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PhD position in the project «Digital Risk Awareness» 100 %

Within your PhD project, you develop and test methods to raise individuals' awareness of digital risks (e.g., privacy, artificial intelligence). The work is done in cooperation with the Digital Society Initiative of the University of Zurich.

School: School of Management and Law
Starting date: September 1st, 2022

Your role

The Center for Process Management & Information Security at the Institute of Business Information Technology at ZHAW in Winterthur offers a PhD position. In an interesting interdisciplinary research environment between psychology, sociology, and computer science, the candidate will conduct research in the area of Digital Risk Awareness.
At the Institute of Business Information Technology at ZHAW, you will mainly work on a four-year research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and have limited teaching responsibilities. The project focuses on developing and evaluating interventions in the areas of data privacy, information security, and artificial intelligence to increase users' awareness of risks (e.g., tracking, phishing, biases). The relationships between factors such as risk level, salience, and habituation will be investigated, and appropriate intervention techniques will be identified (e.g., literacy, incentives, design of software). Quantitative and qualitative methods will be used in the project (e.g., online experiments). The PhD project is conducted jointly by the Institutes of Business Information Technology (Dr. Nico Ebert) and Marketing (Dr. Kurt Ackermann) at ZHAW as well as the Digital Society Initiative at the University of Zurich (Prof. Dr. Karsten Donnay). After successful completion of the PhD program, the doctorate will be awarded by the University of Zurich.

Your profile

  • Enthusiasm for translating human science research into digital use cases
  • Positive mindset, eagerness to learn, creativity in problem-solving
  • Master's degree in psychology, sociology, computer science, or a related field
  • Sound knowledge of quantitative and qualitative methods. Prior knowledge of programming is a plus
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Excellent university track record
  • Profound knowledge of English and German 

As part of our team, you will enjoy an exciting and rewarding international working environment and innovative multidisciplinary research. The compensation will be according to the guidelines of the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Are you interested? If you would like to apply, please use the online platform to send us your complete application: a cover letter indicating your motivation and expectations from this research, CV, one publication (e.g., term paper, thesis, or other publication), transcripts of all obtained degrees (in English or German) and the contact details for two referees.

This is what we stand for

Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW is one of Switzerland's largest multidisciplinary universities of applied sciences, with over 14'000 students and 3'400 faculty and staff.

The School of Management and Law (SML), with its internationally recognized Bachelor's and Master's programs, cooperative PhD programs, range of needs-oriented and well-established continuing education programs, as well as innovative research & development projects, is one of the leading business schools in Switzerland. The SML is currently the only business school of a Swiss university of applied sciences to feature in the prestigious Financial Times rankings: Not only is it among the 90 leading European business schools, it offers one of the 90 best Master's programs in management worldwide. In addition, it meets the demanding standards of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the leading international organization for the accreditation of business schools.

The Institute of Business Information Technology researches and develops digital solutions for businesses and society, focusing on current problems in practice. We are concerned with the design, prototypical implementation, and evaluation to prove benefit and feasibility. The knowledge and experience gained in this way flow into teaching (BSc, MSc) and practice-oriented further education (MAS, CAS). We work with current and widely used methods, tools, and technologies.

Das dürfen Sie erwarten

Wir bieten hochschulgerechte Arbeits- und Anstellungsbedingungen und fördern aktiv die Personalentwicklung unserer Mitarbeitenden und Führungspersonen. Eine detaillierte Beschreibung der Vorteile finden Sie auf der Seite «Arbeiten an der ZHAW». Hier die wichtigsten Eckpunkte:


Dr. Nico Ebert
Senior Lecturer for Information Systems

+41 (0) 58 934 46 75

Dagmar Debrunner-Stachl
Recruiting Manager


ZHAW Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften
Winterthur Region of Zurich 8400