The Max Planck Research Group for Rationality Enhancement, headed by Dr. Falk Lieder at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen, Germany, is looking for a PhD student (m/f/d) for a project on developing and evaluating self-improvement tools and strategies.
How can people learn to set better goals and pursue them more effectively? How can we leverage technology to help them learn from their mistakes and extract wisdom from their day-to-day experiences? The goal of this project is to answer these questions by developing and evaluating self-improvement apps that help people reflect on their decisions, their goals, and their thinking to learn valuable lessons from their daily experience. You will be prototyping potential web apps (e.g., using GuidedTrack) and work with software developers once you have identified a promising approach. This empirical part of the project will be performed in synergy with developing and testing models and theories of metacognitive learning and self-improvement.
What we are looking for
We are looking for somebody who is passionate about the prospect of developing and rigorously evaluating self-improvement apps. Applicants need to have a master’s degree by the time the position starts and should have prior experience with designing and conducting behavioral experiments and data analysis. Prior experience in the areas of human-computer interaction, app/web design, working with software developers, and/or designing and conducting field experiments is a plus. A working knowledge of cognitive behavior therapy or counseling techniques might also be helpful. You don’t have to be a software or web developer to succeed in this project, but you should be comfortable with programming in general and eager to learn what it takes to prototype web-based apps with system such as GuidedTrack. If you already have strong web/app development skills then you are very welcome to take advantage of them. Once you have identified a promising intervention you will work with software developers to turn into a tool that can help millions of people.
The successful applicant (m/f/d) will receive a PhD funding contract equivalent in remuneration to pay group E13, 65% of the Collective Wage Agreement for the Public Service. An initial contract will be given for 3 years with possibility of 1-year extension.
The Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems
The Max Planck Research Group for Rationality Enhancement is part ofthe MPI for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen, Germany (http://is.tuebingen.mpg.de). The institute is a world-class center for foundational research in machine learning and related areas. We are part of the Cyber Valley Initiative that is bringing new research groups, professorships, and industry partners to Tübingen and Stuttgart. The majority of the institute’s scientific employees come from outside of Germany. You will work among gifted students and experienced scientists from all over the world; and have access to excellent infrastructure, including several regular series of tutorials, lectures, journal clubs and invited talks by international guests, as well as a large computer cluster, and dedicated full-time specialists. The working language at the institute is English.
Tübingen is a scenic medieval university town, cradled in what is simultaneously one of Germany’s most beautiful landscapes one of Europe’s most economically successful areas. Stuttgart airport is an hour by bus, Frankfurt airport can be reached in two hours by train. Most locals speak English and knowledge of German is not required to live here.
How to apply
To apply for the position, please email your CV, a cover letter describing your motivation, relevant skills and research experience, selected publications or transcripts and your thesis/theses to firstname.lastname@example.org and arrange for 2-3 reference letters to be sent to the same address. If you have any questions about the project, our research group, or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Lieder.
The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.