Two PhD Fellowships/scholarships at Aarhus University

Two PhD Fellowships/scholarships at Aarhus University – Food Science programme

Deadline for submission: 1 November 2018

Applications are invited for two PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Food Science programme. The position is available from 1 February 2019 or later. Deadline for submission of applications is 1 November 2018.

  • SOUNDS HEALTHY: Auditory interventions in public spaces to promote healthier food choices and eating behavior

The PhD project is part of a key research focus on the role of contextual cues on flavour perception and eating behaviour. The project is conducted in close synergy between AU FOOD and other universities and industries from both Denmark and abroad. The project is highly interdisciplinary, combining sensory science, consumer behaviour, experimental psychology, and experience design.

A growing body of scientific evidence now shows that people’s eating and purchase behaviour, what they taste, and how much they enjoy the experience, can be influenced by the background music/soundscape that happens to be playing at the same time. What remains unknown, and the primary aim of the PhD, is to study how these sensory nudges can be incorporated into public spaces (such as canteens, supermarkets, schools, retirement homes, hospitals, etc.) in order to promote healthy eating behaviour in the long term. The PhD project will also shed light on whether such nudges work for all food products per se, or whether specific nudges are influential on certain foods only. For example, whether auditory interventions affect choice and behaviour for snack products or actual meals in a similar manner or not.

The PhD project will involve both laboratory studies involving descriptive sensory analyses and physiological measurements, as well larger scale, ecologically-valid observational consumer studies. This project calls for a degree of creativity when it comes to designing new ways to measure empirical evidence of background sound on purchasing patterns, eating behaviour and hedonic responses to food. The project also contains development and design of soundtracks to promote specific behavioural patterns.

While the growing literature on multisensory flavour perception has shown that our senses of sight, smell, and touch can all influence food flavour and preference, auditory interventions are perhaps the easiest and cheapest, since they can be implemented with little infrastructure change. Therefore, if proven successful, auditory interventions can be easily adapted, widely distributed and have significant impact on promoting healthy eating behaviours.

Further information:


  • TASTING SENSE: Sensory and consumer perception of basic human sense interactions in food and beverages – the influence of individual and cultural differences in innovative industrial new product development

In this PhD position, the focus will be on sensory perception of taste-taste interactions of different basic taste qualities, namely sweet, sour, salt, bitter, umami in food and beverages as affected by the food matrices, as well as individual and cultural differences in order to create applicable knowledge that can be implemented in industrial food innovation.

The primary aim of the PhD is to study the effect of, taste-taste and cross-modal interaction/effects on basic taste perception.
Moreover, the aim is to investigate cross cultural differences and the effect on basic taste interaction perception in particular between western and eastern cultures.
The PhD will be associated with two existing research collaborations, which will facilitate success and impact of the PhD’s aims:

The Innovation Fund Denmark research project, InnoSweet, funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark under Grand Solutions, which focus on how cross-modal interactions affect our sweetness perception of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages
The cross-cultural aims of the PhD will be facilitated via The SinoDanish Center (SDC) Food and Health Research Theme. This collaboration has been developed between Danish universities and University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) to meet Danish and Chinese food market challenges via stakeholder chain driven research based collaborations to strengthen Denmark and China’s position in the food market.
The PhD project overall will be conducted in close synergy between AU FOOD and other Danish universities and industries and is highly interdisciplinary.

Further information:

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