Atrás Open PhD position

Open PhD position

INPhINIT “la Caixa” PhD Fellowship: Learning Analytics to Support Technology-Supported Educational Design and Orchestration



INPhINIT “la Caixa” PhD Fellowship 2019 has been just launched. TIDE participates with the offer of a project on Data analytics in Smart Learning Environments.

The DTIC as a “Maria de Maeztu Centre of Excellence” is a hosting institution within the INPhINIT “la Caixa” Fellowships Programme. One of the proposed topics for the fellowships is:

Learning Analytics to Support Technology-Supported Educational Design and Orchestration​


The concept of Smart Learning Environment (SLE) has recently emerged with the aim of transforming current technology enhanced learning environments so that they can provide learners with adequate support at the right time and place based on their needs, which are determined by analysing their learning behaviours, performance and contexts. SLEs are promising but also challenging especially in the case of scenarios where participants interact with multiple devices, such as those based on the Internet of Things or in the case of massive number of participants.

One of the problems that hamper the success of SLEs in both types of scenarios is that the (re)design of increasingly effective learning situations are currently not informed by indicators of the impact in learning of previous design realizations. This problem stems from the fact that obtaining the adequate information required to make decisions about the (re)design of non-trivial learning situations is out of reach for teachers and learners, given the high number of participants or the diversity of devices that can be involved in the scenarios.

Learning analytics can be considered a suitable approach to tackle the problem as they deal with the analysis of data about learning with the aim of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs. In fact, the potential of learning analytics to improve the support of teachers and students in different settings has already been shown. However, according to a recent report of the European Commission’s JRC, much research still needs to be done to tailor learning analytics for specific needs and contexts such as the aforementioned problems in SLEs.

The goal of this research project is to improve the support of (re)design or/and orchestration of SLEs by means of learning analytics. To do so, the project will have to formulate a set of learning analytics services that will provide indicators furnishing actionable information about the (re)design / orchestration, adequate visualization of the indicators that will help participants make informed decisions that improve the (re)design / orchestration.

This project will be supervised by Prof. Davinia Hernández-Leo, a permanent faculty member that leads the Interactive and Distributed Technologies Group (TIDE) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. TIDE research lies at the intersection of network and computer applications, human-computer interaction and learning sciences. They have extensive experience in technologies for teaching and learning, learning design and data analytics.

The PhD position is offered to a highly motivated researcher, to join our team in interdisciplinary learning technologies research. The successful candidate should have an excellent undergraduate and master academic record. Candidates should have a strong desire to see their technological work applied in solving impactful problems in the context of education. The successful candidate should also have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team. Evidence of good data analysis skills as well as excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills are desirable. Please contact Davinia Hernández-Leo at [email protected] for any question or further information needed.

Conditions (please see INPhINIT “la Caixa” website for updates)

  • 3-year contract
  • About €34,800 gross annual salary + €3,564 annual additional funding
  • Award of €7,500 for the PhD fellow in case he/she presented the thesis within a period of 3.5 years
  • Additional training in transversal skills: technology transfer, entrepreneurship, professional development.
  • Research stays in academia and industry.   
  • Participation in networking and outreach activities.
  • Deadline for incorporation of candidates: September/October 2020.


Fellowship eligibility (please see INPhINIT “la Caixa” website for updates):

  • Be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Short stays such as holidays will not be taken into account.
  • Have a demonstrable level of English (B2 or higher).

PhD program admission

  • Accredited undergraduate degree (Bachelor degree or recognised equivalent degree from an accredited Higher Education Institution).  
  • Accredited graduate/master’s degree (equivalent to a Spanish Master Universitario/Oficial, Master’s of Research…. ) which enables them to access a Phd programme in their home country.
  • Total of 300 ECTS credits, 60 of those have to correspond to an official graduate, research oriented, master’s programme.

Selection criteria (please see INPhINIT “la Caixa” website for updates)


  • Academic records and CV (50%).
  • Motivation and goals declaration (30%): originality, innovation, impact and link with the selected Research Centre.
  • Recommendation letters (20%).


  • Potential (40%), motivation and impact (20%), CV (30%).

Important dates

  • Website open for applications: (please see INPhINIT “la Caixa” website for updates)
  • Application deadline:  (please see INPhINIT “la Caixa” website for updates)

How to apply

Applications are managed through the program website, More information about the procedure:

For additional information on the PhD program: [email protected]

For additional information on the topic: [email protected]


The Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC) of Universitat Pompeu Fabra covers a broad range of research topics: Computation and Intelligent Systems; Multimedia Technologies; Networks and Communications; Computational Biology and Biomedical Systems; and the Center of Brain and Cognition (CBC). This broad spectrum of topics reflects the current interdisciplinary reality of cutting edge research in ICT. DTIC is only one of the 2 university departments granted the research excellence seal Maria de Maeztu by the Spanish Ministry. Our Maria de Maeztu Strategic Research Program focuses on data-driven knowledge extraction.

The DTIC consistently ranks among the top computer science departments in Spain (1st Spanish university in Engineering studies according to THE2019).

Its PhD program offers advanced training in this interdisciplinary field, becoming an innovative and unique program in Spain. The DTIC PhD program has been growing steadily and currently hosts about 160 PhD students and 40 supervisors. The program received a Mention of Excellence award from the Ministry of Science and Innovation in 2011.

The UPF university was awarded in 2010 the distinction of International Excellence Campus by the Spanish Ministry of Education. The UPF is located in Barcelona. Its excellent location on the shores of the Mediterranean, its gentle climate, its open, cosmopolitan character, its gastronomy and architecture make Barcelona an extraordinary place to live. DTIC is sited in UPF's Communication Campus, opened in 2009, and is located within the vibrant 22@ technological district.


Research incomes: 12 M€/year

32 ongoing H2020 research projects participated with an overall budget of 21M EUR (>45% UPF EC funds) including 17 prestigious ERC Grants, the Human Brain Project

Consolidated scientific productivity ~150 articles/year, >75% Q1 international journals

50% scientific papers and articles with at least one international collaborator



ODS - Objetivos de desarrollo sostenible:

Els ODS a la UPF