospital work and the experience of work and 2) how the use of robots in hospitals is influenced by political and managerial interests. The project builds on two case studies and uses longitudinal ethnographic methodology and document studies coupled with sociological theory. The PhD case examines the implementation of many mobile logistics robots in a Danish hospital. The robots handle future logistics tasks in transporting goods such as linen, uniforms, sterile equipment, meals and tableware in the hospital, and several professional and occupational groups engage with them. The research interests revolve around the practices that emerge in relation to these robots and the staff and managers involved. The PhD project must be independent and innovative, while retaining a solid connection to the larger research project.

We look forward to hearing from you if you are interested in the social and organizational aspects and effects of robots used in hospital settings. Also, it is important that you are willing to and find it exciting to undertake planned research stays with our research partners in the UK and USA.

The Doctoral School You will be enrolled as a PhD fellow at the Doctoral School of Social Sciences and Business with approximately 30 PhD fellows from all over the world. The Doctoral School of Social Sciences & Business (ISE) provides PhD training and research within an interdisciplinary, international, and professional environment. It is part of a dynamic community of researchers who share a commitment to understanding society in diverse contexts of change and global engagement. Researchers come from all over the world and engage in topics that are geographically, theoretically and methodologically diverse. The Doctoral School has one PhD program. The program offers work in progress seminars, thematic professional development seminars, feedback and social activities for the enrolled PhD fellows. As a PhD fellow you will be associated with one of the relevant research groups at the department.

As a PhD student you will be associated with the research area of organization and management.

Responsibilities and tasks As a PhD fellow you are trained at an international level to undertake research. You are responsible for carrying out independent research under supervision and receive constructive feedback in the PhD programme in order to finish your PhD thesis. During your employment you are required to take 30 ECTS of course work and gain teaching experience. For more information, please see chapter 3, Ministerial Order on the PhD Program at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions  and Ph.d.-protokolattet  i Cirkulære om overenskomst for Akademikere I Staten.

Qualifications You hold a master’s degree or equivalent within a social science or humanities discipline such as: sociology / cultural studies / organization studies / leadership / political science. Qualifications within the following areas are required:

  • Good / excellent marks in relevant subjects, including the master’s thesis, according to the Danish 7-point grading scale
  • Fluency in English
  • Determined, hardworking, ambitious, independent while also a team player
  • Oral proficiency in Danish or other Scandinavian language in order to be able to undertake ethnographic research in a Danish Hospital)

We also emphasize the following qualifications:

  • Experience with and / or interest in critical sociological theory such as Bourdieu’s practice theory.
  • Qualitative methodology skills.
  • Interest in new organizational technology.
  • It is an advantage (but not a requirement) if you have prior knowledge of the healthcare sector.
  • You are comfortable with meeting and contacting many new people (a requirement of ethnographic research).
  • A sense of humour is an advantage.

You are required to be enterprising and to possess good communication skills. We expect you to be a visible, involved participant in the department’s activities and to be ready to engage in disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborations across the department and university.

Assessment In the assessment regarding employment consideration will be given to

  • Relevant master’s degree or equivalent (according to Danish Qualifications Framework for Higher Education:
  • Any additional academic requirements stated in the job advertisement.

In the assessment regarding enrolment consideration will also be given to the following criteria:

  • Educational skills and any further professional qualifications
  • Marks at master’s programme or equivalent
  • Quality and relevance of the project description
  • The project description’s fit with the larger project
  • Scientific originality of your project description
  • The quality and relevance of the methodical and theoretical choices
  • Considerations regarding theory, methods and a work plan for the three years
  • The realistic and feasible scope of the PhD project
  • Ability to complete the PhD project.
  • Relevance of the project to the profile of the Doctoral School
  • Your project description should be no more than 5 standard pages excl. references and should be written in English. 

Questions For further information about the position and the overall project, please contact Associate Professor Jette Ernst on tel. (+45) 46742758. For technical or administrative questions, please contact Head of Doctoral School Professor Hanne Marlene Dahl (+45) 46742922.  

Terms of employment The employment is full time, 37 hours per week, and you will refer to Dean Peter Kragelund.

The position will be filled according to the Agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) and Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities.  

Application procedure After the deadline for applications the Dean will shortlist applicants for assessment with assistance from the recruitment committee including the chairperson of the assessment committee.

Shortly after the application deadline all applicants will be notified whether or not their application has been selected for assessment.

The shortlisted applicants will be informed about the composition of the assessment committee, and each applicant will be given the opportunity to comment on the composition of the committee and – later on – their assessment.

Once the recruitment process is completed, all applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application.

Application To apply for the position go to 

Only applications in English are accepted

Applications must include: 

1. Cover letter 

2. CV 

3. Documentation of education including grades from Master’s programme or equivalent 

4. Your description of the PhD project 

5. Your time schedule of the PhD project 

6. If applicable: Documentation for any research experience, work experience or publications. 

Please submit your application no later than 10 August 2023.

Material received after this date will not be taken into consideration. 

Roskilde University wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.