Ethics and Responsible Data Innovation Researcher @the Brightlands Institute for Smart Society (BISS), an Interfaculty Institute at Maastricht University

Ethics and Responsible Data Innovation Researcher @the Brightlands Institute for Smart Society (BISS), an Interfaculty Institute at Maastricht University

Published Deadline Location
14 Jan 9 Feb Heerlen

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Job description

The BISS Experience

Searching in the dark to be expected. Struggles likely. Impactful work ensured. At BISS, you put scientific knowledge into action. You provide digital solutions to law and, depending on your expertise and interests, to other fields such as health, biotechnology, neuroscience, psychology, economics, and humanities. You will be working in a vibrant environment where scientists and researchers from different disciplines focused on data science work on translating academic knowledge to practice through cases with companies (corporates, SMEs and start-ups) and governmental and non-profit organisations. You will work closely with all-star professors from various disciplines, including law. You will set up challenging research projects together with other researchers.

The Position

Data Science and Data-Driven Technologies are changing the way that we live and work through automation, machine learning, decision support and recommender systems! The ways that we work (or don’t work) have important ramifications for nearly every other aspect of our lives: how we define and value ourselves, who we associate with, where we live, when we eat, sleep, have children, and see our families. The structures of our working lives underpin most other areas! As the world of work is transformed by digitalization and data-science we need to carefully think about how these changes spill over into other parts of our lives, and we need to carefully manage these transformations to ensure that the benefits and indeed the costs are distributed in ways that are sustainable, responsible, and fair.

We are seeking to hire a full-time post-doctoral investigator for a period of 1 year. Prolongation is dependent on securing further funding. The successful candidate will have a strong background in areas of the social sciences or humanities relating to one or more of the following areas: STS, political theory, social systems, responsible research and innovation, technology assessment/anticipatory governance, political theory. The candidate must have an affinity and interest in data sciences and their societal impact.

As a post-doc at the BISS institute, you will join interdisciplinary research and valorization projects pertaining to the responsible development, application and societal impact of data-science. You will work closely with other post-docs and PIs, but also with the partners that we share the Brightlands campus with, including other knowledge organistations, companies, municipal and regional governments, and law enforcement agencies (Police).

You will also be expected to engage in external fundraising (grant writing) and project development, together with the other researchers and staff at the institute.  


You will join a team of other post-docs, PIs, and academics working together and developing projects relating to the following areas of interest: Smart Health, Smart Decision Making, Smart Legal Analytics, Smart Societies and Institutions, Smart Brain Science, Smart Service Systems, and Smart Data. We are looking for researchers to support the PIs in setting up and executing challenging projects. You will have the opportunity to participate and contribute to multiple projects across the institute. 


Maastricht University (UM)



  • PhD in relevant area of the social sciences or humanities (Responsible Research and Innovation, STS, Political Science, Ethics). Exceptional candidates without a PhD, but holding one or more MA/Msc degrees in relevant areas  may be considered;
  • Passion for Data Science;
  • Demonstrated experience in organisational tasks;
  • Team player and enthused about working on an interdisciplinary team (Data-Science, Medicine, Economy and Finance, Psychology, Law);
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as in a team;
  • Ideally have experience with writing grant applications and project proposals;
  • Excellent oral and written English communication; Knowledge of Dutch is a plus.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO), supplemented with local UM provisions. For more information on terms of employment, please visit our website > Support > UM employees.

Salary scale 10 or 11 of the CAO VSNU, depending on experience.


Maastricht University

Based in Europe, focused on the world. Maastricht University is a stimulating environment. Where research and teaching are complementary. Where innovation is our focus. Where talent can flourish. A truly student oriented research university. 

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 18,000 students and 4,300 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Sciences and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.


UM is a young, flourishing organization that stands for innovation and internationalization of university education and research. The university opts for a distinctive range of European top-quality education, high-quality research on selected themes (Quality of Life, Learning & Innovation and Europe & a globalizing world), active collaboration with companies and institutions and for contributing to the development of the (EU) region, of which Limburg is part. In this context, UM is actively involved in the Brightlands Health Campus, Brightlands Chemelot Campus, Brightlands Smart Services Campus and Brightlands Greenport Venlo and invests part of its strategic resources in these developments. In the related strategic program Knowledge Axis, the UM is investing together with Maastricht University Medical Center, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Fontys University of Applied Sciences and Province of Limburg in economic structure reinforcement throughout Limburg and Euregion.


About the BISS Institute

The BISS Institute is located in Heerlen at the Brightlands Smart Services Campus, a dynamic centre for new developments in the fields of Data Science, Internet of Things, and Smart Services in the Euregion. Within the Brightlands Smart Services Campus an ecosystem is created joining business, governments, and knowledge institutes (Maastricht University, ZUYD University, Open University and TNO) in a dynamic way

The Brightlands Institute for Smart Society (BISS) is Maastricht University’s platform for translational data-driven research and education, joining expertise and staff from all six UM faculties. It offers a flexible, agile, and state-of-the-art Living Lab environment that nurtures collective intelligence and integrative thinking. The multidisciplinary activities will be set up as projects, partner agreements, and programs, featuring innovation, collaboration, awareness, and solutions.

BISS is governed by a management team consisting of a managing director and several principal investigators (PI) who lead a group of researchers. The PIs are jointly responsible for the development and implementation of the collaborative scientific strategy, direction, and content. BISS has an administrative, financial, legal, and organisational support team.


  • Postdoc
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2709—€4978 per month
  • AT2020.7


Maastricht University (UM)

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Smedestraat 2, 6411 CR, Heerlen

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