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Open PhD position

Open PhD Fellowships at the DTIC, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spainwithin the INPhINIT “la Caixa” Marie Curie Fellowships Programme.



Open INPhINIT “la Caixa” PhD Fellowship on Enhancing Situated Learning through Learning Design and Learning Analytics


Open PhD Fellowships at the DTIC, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

within the INPhINIT “la Caixa” Marie Curie Fellowships Programme.

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:

Enhancing Situated Learning through Learning Design and Learning Analytics


According to the OECD educational institutions need to focus on nurturing students with new ways of thinking more related to real-world experiences, critical thinking, problem solving and decision making; including the capacity of exploiting the potential of new technologies. This is needed to better raise students who are equipped to contribute to the 21st Century economy and society. To prepare students in their learning development, experts in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) state that a re-conceptualization of educational theories should be undertaken and novel approaches for the present and future of Learning Designs (LD) should be developed.

This project will advance the state of the art in this domain by researching how Learning Design, can play a key role in a new generation of Ubiquitous Learning tools that integrates Learning Analytics services for re-thinking new situated learning scenarios. With “situated” learning, we mean a ubiquitous learning situation that happens when learners take a technological device (e.g. smartphone) into an educationally relevant real-world location and the tool helps the users to learn from that authentic setting. In this context, the analysis of data (Learning Analytics) about learners and their contexts (e.g. physical and digital interactions, social behavior, learner’s profile) can be very helpful to design meaningful ubiquitous learning. The provision of just in time adaptive learning (based on the analysis of the learners’ data) is still a challenge for TEL.

This research project will be supervised by Dr. Hernández-Leo (permanent faculty staff) and Dr. Santos (researcher), both members of the Group of Interactive Technologies (GTI) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona. The GTI focuses on human aspects and technology and has a lab focused on technologies for education. The research of the educational technologies lab, led by Dr. Hernández-Leo, lies at the intersection of network and computer applications, human-computer interaction and learning sciences. The team have extensive experience in Learning Design technologies (e.g., Collage, LdShake, ILDE), Ubiquitous Learning (e.g. QuesTInSitu, Discovering the Campus, Worthplay, ChangeMakers) and are currently involved in Learning Analytics projects.

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 programming and data analysis skills as well as excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills are desirable. Please contact Davinia Hernández-Leo at [email protected] and Patricia Santos at [email protected] for any question or further information needed.


  • 3-year contract

  • €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 2018.


Fellowship eligibility:

  • 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


  • 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 (30%), CV (30%).

Important dates

  • Website open for applications: November 8th, 2017.

  • Application deadline: February 1st, 2018.

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] and [email protected]


The UPF DTIC PhD program offers advanced training in a broad range of topics in the field of Information and Communication Technologies.

This is an innovative program, unique in Catalonia and Spain in terms of its content, which aims to provide a bridge between various disciplines in this field. The DTIC PhD program has been growing steadily and currently hosts about 130 PhD students and 40 faculty and tenure-track professors who can supervise a PhD thesis. The program received a Mention of Excellence award from the Ministry of Science and Innovation in 2011.

The DTIC department consistently ranks among the top computer science departments in Spain (e.g. the only computer science department from an Spanish university that has even been included in the top 100 of the Shanghai Ranking). The DTIC’s research activities are organized around 15 groups pursuing a wide range of topics that include networking, wireless communications, multimedia, image and music processing, medical imaging, interactive technologies, learning technologies, artificial intelligence, data mining, and computational neuroscience, among others.

The UPF university was awarded in 2010 the distinction of International Excellence Campus by the Spanish Ministry of Education and it is widely considered to be one of the best universities in Spain (e.g. is the top Spanish university according to 2013 Times Higher Education Ranking).

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. The DTIC is sited in UPF’s Communication Campus, which was opened in 2009 and is located within the vibrant 22@ technological district of Barcelona.



SDG - Sustainable Development Goals:

Els ODS a la UPF