Our Work

Our group so far

Our group studies how emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) shape human ethical and cooperative behavior. To do that we introduce cutting-edge technologies, into a behavioral experiments.

Concrete research projects we are covering include:

- how (language-based) AI systems influence human ethical behavior

- the social impact of synthetic relationships between humans and conversational agents

- how AI systems can be used to improve educational outcomes

- the emerging risks of Artificial Intelligence as a tool for corruption

- how AI mediated communication tools shape trust

- the risks and potentials of using AI to fight corruption

Our goal is to test existing theories from social science to contexts where humans and intelligent machines interact & inform evidence-based policy making on these technologies

Our Center

We are part of the newly founded Research Center Trustworthy Data Science and Security

In 2021, Ruhr University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, and the University of Duisburg-Essen established the Research Alliance Ruhr, joining forces to address some of humanity's most pressing challenges.

We are located in the Tectrum in Duisburg.

Tectrum in Duisburg

Our geographical location

The Research Center Trustworthy Data Science and Security is dedicated to ensuring the trustworthiness of intelligent systems in safety-critical applications by adopting an interdisciplinary, human-centered research approach.

For those who wonder where all of this takes place; the position is in the Ruhr Valley region (see circled), one of Europe’s largest but also greenest metropolitan areas with the highest university density in Germany.

Open Positions



Research Assistants

We just finished hiring a Post-Doc on people’s perceptions of and interactions with AI-based systems in their daily lives together with Wilhelm Hofmann and Margarita Leib. More details will sonn follow.
We are currently hiring a PhD positions on AI and Education
On a rolling bases we are looking for motivated research assistants. If you are interested please send an email to sekretariat.koebis [at]uni-due.de


Portrait of Nils Köbis

Human Understanding of Machines and Algorithms

Prof. Nils Köbis

University of Duisburg-Essen

Portrait of Alfio Ventura


Alfio Ventura

University of Duisburg-Essen

Placeholder for missing portrait image

Office Prof Köbis

Sebastian Meinken

University of Duisburg-Essen
Tectrum, Room 31.OG.3324

Open PhD Position

The Psychological Effects of AI-based Tools in Educational Settings (f/m/d) (salary 13 TV-L)

Appointment date: 01.09.2024
Contract duration: 3 years
Working hours: 100 percent of a full-time position (part-time is possible)
Application deadline: 25.07.2024

You will work in a multidisciplinary team on collaborative research projects envisioned by leading international experts from various domains. This PhD position will be supervised by Prof. Nils Köbis (University Duisburg-Essen) and a collaboration with Prof. Nikol Rummel (Ruhr-University Bochum) will be pursued. Our research aims to bridge theoretical advancements and practical applications in close collaboration with partners from the education sector.

Your responsibilities:

  • Conduct surveys with educators to gather data on their perspectives regarding the delegation of educational tasks to AI systems.
  • Design and execute controlled experiments to assess the ethical implications and accuracy of AI-assisted decision-making in educational settings.
  • Implement lab-in-the-field experiments to observe real-world interactions between educators and AI systems in dynamic educational environments.
  • Independently analyze qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Collaborate with researchers from different disciplines to develop innovative approaches in ethical AI use and educational psychology.

Your qualifications:

  • Excellent degree (Master of Science) in psychology, communication science, information systems, statistics, computer science or related fields
  • High degree of creativity, commitment and analytical competence
  • Motivation to work in interdisciplinary teams
  • High proficiency in English, both written and spoken for scientific publications and presentations

What we offer:
The position is embedded in a creative, dynamic and internationally renowned research environment. Your research will play a crucial role in the development of our new Research Center and in promoting trustworthy technology to the general public. Our extensive international network of researchers and industry partners ensures a seamless transition into your next career step, whether in academia or international research institutions. We prioritize a balanced and family-friendly work-life-relationship, offering options for flexible working hours and part-time remote home-office arrangements.

If you are interested in the position, please send your application in an email stating the reference number 393-24 until 25.07.2024 to: sekretariat.koebis@uni-due.de.

Please provide the usual documents:

  • a motivation letter
  • CV
  • copies of your certificates

Further information about the Research Center can be found at: https://rc-trust.ai/groups/human-understanding-of-machines-and-algorithms

The University of Duisburg-Essen aims to promote the diversity of its members (see https://www.uni-due.de/diversity). It seeks to increase the proportion of women on academic staff and, therefore, strongly encourages qualified women to apply. Women will be given preferential treatment according to the NRW State Equality Act if they have equal qualifications. Applications from suitable severely disabled persons and those of equal status according to § 2 Abs. 3 SGB IX are welcome.

The Ruhr area, one of Europe’s largest metropolitan regions, offers attractive career opportunities for excel-lent scientists and scholars from around the world. In 2021, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, TU Dortmund University and the University of Duisburg-Essen established the Research Alliance Ruhr to bundle their cutting-edge international research on the most urgent challenges facing humankind. There are four research centers and a college. This is just the latest chapter in our long-standing collaboration as the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr), a community of 14.000 researchers and 120.000 students in the heart of Germany.

As part of the Research Alliance Ruhr, the Research Center for Trustworthy Data Science and Security unites the expertise of its member universities to bridge the gaps between Psychology & Social Sciences, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Data Science & Statistical Learning, and Cybersecurity & Privacy. 

More info also here



Scroll To Top