PhD position: Learning to Collaborate via Explainable AI in Medical Education (EXPLAIN-ME)

PhD position: Learning to Collaborate via Explainable AI in Medical Education (EXPLAIN-ME)


Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University, invites applications for a PhD position in the EXPLAIN-ME project from 1st September 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position as PhD is limited to a period of 3 years.


Description of the PhD project context: a bridge project within DIREC

The PhD position is part of the bridge project, Learning to Collaborate via Explainable AI in Medical Education (EXPLAIN-ME), funded by Digital Research Centre (DIREC). DIREC is a collaboration between Roskilde University, Aarhus University, Copenhagen university, IT University in Copenhagen, Alexandra Institute, regional healthcare institutions and several other industrial collaborators. EXPLAIN-ME aims to create more clinically useful AI and increase technology acceptance among clinicians through a close collaboration between clinicians and researchers. The initiative seeks to optimize the utility of feedback provided by healthcare explainable AI (XAI). Via an interdisciplinary effort between XAI, medical simulation, participatory design and HCI, we aim to optimize the explanations provided by the XAI to be of maximal utility for clinicians, supporting technology utility and acceptance in the clinic.

Link to the DIREC website:

Link to the EXPLAIN-ME bridge project:


This PhD position in the EXPLAIN-ME project

This purpose of this PhD position’s PhD project is to develop explanation tools for deep learning (DL) models as part of an existing collaboration between Roskilde University and Zealand University Hospital, Roskilde. The study case is diagnosis of renal tumours as benign or malign from CT scannings. So far, deep models of very high accuracy have been developed, and to improve their use and acceptance for decision support in medical practice, this project considers the addition of explanation tools. The distinguishing feature of this project is to design and develop such tools in a collaborative design (CD) process together with medical staff experienced in diagnosis and who that represents the final users og this technology.


The Doctoral School

You will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Doctoral School of People and Technology and associated with the program in Information Technology.


The Doctoral School for People and Technology frames research that seek to address sustainability often by applying experimental approaches and situating the individuals active and learning involvement. The research comprises approaches of a human, societal, health and information technological character and often applying planning, interventions and design-oriented subject areas. The Doctoral School has 5 PhD programmes with each of their focus points: Information Technology; Learning, Working life and Social innovation; Research in Health and Society; Social Psychology of Everyday Life and Society, Space and Technology. You will be associated with the program in Information Technology.

Link to the Doctoral School:

Link to the PhD in Information Technology:

The Department of People and Technology is involved with development of sustainable solutions. We use experimental approaches and support people’s active commitment. The department covers human, society, health and IT scientific fields as well as planning, intervention and design inclined fields.

Link to the department:


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.



The candidate should have an MsC in Computer Science or similar. For the ideal candidate, qualifications within the following areas are required:

  • Experience with deep learning techniques to a level of setting up, training and testing nontrivial deep models on image databases and using known visualisation tools; for compatibility with other activities, the required tools are Python, TensorFlow and Keras.
  • Knowledge about classical machine learning techniques such as decision trees, association rules and Bayesian networks.

Candidates that are proficient in Danish will be preferred as this facilitates the collaboration with Danish medical staff.


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.


PhD project description

A PhD position is a unique possibility to focus and concentrate on a 3-year PhD research project and this position focuses primarily on the technical side of the XAI aspects exploring the spectrum of relevant explanation techniques with prototypes developed in a dialog with CD and medical experts. You are expected to combine the following research activities:

  • Study existing work in XAI and DL, especially CNN (Convolutional Neural Networks) and variations thereof in depth through literature studies and specialized Courses.
  • Explore the situations of the expert medical doctors’ clinical work at Zealand University Hospital in which such decision support tools may be relevant for diagnosis.
  • Identify and select potential technical options for building explanations including Heatmaps, Association rules, Bayesian networks, Filter extraction.
  • Build, train and test relevant models from available authentic data (primarily CT scan images)
  • Design, develop, test and evaluate explanation tools together with the expert medical doctors through prototype implementations. This may involve identifying and labeling determining features that the doctors find important in the effort to generate useful explanations.

Furthermore, it may be relevant to consider how novel general medical knowledge that go beyond the individual diagnosis cases can be extracted from such models.


 Your application must enclose a project description (aka research proposal) of the PhD project you would like to pursue. The project description is up to 5 pages including references. The description of your suggested PhD project should clearly address the PhD position in the EXPLAIN-ME project – as described above. Furthermore, the description should address the assessment criteria’s listed below, and include 1) scientific purpose, relevance and novelty, 2) research questions, 3) theories and methods, 4) envisioned empirical work, and 5) project plan. You may contact the PI for further information regarding the project description.



In the assessment regarding employment consideration will be given to;


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
  • Quality and relevance of the methodical and theoretical choices
  • Consistency and coherence between the problem and the choice of method and theory
  • If the PhD project seem realistic and feasible
  • Ability to complete the PhD project
  • Relevance of the project to the profile of the Doctoral School



For further information about the position, please contact:
PI of the research project Professor Henning Christiansen,

PhD coordinator Anne Ebdrup, +45 46742326,
Head of the Information Technology PhD program Professor Jesper Simonsen,


Terms of employment

The employment is full time, and you will refer to Andreas de Neergaard, Dean at Department of People and Technology.


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.



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 7th of August 2022. 

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. 



Deadline: 2022-08-07 at 23:59
Unit: Institut for Mennesker og Teknologi

Read the job description at the university homepage or apply.

Post expires on Sunday August 7th, 2022