Postdoctoral Researcher for Natural Legal Language Processing

Postdoctoral Researcher for Natural Legal Language Processing

Published Deadline Location
8 Feb 31 May Nijmegen

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Job description

How does counting and computation transform the assumptions, operations and outcomes of the law? That is what you aim to find out as a postdoc. You will delve deeper into the use of natural language processing for legal search and quantified legal prediction. This way, you can combine cutting-edge research into computer science with societally relevant problems.
The institute for Computing and Information Sciences is looking for a postdoctoral researcher in the domain of NLP or information retrieval, who will contribute to the study of natural legal language processing (NLLP) and is capable of developing an internal critique of relevant CS methodologies. You will be part of the CS team working on an ERC Advanced Grant project on the subject of 'computational law', in which a legal team and a CS team collaborate to help lawyers better understand both the possibilities and limitations of NLLP. We expect excellence within the domain of CS as well as a willingness to investigate the assumptions of NLP and their implications for the outcome of NLLP systems. You will be appointed at the Radboud institute for Computing and Information Sciences (iCIS), where your colleagues will be leading experts on information retrieval and NLP (e.g. Martha Larson and Arjen de Vries). You will also have the opportunity to collaborate with NLP experts at Radboud University's Centre for Language and Speech Technology. In addition, iCIS has close ties with Radboud University's interdisciplinary research hub on digitalization and society (the iHub). You will partake in the cross-disciplinary research of the ERC Advanced Grant project on 'Counting as a Human Being in the Era of Computation Law (COHUBICOL)'.

You will inquire into the architecture and foundational issues of NLLP, developing answers to questions such as:

1. As machine learning is claimed to approximate a mathematical target function, how can lawyers learn to test and contest the relevance of the approximation for the legal issues at stake?
2. How do different types of NLLP restrict or enable testing for various types of bias in their output?


Radboud University


  • You hold a PhD in CS, with a specialisation in NLP within the context of theoretical CS, machine learning or information retrieval.
  • You have completed a minor in philosophy, science, or technology and society studies (preferred, not required).
  • You have demonstrated excellence in academic writing and are fluent in English.
  • You have affinity with novel types of conceptualization.
  • You have a passion for conceptual clarity, critical reflection and creative intervention.
  • You are able to think and work independently, also when under pressure, show respect for your colleagues, make sure you meet deadlines, and have a strong ambition to produce high-quality work.
  • You have a willingness to engage with legal scholars, clarifying the assumptions, research design and operations of relevant computational systems.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: This is a temporary position for 1 year with the possibility of extension by another year.

  • Employment for 1.0 FTE, part-time employment is possible.
  • The gross monthly salary amounts to a minimum of €2,846 and a maximum of €4,490 based on a 38-hour working week, depending on previous education and number of years of relevant work experience (salary scale 10).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • This is a temporary position for 1 year with the possibility of extension by another year.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment  and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Additional employment conditions Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


The Institute for Computing and Information Sciences is a renowned computer science research institute, hosting around 130 staff, grouped according to three research themes (Digital Security, Software Science, and Data Science) that build upon Radboud University's long-standing tradition of combining cutting-edge research on the mathematical foundations of computer science with societally relevant problems that are susceptible to scientific solutions. The overall objective of iCIS is to perform excellent scientific research and to have a positive impact in science and also in society - both in terms of improved economic performance and social well-being. iCIS not only aims to study technical aspects of software systems, but also their embedding in the environments in which they have to operate. iCIS wants to have firm roots within the broad 'general university' environment offered by Radboud University. This also explains the focus on formal modelling and analysis and distinguishes iCIS from computer science departments at technical universities, which typically have a more applied focus. iCIS aims to contribute to the progress of computer science and science as a whole by means of ICT applications in other disciplines, such as neuroscience, biology, law, and medicine, i.e. scientific areas in which the Radboud University is particularly strong.


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • €2846—€4490 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1183825



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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