PhD Candidate in Digital Ethics

PhD Candidate in Digital Ethics

Published Deadline Location
5 Feb 1 Mar Nijmegen

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Job description

The interdisciplinary Centre for Privacy, Security and Data Governance (iHub) at Radboud University (Nijmegen, the Netherlands) is seeking an MA student preferably with a background in ethics and a strong interest in themes related to digitalization. The PhD candidate will write their thesis in the field of digital ethics. Possible topics may for instance include: online manipulation and threats to autonomy; automated decision-making and moral deskilling; digital paternalism, boosting and nudging; and digital epistemology and epistemic injustice. However, candidates are welcome to submit a proposal on a topic of their own choice (see below).

iHub brings together a diverse range of scholars from across the humanities, law, social sciences, and computer sciences to tackle urgent questions raised by the increased digitalisation and datafication of science and society. iHub’s central research lines include 1) privacy and security; 2) solidarity and justice; 3) autonomy and freedom; 4) knowledge and expertise. iHub’s aims are both theoretical and applied. Research at iHub engages in theoretical work to clarify how digitalisation destabilises norms, practices and laws, asking how fundamental values and rights are enhanced or undermined by digitalisation in each of the four research lines. On the other hand, it seeks to develop concrete solutions that can help secure the positive effects of digitalisation, and limit and pre-empt its undesirable ones. Such solutions can be normative and/or institutional, but can also be technical (e.g., value sensitive design), and may be developed and tested in the hub’s iLab.

Daily supervision of the PhD research will be carried out by Dr. Fleur Jongepier, in alignment with her own research project titled ‘Do algorithms know better? First-person authority in the age of big data’. More broadly, the PhD research will be part of iHub's activities on technical, legal and ethical aspects of digital technologies, involving in particular Prof. Bart Jacobs and Dr. Tamar Sharon.


Radboud University


  • Master’s degree in normative/applied ethics.
  • Demonstrable interest in technology/digitalisation.
  • Strong conceptual skills. 
  • Willingness and ability to work in an interdisciplinary team.
  • Experience and willingness to teach digital ethics (tutorials and/or lectures) to undergraduate philosophy students. 
  • Good command of written and spoken English; knowledge of Dutch is not required but would be an advantage.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: You will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years.

  • Employment: 40 hours per week.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,325 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €2,972 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • Duration of the contract: You will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years.
  • The intended start date is 1 May 2020 or as early as possible.
  • You will be able to make use of our Dual Career Service: our Dual Career Officer will assist with family-related support, such as child care, and help your partner prepare for the local labour market and with finding an occupation.
  • Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?


Radboud University

We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 22,000 students and 5,000 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent and collaboration. You have a part to play!


Faculteit der Filosofie, Theologie en Religiewetenschappen

The PhD candidate will be embedded in both iHub and the Department for Ethics and Political Philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, which is developing a new line of research and teaching on digital ethics.

The faculty has approximately 140 staff and 10 departments and provides courses to approximately 700 students. The faculty has an inspiring academic climate. We continuously seek to innovate our socially relevant domain-specific and interdisciplinary education and research programmes. Responsibility, solidarity, care and commitment are values which characterise the faculty's culture.


  • PhD scholarship; PhD; Research, development, innovation
  • Behaviour and society; Language and culture
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • max. €2972 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1087911



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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