Fully-Funded PhD International Position in Soft Robotics at University of Southern Denmark

  • PHD
  • approx. € 3.378 per month
  • 1 December 2020

SDU Biorobotics at the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute, University of Southern Denmark, invites applications for a fully-funded 3-year PhD position in Soft Robotics. The starting date for the position is in early 2021 and will be agreed with the successful candidate.

About the PhD project
Limbless vertebrates and invertebrates deform their compliant bodies to generate propulsive force. Emulating body deformation, surface characteristics, and associated neural control of limbless locomotion is a promising approach to design mobile soft robots capable of traversing complex terrains that are often impossible for conventional robots. The PhD position focuses on the design and fabrication of a generic untethered soft robot capable of multimodal limbless locomotion gaits by taking inspiration from nature’s soft experts in crawling and slithering. This project requires to integrate soft actuation, sensing, power supply, and computation in a unified soft robotic system.

Research Environment
The University of Southern Denmark in Odense is a rich environment for innovation within robotics and automation. SDU Biorobotics spans a broad range of competences and research interests, including mechatronics, embedded electronics, soft robotics, artificial intelligence, and bio-inspired control. The Center for Soft Robotics is a new and growing research group at the SDU Biorobotics. We design, build and program next-generation robots that use compliance as part of their intelligence to adapt to complex tasks. In our research, we aim for a systems-level integration in designing and building soft robots. We transform clever ideas from soft biological systems into soft robots and use innovative soft materials and structures such as flexible metamaterials, origami, and kirigami to create novel soft actuators and artificial skins with embedded sensing and interactive functionalities. We adapt biologically inspired control and learning strategies to enable such soft machines to communicate efficiently with humans through aesthetic expressions and navigate dexterously through complex terrains. We are building an engaging collaborative environment and work together with industrial partners to translate research into impactful applications.

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Syddansk Universitet tilbyder videregående uddannelser i form af bacheloruddannelser, kandidatuddannelser og efteruddannelse (masteruddannelser, uddannelser på deltid) samt forskeruddannelser (ph.d.). Universitetet har fem fakulteter og er repræsentere...

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The candidate should have a master’s degree in engineering or a related field, a genuine interest in interdisciplinary research, drive to design and fabricate physical robots, and preferably with experience in programming. The ideal candidate is competent to acquire skills to conduct high-quality research and present and publish the outcome of the project at conferences and scientific journals. The candidate is expected to take part in the teaching activities of the Center for Soft Robotics and SDU Biorobotics.

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Employment as a PhD fellow is a 3-year salaried position (start salary amounts to approx. 3.378,- EURO per month incl. supplements).


The application must be in English and must include - the required forms must be found at the above mentioned Faculty website:

  • Completed TEK PhD application form for 5+3 applicants.
  • Motivation letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project in question (max. 2 pages). Upload in the field called “Project description”.
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae, describing research, publication and teaching experience, computational skills and including personal contact information.
  • Verified copies of the official bachelor diploma and master's diploma and transcripts of exams, both original and translated into English.
  • Completed TEK PhD form for calculation grade point average. Upload in one of the fields called “Publication”.
  • An official document describing the grading scheme of the awarding universities (if not Danish). Upload in one of the fields called “Publication”.
  • An official and verified written assessment of the thesis or dissertation project from the grade giving institution, if the thesis/examination project is evaluated by approved/passed. The statement must clearly state that the candidate has been among the top 30 pct. in the graduation class for the study programme.
  • References, if any. You're welcome to use the form for reference letter at the Faculty website.
  • List of publications and maximum 2 examples of relevant publications, if available. Please attach one pdf-file for each publication.
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