PhD-scholarship in Food Psychology, Perception and Decision-making Aalborg University

PhD-scholarship in Food Psychology – Perception and Decision-making (2018-224-01725)

Position No.

At Department of Communication and Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, a position as PhD Fellow in in Food Psychology – Perception and Decision-making is available from 1 May 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Job description

In recent years more and more emphasis has been put on the psychology related to food. From an initial focus on maladaptive food consumption (e.g. overeating, bulimia, anorexia, etc.), and to today where research seem to have broaden on food consumption and perception and decision making in the broader public. Eating food is not merely a question of flavour it is a multisensory experience that relates to both experience and expectations. An increasing interest in how information from the different senses integrate and form a perceptual experience in an observer has started to uncover the intricate interactions where for example flavour of sweetness can be modulated through visual information as well as the sensation of temperature (Spence, 2017). Knowledge that has the potential to be implemented commercially to enhance the dining experience of a consumer or perhaps even to compensate for unhealthy substances in food (i.e. by lowering the amount of sugar while compensating through colours).

The overall goal of the PhD-project is to bridge two sub-projects; first an exploration of food addiction and how this relates to established forms of addiction-like behaviour, and secondly, the multisensory experience of food and how this may modulate consumer behaviour and decision-making.
The PhD-fellowship is partly sponsored through the Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research (SDC) by funding from the Neuroscience & Neuroimaging programme as well as the Food Quality & Health programme, and as such, part of the fellowship will have to be spend an extended period in China and the rest in our laboratory at Aalborg University. Through the Sino-Danish framework there is an option for the candidate to obtain a double degree from Aalborg University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences following a successful defence. The PhD-candidate will also be central to the further development of The Sino-Danish Center and the related research themes in Neuroscience and Neuroimaging and Food and Health between Danish Universities and University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) see: The position will be involved in building research-relations and collaborations between the two programmes with a view to contributing to both the Master's Program in International Food Quality and Health and Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.

The employer is Aalborg University and the place of work is at the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN) at Department of Communication and Psychology (, Kroghstræde 3, 9220 Aalborg. Teaching activities are primarily conducted at the SDC, Yanqihu Campus, Beijing. In addition, the PhD-student is expected to be part of a growing collaboration on Food and Perception between CCN, SDC, the Flavour Institute ( and AU Food (

Qualification requirements

PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Master's degree, or expect to have obtained the Master's degree before 1 May 2018 (Statement from thesis supervisor, verified transcripts, thesiscontract and documentation of the date of the exam must be enclosed). According to the PhD Order, the PhD study comprises among other requirements: Participation in active research environments, including stays at other, mainly foreign, research institutions, private research enterprises etc.

The candidate is expected to have a strong background in one or more of the following; programming (e.g. MatLab, Phyton, R, etc.), experimental psychology, psychophysics, cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, addiction, memory, attention, perception, multi-sensory perception, and gastrophysics. Although not a requirement, expertise with methods like EEG or eye-tracking can be a benefit for the project, as well as knowledge of Chinese language and culture would be advantageous. Finally, the candidate is also expected to add to the existing project ideas as well as be an integrated part of a new research branch in the psychology of food perception and consumption at Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Aalborg University as well as the broader international Network.

General information

It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at Doctoral School of the Faculty of the Humanities, in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of 27 August 2013 (PhD Order).


Please visit the website of the doctoral school for further information on the PhD programme, application procedure, and admission requirements.

The application must include the following and be written in English or Danish

• Application form
• Copy of diplomas/transcripts
• Curriculum vitae (CV)
• Project description
• List of written work (optional)
• Sample of written work, e.g. Master's thesis (optional)
• A certified copy of IELTS or TOEFL test result (please see admission requirements for details on language requirements)

The qualifications of the applicant will be assessed by an assessment committee. On the basis of the recommendation of the assessment committee, the Dean will make a decision for allocating the stipend. Shortlisting will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for applications the head of department supported by the chair of the assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All applicants will be informed whether they will be assessed or not. The selected applicants will be informed of the composition of the assessment committee, and each applicant will have the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that applies to the applicant in question. When the employment process has been terminated, a final rejection will be sent to the applicants who are not considered.
The Faculty draws your attention to the fact that the applicant's project description may be tested for plagiarism.
The application can only be submitted by using the link below. Please note that zipped files are not supported by the recruitment system, please upload only Word or PDF files.


For further information on the doctoral research programme, please visit the website of The PhD Programme "Human Centred Communication and Informatics" (HCCI) For further information on the PhD stipend, please contact Associate professor Thomas Alrik Sørensen, e-mail:, phone: +45 9044 7255 or Head of department Mikael Vetner, e-mail:, phone: +45 9940 7263
For general information about the application process etc., please contact Anne Lone Bråten, e-mail:


Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of March 26, 2012 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the Ministry of Finance Circular of June 13, 2007 on the employment structure at Danish Universities.




Employment is in accordance with the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities (the Appointment Order) and the Ministry of Finance's current Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities. Employment and salary are in accordance with the collective agreement for state-employed academics.


Apply online

Aalborg University (AAU) conducts teaching and research to the highest level in the fields of humanities, engineering, and natural, health, and social sciences.

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