PhD Position in Machine Learning for Mental Healthy Longevity (100%)

ETH Zurich is one of the leading universities of the world with a strong focus on science and engineering. In 2010 it established the Singapore-ETH Centre (SEC) in collaboration with the National Research Foundation (NRF) to do interdisciplinary research on pressing problems.

In collaboration with the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Duke – NUS, the National Health Group (NHG), National University Health System (NUHS), and SingHealthSEC is undertaking a research program on “Future Health Technologies FHT“. It addresses some immanent health challenges by developing a future-oriented Mobile Digital Health Concept that tackles the increase in patients suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and stroke, as a consequence of a rapidly ageing population with mobile digital technologies, covering the value chain from acute care to patient’s private homes. Within this framework we are announcing the following job opening: PhD Position in Machine Learning for Mental Healthy Longevity, 100%, Singapore, fixed-term.

Project background

Healthcare systems worldwide face challenges arising from the increase in non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular disease or mental disorders, their related risk factors, and associated economic costs. A holistic intervention paradigm focusing on physical, mental, and social health is needed to prevent and manage NCDs effectively. However, current interventions are limited in scalability and do not provide data-driven, precise, and actionable interventions. To this end, the Mobile Health Interventions module of the FHT program investigates how ubiquitous technology can be leveraged to support individuals at risk in the most scalable way. This is done by detecting vulnerable states and delivering high precision and actionable interventions, for example, with the help of digital biomarkers, smartphones, wearables, chatbots, or voice assistants.

Job description

As a PhD student, you will make prevention measurable, actionable, and accountable by developing digital biomarkers for healthy longevity. In particular, you will develop a digital biomarker for mental health and well-being by analyzing intensive longitudinal behavioural and physiological data (e.g. data from voice interactions, breathing patterns and other smartphone sensor data streams). Your activities will also build upon our current BEDDABreeze and CanRelax projects. The resulting digital biomarkers will be used to trigger behavioural precision interventions that slow down biological ageing processes. MobileCoach ( written in Java and Javascript (ReactNative), among other technologies (Unity), will be used to conduct your digital biomarker research.

You will work in a highly interdisciplinary team at the intersection of computer science, behavioural medicine, clinical psychology, and business innovation. You will also engage in promotional activities to increase community awareness of your digital biomarker research through conferences, workshops, keynotes, seminars, and social media engagement, while also working on grant proposals, study protocols and publications for high-quality, peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (IMWUT)Lancet Digital Healthnpj Digital MedicineDigital Biomarkers).

You will have

  • A Master’s degree in computer science, machine learning, statistics or related fields
  • Programming experience
  • Positive experiences with interdisciplinary collaborations
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills in English
  • Scientific curiosity and motivation to perform scientifically rigorous experimental work

The following competence would be advantageous

  • Familiarity with Java, Javascript (ReactNative), and Unity
  • Familiarity with ethical, legal, and health-political challenges of medical research

We offer

  • a PhD position that allows you to contribute to the ongoing health challenges of our society
  • an interdisciplinary team of passionate resaerchers working at the intersection of digital health technology and disease prevention
  • exciting professional development opportunities
  • access to a global network of digital health enthusiasts
  • opportunities to present your research to local and international audiences

Are you Interested?

We look forward to receiving your online application including the following documents:

  • Cover letter outlining your motivation and experience in the field
  • CV including certificates (e.g. Master’s and/or Bachelor’s degree)
  • An example of academic writing (e.g., your Master’s thesis).
  • List of data science projects with code examples (e.g. link to a code repository)
  • Transcript of records

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

For further information about our research and projects, please visit More information about the Mobile Health Intervention Module of the FHT programme is available here: Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Dr Tobias Kowatsch at (no applications).

Full Job Description

Apply online now

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