PhD in Strategic Health Communication – The Patient Experience Journey

The Department of Communication and Arts (DCA), Roskilde University, invites applications for a salaried PhD position in Strategic Health Risk Communication from 1 March 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position as PhD is limited to a period of 3 years of full-time study.


Description of the PhD project

The PhD project is part of a collaboration between Videncenter for Knoglesundhed (VK), Zealand University Hospital, and DCA aimed at understanding and improving the role of communication in relation to detection and treatment of osteoporosis in Denmark. Over 500.000 Danes live with osteoporosis, making it one of the eight endemic diseases in Denmark, yet only 20% have been diagnosed. A primary reason for this is that information and communication about the condition does not reach at-risk groups, calling for an intensified effort in examining and developing better strategies for informing and communicating about osteoporosis.

Current research in strategic, health and risk communication question the effect of broad public awareness campaigns, and instead point to targeted and tailored information and communication efforts as potentially more successful in achieving long term effects.

DCA and VK hence invite project proposals for a study of the ‘patient experience journey’ – that is the communicative experience a patient has from when she/he receives the diagnosis, via the communication provided during training and life adjustment, to communication provided whilst living with the condition. The project should, from a patient perspective, map and analyse the role of communication in how a patient experiences and copes with osteoporosis, with the aim of identifying problems and suggest improvements on how to develop better communication strategies in relation to detection and treatment of the disease.

The project should include both qualitative and quantitative empirical research, e.g. by surveying large patient groups in tandem with observational studies and interviews with selected patients and practitioners, or by harvesting digital traces of large-scale communications in tandem with examinations of concrete uses of information technology.

The Doctoral School

You will be enrolled as a PhD student at The Doctoral School of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University.


The Doctoral School for Communication and Arts (ARTS-PHD) offers a doctoral programme in Communication and Arts in an active, dynamic and cross-disciplinary research environment. Read more here


Responsibilities and tasks

The PhD position is an educational position and the main tasks are in accordance with chapter 3, Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions (



Applicants are expected to have a strong educational background and a completed master’s degree (kandidatuddannelse) within one of the following or related cross-disciplinary research fields: Media Studies, Communication, Sociology, Anthropology, Health care.


Applicants should motivate their application in relation to the outline above, as well as their given interests and expertise, as part of the required project description (max. 5 pages double-spaced, references not included). In the project description you must position the suggested project in relation to current relevant literature within the fields of risk communication, health communication and strategic communication. Moreover, you must outline your intended empirical and methodological approach, as well as include a suggested timeline for the completion of the project.

The PhD candidate is expected to:

  • Complete an article-based, PhD dissertation (as opposed to a monograph) within the three-year project period. This will require producing international journal articles and/or book chapter publications, of which some may be written with other members of the project team, including the project supervisors.
  • Conduct qualitative and quantitative empirical research.
  • Participate actively in at least one relevant research group at DCA.
  • Participate actively in the establishment and development of VK, with particular focus on strategic health risk communication.
  • Participate actively in PhD activities at the doctoral school.

In addition, they are expected to demonstrate:

  • Excellent command of Danish (as a prerequisite of doing fieldwork in Denmark).
  • Good command of English (oral and written) is necessary, and experience writing academically in English is considered an asset.
  • Excellent academic record (as shown by a list of MA-grades and timely completion of MA-education).
  • Ability to work independently and in collaboration with other members of the project team.
  • Interest in being part of an international research community.


You are required to be enterprising and to possess good communication skills and to be a visible, involved participant in the department’s daily activities, in addition to being willing to engage in disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration across the department.



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 enrollment consideration will also be given to the following criteria:


  • Educational skills and any further professional qualifications.
  • Grades at Master’s programme or equivalent.
  • Quality and relevance of the project description mentioned above, including the quality and relevance of the methodological and theoretical choices.
  • Ability to complete the PhD project.



For further information about the position, please contact Associate professor Ib T. Gulbrandsen ( or Associate professor Pernille Almlund (


Terms of employment

The employment is on full time 37 hours per week and you will refer to head of department Hanne Løngreen.

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 Head of Department 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.

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 16 December 2018. 
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.

Post expires on Sunday December 16th, 2018