Menthal – Access Rich Smartphone Dataset

Menthal projects studies smartphone habits and depression, and has an App which collects smartphone interactions and gives user a feedback. Researchers are invited to analyze a large set of volunteered data by visiting Bonn, Germany.

Descriptive Image Menthal project aims to establish a status quo of smartphone usage.

To this end, we devised an App that collects interaction-events on the phone and processes these on a server. It then provides aggregated feedback to the user regarding his or her time spent using the phone. By these means, we managed to attract a substantial number of users, knowingly donating their data to science.

The data set describes the smartphone usage of >100k users since January 2014. It records when and which App is started or stopped, when the phone is locked or unlocked, as well as meta-data for calls and texts. Furthermore, users have answered a questionnaire regarding age, sex, education and personality.

This data allows research from numerous perspectives, employing a wide range of techniques. Our small team cannot possibly envision many of the research questions that could be answered using this data set. Similarly, we would be new to many of the more advanced techniques. Hence, we would like to open this amazing data set to the research community. Due to the highly sensitive character of the data, we cannot ship disks or provide remote access. Any interested researcher would have to physically visit Bonn, Germany. Menthal Balance

We are thus looking for one to four highly motivated researchers to visit Bonn. In particular, you are invited to conduct research on the Menthal data set for a period of 2 – 8 weeks in collaboration with the local team of students and scientists. Any applicant would need to be a Post-doc, or later stage PhD student. You need to be able to work, research and publish independently.

We are looking for applicants from a broad range of behavioral and data sciences, such as:
  • data mining
  • statistics
  • time-series analysis
  • data visualization
  • social sciences
  • psychology

We actively promote a multidisciplinary approach to analyze our data. To this end, we try to have researchers from more than one discipline present at any given moment in time.

You will be given access to raw Menthal data, as well as first authorship of any paper resulting from your work. Other than that, you will receive a desk, a window, and fun colleagues. Plus, we guarantee an insanely creative and busy atmosphere. We will assist with administrative issues. However, we are a small and under-financed research team. Hence, there are NO funds available, you will need to be self-funded.

In order to apply, send a brief email to Be sure to include your CV, publication record, and an one page summary of your research idea.


We are the authors of the Menthal App, which records smartphone interactions. Using the collected data, we study smartphone habits and depression, and provide feedback to the users.