PhD position: Learning technologies to support students while they learn how to code

A fully-funded PhD position is available in the areas of Learning Technologies at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. The salary covers tuition fees and maintenance costs. The successful candidate is expected to start in January 2019. Deadline for applicants: 30th of March 2019.

Research topic

Programming skills are becoming fundamental in many curricula. The latest trends in teaching students how to code indicate that students learn best when they can ‘learn by doing’. This is why in the recent year we have seen an explosion of technologies designed to provide learning environments where students can experiment with code in real time. An example of this is the Jupyter project. Although these environment allow students to experiment and manipulate with code they are still far from being perfect. One of the lacking aspect is the lack of support for peer programming.  The successful candidate will research enhancements for this learning environments and their effects on the learning outcomes.  

Desired qualifications

  • Master’s degree in Computer Science. Related degrees will be also considered (e.g., Information Systems). Specialization in Learning Technologies or Human-Computer Interaction is a plus;
  • Strong abilities in software development. Prototyping abilities for web;
  • Publications in learning tech venues (e.g., CSCL, ACM CHI, CSCW, etc.) is a plus
  • Good analytical and communication skills are essential
  • Fluency in English and French.

Tasks and responsibilities

  • 50% minimum dedicated to the PhD research
  • Teaching assistant for the following courses: Modèles Informatiques et Eléments de Programmation, 1st year Bachelor HEC, et
  • Teaching assistant for the Master in Information System (MScIS).

Informal inquiries and how to apply

All applicants should submit:

  • Curriculum Vitae,
  • a Statement of Purpose clearly describing their research interests,
  • two recommendation letters (can follow after a few days),
  • their University Transcripts (bachelor and master level)
  • and an electronic version of a recent research project (e.g. master thesis, scientific publication)

The application material should be submitted electronically to Prof. Estier and Prof. Cherubini at: and


Deadline for applicants: 30th of March 2019. Applicants are invited to submit early as the call might be closed before the deadline shall a suitable profile be found.



The successful candidate will be supervised by Prof. Thibault Estier and by Prof. Mauro Cherubini.

Prof. Estier  joined the University of Lausanne in 1999. He received his PhD in Information Systems from University of Geneva in 1995, then joined an internet startup ( which produced in 1997 the first Web CMS (Content Management System) on the market in Switzerland. He has been teaching database design, system integration, conceptual modeling, programming, and open source technologies for 20 years. His topic of research concerns evolutive information systems and evolutive knowledge bases.

Prof. Cherubini joined the University of Lausanne in 2016. Prior to that, he worked as a Research Scientist at Google in Zurich and at Telefónica Research in Barcelona. He received his PhD in Computer Science from the Swiss Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) in 2008. Before his time at EPFL, he conducted research at the MIT Media Lab in Boston. Prof. Cherubini has accumulated over 15 years of experience conducting research in HCI and publishing in the top venues of this field.


About the Department of Information Systems

The Department of Information Systems (DESI) seeks to build the skills and competencies required for the digital society with its research activities and teaching programs. Information systems are at the heart of any organization of a certain size. In recent decades, information and communication technologies have profoundly changed the way we search, produce, communicate and manage information, both in our private and professional lives. The department is home of 10 renowned scholars of different disciplines of Information Systems and Computer Science.


About UNIL and HEC

The University of Lausanne is one of the top institutions in Switzerland and in Europe. It is home to 14K students of which more than a third come from abroad. It is a truly international campus: more than 120 distinct nationalities are represented. It is a multidisciplinary school: Medicine, Biology, Law, Sociology, Business and Economics, Geosciences and Environment, and Information Systems provide a unique mix of research methods and backgrounds.

The HEC Lausanne – The Faculty of Business and Economics of UNIL was ranked in the top 30 institutions in the world by the Financial Times. The school offers one of the best Executive MBA in Europe.

Last but not least, the University is situated in one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland: an exceptionally green and spacious lakeside setting. In just a few minutes an excellent public transport network links the university campus to Lausanne, the capital of Vaud, noted for its varied cultural activities.


Related resources

Dernière mise à jour : 8 mars, 2019 - 20:16