PhD Position in Computer Vision/Artificial Intelligence for Cow Welfare

PhD Position in Computer Vision/Artificial Intelligence for Cow Welfare
  • Syddansk Universitet
  • Campusvej 55, 5230 Odense M

SDU Robotics, part of the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute, University of Southern Denmark, located in Odense, invites applications for one or more 3-year PhD positions, which will be vacant from September 1st or as soon as possible thereafter. 

The application deadline is 16 June 2024 at 23.59 (CET/CEST) 


Research environment
The candidate will be integrated in the SDU Robotics section, which is at the core of the Odense Robotics Cluster involving Universal Robots, Mobile Industrial Robots (MIR) and 120+ other companies. We are specialized in robot solutions involving modelling, estimation, and control of advanced robot systems. The group is involved in a variety of national and European projects and features a strong network of academic and industrial partners. We solve challenging research problems from real applications and implement novel robot solutions together with end users such as Universal Robots, Terma, LEGO, Danfoss, and Novo Nordisk.

Currently we are extending into the agriculture domain, utilizing robot technology for sustainable and adaptive agriculture. We are currently extending the team working on the recently started GUDP project VelKoTek which focuses on AI-supported systems for cow welfare estimation based on computer vision.

Profile and requirements
The candidate will participate in SDU Robotics’ comprehensive research and teaching activities within the area of robotics, computer vision and machine learning. The position requires a master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish master’s degree) within a relevant area and the desired candidate is expected to have a profound knowledge on the majority of the following topics:

  • Image processing/computer vision
  • Deep learning-based detection 
  • Multi-object tracking
  • Deployment of deep learning-based solutions

Familiarity with the agricultural domain would be considered an advantage.

Furthermore, the successful candidate is expected to:

  • Have excellent knowledge of English (written and spoken).
  • Have high self-motivation to learn. 
  • Be able to work well and communicate expert knowledge in an interdisciplinary team.
  • Have the ability of working independently.
  • Have a strong sense of responsibility.



As the 3rd largest city in Denmark, Odense provides the perfect combination of a historic city center with an urban field yet a close proximity to beaches and recreational areas. Its location on the beautiful island of Funen is ideal with easy access by train or highway to the bigger cities of Aarhus and Copenhagen; direct trains can take you straight to Copenhagen airport in less than 2 hours. Since 1966 the city has been a university town, and strong collaborative ties are in place between the University of Southern Denmark and the many Danish and International corporations in the region. As the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark’s famous fairytale author, the city is home to a vibrant and creative population that hosts numerous festivals and markets throughout the year.

Further information
Please visit us on LinkedIn:

Further information about this position is available via email from Associate Professor Dirk Kraft ( or Associate Professor Leon Bodenhagen (

If you experience technical problems, you must contact

Further information for international applicants about entering and working in Denmark.
Further information about The Faculty of Engineering.

Application procedure
Before applying the Faculty expects applicants to read the Faculty information for prospective PhD students, SDU information on How to apply, and Faculty information on How to apply – Academic staff.

The application must be in English and must include the following:

  • Motivation letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project in question (max. 2 pages). 
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae including personal contact information.
  • Verified copies of the official bachelor diploma and master’s diploma and transcripts of exams, both the original documents and in professional English translation. If this is not available, please include a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution of supervisor – NOTE! You must provide the required diplomas later in order to be enrolled/employed. 
  • Completed TEK PhD application form for 5+3 applicants. Find the form at the Faculty website.
  • Completed TEK PhD form for calculation grade point average. Find the form at the Faculty website
  • An official document describing the grading scheme of the awarding universities (if not Danish). 
  • Only for applicants from programmes that evaluate thesis/examination project by approved/not approved: Please submit an official and verified written assessment of the thesis or dissertation project from the grade giving institution. The statement must clearly state that the candidate has been among the top 30 pct. in the graduation class for the study programme.

The application may also include:

  • References (names and emails) and/or Reference letters, you're welcome to use the form for reference letter at the Faculty website.
  • List of publications and maximum 2 examples of relevant publications, in case you have any publications.

Applications received after the deadline or outside the official recruitment portal will neither be considered nor evaluated.

Assessment and selection process
Applications will be assessed by an assessment committee or an expert. Shortlisting may be used. Only shortlisted candidates will be assessed. Applicants will be informed of their assessment by the faculty. Interviews and tests may be part of the selection process. 

Conditions of employment
Applicants must hold a master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) at the time of enrollment and employment. 

Employment of a PhD Fellow can only happen after the PhD School has approved the candidate for admission. Employment and enrollment will cease without further notice at the end of the period. A PhD Fellow is not allowed to have any kind of sideline employment, while enrolled as PhD Fellow at the faculty.

Employment as a PhD Fellow is a 3-year salaried position. Read more about the basic scale of the collective agreement. 

The successful candidate will be enrolled at SDU in accordance with Faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order)

The employment is governed by the Protocol on PhD Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information about salary and conditions of employment. 


The application deadline is 16 June 2024 at 23.59 (CET/CEST) 



  • All files must be in English.
  • All files must be in PDF format. All files must be unlocked and allow binding and may not be password protected. 
  • Documents should not contain a CPR number (civil registration number) – in this case, the CPR number must be crossed out.
  • We only accept files in PDF format not more than 5 MB per file. If you want to attach larger files, these must be uploaded under “other documents”. 

The University of Southern Denmark wishes to reflect the surrounding community and therefore encourages everyone, regardless of personal background, to apply for the position.

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