Karriere – Job

Research Assistant: PhD or Postdoctoral Scholarship in Japanese Studies (human-computer interaction)

The Department of History and Cultural Studies at Freie Universität Berlin in conjunction with the European Research Council invites applications for a three-year PhD scholarship with 65%-part-time in Japanese studies in the areas of human-computer interaction and robotics.

  • Ort: Berlin / Deutschland
  • Institution: Freie Universität Berlin
  • Deadline: 31. August 2017 Bewerbungsschluss beachten
  • Unterlagen an: elena.giannoulis[at]fu-berlin.de
  • Kontakt: Frau Prof. Dr. Elena Giannoulis

The candidate will join a European Research Council-funded project titled, "Emotional Machines: The Technological Transformation of Intimacy in Japan", which explores the impacts of emerging affect-sensing technologies on social relationships as well as on cultural and scientific knowledge of the emotions in the affective sciences. As the project is interdisciplinary in nature, the Department welcomes applicants from across the humanities and social sciences (particularly from literary studies, cultural anthropology, or science and technology studies) as well as those from the technical sciences. An ideal candidate will have some familiarity with the Japanese language and culture as well as basic knowledge in or a willingness to learn programming and coding specific to affective computing and emotion modeling.

The candidate will work toward a PhD in Japanese studies in the Department of History and Cultural Studies, and design an interdisciplinary course of study under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Elena Giannoulis. The academic program is fully funded for three years and comes with a monthly salary with the German pay scale grouping E13. Opportunities exist to extend to a fourth year of study under the same financial conditions. The student’s work should be original but overlap with the project aims as described below.

Seminar of East Asian Studies/Japanology:


Job description:

  • Work with fellow team members toward project goals (50-60% of focus)
  • Develop an original and independent research project within the project areas and complete a doctoral thesis.
  • Present at academic conferences
  • Publish in peer-reviewed academic journals, both as a single author and as part of the research team
  • Work on technical aspects of the project, including the design of websites, applications for social robots, and the coding and programming of affect and emotion-modeling software


  • Pay scale grouping E13
  • Use of project equipment, including affect-sensing wearable technologies, emotion-modeling software, and robots
  • Travel support for fieldwork and domestic and international conferences (2-3 per year).


MA in Japanese studies or related fields (literary studies, cultural anthropology, science and technology studies), or the technical sciences


  • Ability to communicate and write proficiently in English
  • Intermediate Japanese ability
  • Basic knowledge in or a willingness to learn programming and coding specific to affective computing and emotion modelling

Application Procedure

The following documents should be submitted either via  regular mail or as a single PDF to elena.giannoulis@fu-berlin.de

  1. Cover letter (1-2 pages)
  2. CV (including contact information for three professional references)
  3. Original research proposal in the area of human-computer or human-robot interaction (3 pages)
  4. One journal or chapter-length writing sample

*Two letters of recommendation will be requested from short-listed candidates 

**Name the application file “EMTECHapp” plus your last name in capital letters: “EMTECHappNAME"

Project Schedule and Deadlines

The deadline for applications is August 31st, 2017. Commencement is April 2018, with some flexibility based on the candidate's status.

All application quoting the reference code should be addressed to:

Freie Universität Berlin

Fachbereich Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften

Ostasien und Vorderer Orient

Frau Prof. Dr. Elena Giannoulis

Hittorfstr. 18

14195 Berlin (Dahlem)

Or as an e-mail to (see above for details).

Women are explicitly encouraged to apply. Handicapped applicants will be preferred in case of equal qualifications. Applications from people with a migration background who meet the recruitment requirements are desirable. Interview costs cannot be covered by the Freie Universität Berlin. Application documents will not be returned. Please submit your documents only in copy.

Weiterführende Links:


Zurück zur Übersicht