Postdoc for big data analysis of learning outcomes using virtual reality based learning systems

Center for Biosustainability
Thursday 30 Mar 17

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We are seeking a post doctorial associate to become part of the Bacterial Synthetic Biology group led by Professor Morten Sommer at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain) at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

In additional to the biotechnology research of the Bacterial Synthetic Biology group we have been working with a fast-growing e-learning company Labster ( on the development of next generation learning systems. We are now embarking on the development of virtual reality based learning systems for improving teaching outcomes and enhancing the efficiency and productivity of the education system. To this end we are seeking a data scientist to analyse substantial data collected from existing implementations of Labster and experimental studies under highly controlled conditions.

Responsibilities and tasks
The successful candidate will be working in a team focused on the development of virtual reality learning systems in close collaborations with leading institutions around the world. The candidate will mine exisiting databases linking specific usage patterns of the Labster platform to test outcomes with the objective of improving the storyline of virtual teaching systems and enable adaptive learning procedures that individualize virtual teaching experience to the student needs.

The candidate will work closely with experimental psychologists, computer programmers and teachers to solve fundamental challenges of using virtual reality and e-learning for successful science education and training.

The post doctorial position could cover:
  • unbiased data-driven analysis of collected usage patterns and learning outcomes based on e-learning systems currently deployed at various institutions
  • analysis of brain imaging and facial expression data from controlled studies conducted with e-learning and virtual reality based teachings
  • deploy machine learning and deep learning to identify patterns and predictive features of teaching outcomes
  • design intervention studies to test hypothesis generated from analysis
  • establish adaptive learning framework for science teaching.
Additional information about the Labster plaform can be found online:

Also, please see a paper from the Bacterial Synthetic Biology group on the learning outcomes of the Labster platform: Bonde et al. (2014) Nature Biotechnology

The position should be filled as soon as possible.

Candidates should have a PhD degree or equivalent.

Overall a preferred applicant has an excellent academic track record, solid research experience and is highly motivated deploying big data analysis to improve our education system.

The candidate should:
  • have a proven track record within the fields big data analysis, bioinformatics or machine learning
  • have demonstrated early in his/her career a capacity for innovation and excellence
  • make this position his/her number one priority
  • have a strong work ethics
  • be a team player

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, scientific advice 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 terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union.

Workplace and period of employment
Workplace is DTU Biosustain, DTU Lyngby Campus, Denmark.

The period of employment is 2 years with an option for subsequent extension.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Morten O A Sommer: 

You can read more about DTU Biosustain at

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 1 May 2017.

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:
  • application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • diploma (an official translation into English)
  • list of publications

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. 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.