PhD student | Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Network Fellowship
‘Taxonomy of advanced behavioural data (fulltime/ 36)’

Apply until: 10th April 2023

Declaration of interest regarding PhD project:

The research unit for Active Living, the Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) is looking for applicants for a PhD scholarship within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Network ‘Advanced behavioural data analysis’ funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme (grant agreement No.101072993). The PhD project is expected to start in October 2023 and employment will be for 36 months.

The LABDA project

LABDA (Learning Network for Advanced Behavioural Data Analysis) is an EU-funded MSCA Doctoral Network, that brings together leading researchers in advanced movement behaviour data analysis at the intersection of data science, method development, epidemiology, public health, and wearable technology to train a new generation of creative and innovative public health researchers via training-through-research. The main aims of LABDA are to establish novel methods for advanced 24/7 movement behaviour data analysis of sensor-based data, examine the added value of advanced behavioural data analysis and multi-modal data for predicting health risk and facilitate the use and interpretability of the advanced methods for application in science, policy and society. Via training-through-research projects, 13 doctoral fellows will contribute to reaching these aims. Together, they will develop a joint taxonomy to enable interoperability and data harmonisation. Results will be combined in an open-source LABDA toolbox of advanced analysis methods, including a decision tree to guide researchers and other users to the optimal method for their (research) question. The open-source toolbox of advanced analysis methods will lead to optimised, tailored public health recommendations and improved personal wearable feedback concerning 24/7 movement behaviour.

What will you do

As a PhD student in the project ‘Taxonomy of movement behaviour data’ your main challenge is to (further) develop a taxonomy of the many different movement behaviours. This will improve the interoperability, combination and harmonisation of data collected with any wearable sensors in the past and future. During the taxonomy development, operationalizing the classification of the contextual/environmental aspect of movement behaviour will be an important contribution to the field.

Your Tasks

    Your specific responsibilities will be to:

  • Compile existing taxonomies of movement behaviour and assess overlap and differences
  • Further develop the contextual/environmental aspect of the taxonomy
  • Create code and algorithms that make it possible to include the contextual/environmental aspect in the classification of 24-hour movement behaviour
  • Report on findings by publishing scientific articles, resulting in a dissertation
  • Present findings at (inter)national meetings/conferences
  • Contribute to the LABDA toolbox of advanced analysis methods for sensor-based behavioural data
  • Contribute to educational activities of the department and within the consortium


We are looking for an ambitious PhD candidate with the following qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in a movement science, sports science or a related field
  • Experience with classifying behavioural data
  • Proficient in at least one programming language (preferably R or Python)
  • Preference to work in an interdisciplinary, collaborative, inclusive environment
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills and fluent in English
  • Affinity with youth and health
To be eligible, candidates need to fulfil the MSCA basic requirements:
  • All researchers recruited in a Doctoral Network must be doctoral candidates, i.e. not already in possession of a doctoral degree at the date of the recruitment;
  • Doctoral candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.
  • For more information about the recruitment process, see:

    Research  environment

    You will be hosted at SDU in Odense, Denmark. More specifically, your main place of work will be the Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, research unit for Active Living. We conduct many intervention studies where we aim to increase physical activity, and being able to use the newest methods and tools to work with behavioural data is a key part of our work.

    For more information see

    As part of the project you will go on secondments to:

    • Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, Department of Public and Occupational Health: to gain insight into the development of the behavioural taxonomy in the Sedentary Behavior Research Network (SBRN) – Terminology Consensus Project (collaborator Chin A Paw)
    • Glasgow Caledonian University: to gain insight into the development of the Consensus Taxonomy of Sedentary Behaviours (SIT) (collaborator Chastin)
    • SENS Innovation ApS (Copenhagen, Denmark): to operationalize the inclusion of the contextual taxonomy in the existing data-systems (collaborator Lykkegaard)

    The Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics is part of SDU's strategy and values. As department, we are recognized for our interdisciplinary research. The scientific, technical and administrative staff support this through active participation in the department's professional and social life. Working as PhD student in the research unit for Active Living means that you will be part of a dynamic, multi-disciplinary research environment where we believe that ‘doing what you like’ is the main driver for researchers. It is a very social workplace where collaboration and learning together are highly valued. You will be working together with another PhD student within the LADBA project that will be employed in the same team, as well as other team members.

    For further information about the project, please contact:

    Professor Jasper Schipperijn
    Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics
    University of Southern Denmark (SDU)
    E-mail: (preferred) or phone: +45 20782540

    Applications must include:

    • At letter stating the interest, motivation and qualifications for the project (max. 2 pages) - upload under “Application form”
    • Detailed CV, including personal contact information, and contact information for 2 references
    • Certified copy of diploma (Master’s degree in a relevant field)

    Attached files must be in Adobe PDF or Word format. Each box can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb. If you are not asked for a project description above, please upload and empty document in the field “projektbeskrivelse”.

    Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will neither be considered nor evaluated. This also applies to reference letters. Applications will be shared with external partners.

    Successful candidates will be asked to send an application to the PhD Secretariat, Faculty of Health Sciences, to be enrolled as PhD students.

    The PhD programme will be carried out in accordance with Faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order)

    The terms of employment as a salaried PhD Research Fellow are stated in the Agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC).

    The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

    Closing date, April 10, 2023

    • Apply
    • External link to SDU job portal