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PhD Project: In-situ and Personalized Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Mental Health

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PhD Project: In-situ and Personalized Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Mental Health

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet

Lyngby-Taarbæk, 1 stilling

DTU COMPUTE would like to invite applications for a 3-year fully funded PhD position starting September 2016. The project is funded by the Innovation Foundation funded project “Reducing the rate and duration of re-admission among patients with unipolar and bipolar disorder using smartphone-based monitoring and treatment” (the RADMIS project) and the Copenhagen Center for Health Technology (CACHET).

Project Description
Unipolar disorder (depression) and bipolar disorder (affective disorders) are common mental diseases with lifetime prevalence of 15-20% and 1-2 %, respectively. Depression imposes a very high societal burden in terms of cost, lost productivity, morbidity, suffering, and mortality, and is a leading cause of disability and disease burden worldwide. The RADMIS project aims at combining cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), smartphone-based monitoring and treatment, and machine learning predictive methodology to improve outcome and welfare for patients with unipolar and bipolar disorders.

The focus of this PhD Project is to research, design, implement, and evaluate the ‘CBT intervention technology’ part of the RADMIS project. The specific approach in this research will be to make the smartphone-based CBT program context-aware and personalized. The novel functionality is an intelligent engine that provides personalized suggestions by learning about the patient’s behavior in terms of physical, social activity and other behavior traits. This means that the CBT system will know about the patient’s ‘context’ including what s/he is doing and take this into consideration when suggesting CBT content, which is personalized to the patient.

The main flow of the research to be done is divided into 5 main activities: (i) review of prior art in terms of both a systematics literature review and the study of existing online and mobile CBT systems and approaches; (ii) definition of technical architecture: systems components, interfaces, protocols, dynamic behavior, data formats, runtime architecture, data management, storage, security; (iii) participatory design and development of a context-aware CBT platform for mental health in close collaboration with clinicians and patients; (iv) clinical proof-of-concept study (i.e. a non-randomized pilot test) of the platform with 20+ patients; (v) scientific dissemination and preparation of PhD Thesis.

Candidates must have a master degree in computer science, informatics, machine learning, engineering, or equivalent academic qualifications. Preference will be given to candidates who can document experience in human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, and pervasive healthcare. Excellent command of the English language is a basic requirement.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in the ITMAN Graduate School Programme of DTU Compute. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by DTU Supervisor Jakob E. Bardram and co-supervisors Ole Winther and Lars V. Kessing.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, public-sector consultancy and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current Danish rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.

Further Information
Further information concerning the project can be obtained from Jakob E. Bardram ( Further information concerning the application is available at the DTU Compute PhD homepage or by contacting PhD coordinator Ulla Jensen +45 4525 3359.

Please submit your online application no later than 1 June 2016. Apply online at

Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in 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 (an official translation into English)
- Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here )

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

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

DTU Compute conducts research and provides teaching in the fields of mathematics, modelling and computer science. The expanding mass of information and the increasingly complex use of advanced technology in society demand development of advanced computer based mathematical models and calculations. The unique skills of the department are in high demand in IT innovation and production.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and public service. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,300 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.