Postdoc The Ecology of Programmable Infrastructures and the Administration of Justice

Postdoc The Ecology of Programmable Infrastructures and the Administration of Justice

Published Deadline Location
22 Nov 16 Jan Delft
How do computational infrastructures expand into sectoral organizations? Are current (digital) policies adequate in responding to their impact on administration of justice?

Job description

Current discussions in the public sector on the "cloud" are typically reduced to data protection and digital sovereignty, providing limited opportunity to grasp the massive transformation that the adoption of cloud and mobile devices bring about for public institutions. Over the last decade and a half, we have been observing the increasing entanglement of the delivery of digital services and these computational infrastructures. Software production, the practices and material conditions necessary to deliver (AI based) services, has become a way to expand these infrastructures into different sectors. These services are heavily marketed, promising vast improvements in the management of resources and economic gains. In the process, they require organizations to subscribe to technical and financial models that are likely to have broader political and economic impact than is currently imagined.

This postdoctoral position is an opportunity to go beyond current approaches to studying the impact of cloud and mobile infrastructures. The candidate is invited to study empirically how these computational infrastructures expand into public organizations and to evaluate whether current digital policies (e.g., Cloud-first policies in the public sector) are adequate in responding to their impact on the administration of justice. To do so, the project takes a political economy emphasis and a materialist approach. It aims to explore the technical, organizational and institutional transformations brought about by the introduction of computational Infrastructures with an eye on how these come to shape the administration of justice.

This project is part of the Gravitation program Public Values in the Algorithmic Society (algosoc). The Gravitation program is an initiative by the Dutch government to support excellent research in the Netherlands. The funding is reserved for scientific consortia that have the potential to rank among the world's best in their field. Algosoc is a response to the urgent need for an informed societal perspective on automated decision-making. Funded by the ministry for Education, Culture and Science for a period for 10 years, research in the algosoc program will develop a deep understanding of the systemic changes that  automated decision making entails for core public institutions, for society, and for how public values are realized. The research will focus on three sectors: justice, health and media. The program brings together researchers in law, communication science, computer science, media studies, philosophy, public governance, STS, economy and social sciences from five Dutch universities (Amsterdam, Utrecht, Tilburg, Delft and Rotterdam). Together, the algosoc community will develop solutions for the design of governance frameworks needed to complement technology-driven initiatives in the algorithmic society.

Being part of the algosoc project comes with a community of support but also responsibilities, which include:

  • Developing, conducting, and publishing research on the expansion of computational infrastructures into public institutions and related digital policy
  • Contributing to the public debate and organization of outreach activities of algosoc;
  • Contributing to the overall program in terms of events, research meetings, activities;
  • Collaborating with other researchers within the algosoc consortium
  • Participating in the development of a project internal digital infrastructure
  • Giving guest-lectures in the area of your expertise at BA or MA level including our internal courses on Computational Infrastructures;
  • Helping in co-supervising research projects of students working on related topics.

Specifications

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Requirements

The candidate has completed a PhD in a relevant field including but not limited to STS, Computer Science, or Organizational, Software or Infrastructure studies.

This project requires the ability to conduct interdisciplinary literature research and empirical studies combining qualitative methods and perspectives from political economy. The position requires enthusiasm for engagement with current computational infrastructures (cloud + mobile devices concentrated in the hands of a few companies), with some understanding of their technicalities, financials or everyday practices underlying their production. A critical perspective on technology production and institutional processes, as well as experience working with technologists will help in conducting the project.

The ideal candidate has:

  • A clear research interest in the topic of the project and enthusiasm for joining our research group on Programmable Infrastructures.
  • An excellent written and spoken command of English, as demonstrated by publications in English-language journals (written and spoken command of other languages, including French, German and/or Dutch is a plus);
  • The ability, willingness, and commitment to do autonomous work in a multidisciplinary team that includes legal scholars, communication scholars, ethicists and computer scientists;
  • Experience with organising workshops, lecture series, and similar events;

The vacancy appeals to you, but you are doubting whether you might be THE person we are looking for? You don't feel you meet every requirement? Studies have shown that women, people of color, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities and other communities underrepresented at the university are less likely to apply unless they fulfill every single requirement. At TU Delft, in our research group and in the algosoc project we are committed to creating an environment of mutual respect, inclusiveness, equal opportunities.

If you are excited about this position, but your profile doesn't align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. If you have special needs that you would like us to accommodate to be able to complete the application process, please get in touch with us.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 3 years.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.

Employer

Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Department

Faculty Technology, Policy and Management

With its excellent education and research at the intersection of technology, society and policy, the Faculty of TPM makes an important contribution to solving complex technical-social issues, such as energy transition, mobility, digitalisation, water management and (cyber) security.
We combine insights from the engineering sciences, the social and the humanities. We develop robust models and designs, are internationally oriented and have an extensive network with knowledge institutions, companies, social organisations and governments.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Seda Gürses f.s.gurses@tudelft.nl (please do not send your application to this address).

For information about the application procedure, please contact Martine van de Vorst (HR-advisor) at recruitment-tbm@tudelft.nl

Specifications

  • Postdoc
  • Behaviour and society
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2960—€4670 per month
  • Doctorate
  • TUD03111

Employer

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Location

Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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Application procedure

Please, submit your application online no later than January 16th, 2023 with the reference number Justice_Ecology_1.1.4. clearly stated in your motivation letter.

To apply, please submit the following:

  • Motivation letter (max 2 page), addressed to Seda Gürses (don't forget the reference number);
  • A short CV (max 4 pages) including a list of publications and other notable achievements;
  • An example of academic writing, paper, essay or part of your thesis;
  • Name two persons for recommendation letters;
  • Documentation of prior degrees.

Please note:

  • You can only apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and / or post.
  • Incomplete applications will not be processed.
  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.

You can find an overview of all our vacancies within the algosoc program on algosocvacancies.org.

Please apply only for 1 position within the algosoc program. In case you are interested in multiple positions within the algosoc program, please indicate this in your motivation letter by referring to the specific reference number of that vacancy, e.g., Justice_Ecology_1.1.4.

Application procedure

Application procedure

Please, submit your application online no later than January 16th, 2023 with the reference number Justice_Ecology_1.1.4. clearly stated in your motivation letter.

To apply, please submit the following:

  • Motivation letter (max 2 page), addressed to Seda Gürses (don't forget the reference number);
  • A short CV (max 4 pages) including a list of publications and other notable achievements;
  • An example of academic writing, paper, essay or part of your thesis;
  • Name two persons for recommendation letters;
  • Documentation of prior degrees.

Please note:

  • You can only apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and / or post.
  • Incomplete applications will not be processed.
  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.

You can find an overview of all our vacancies within the algosoc program on algosocvacancies.org.

Please apply only for 1 position within the algosoc program. In case you are interested in multiple positions within the algosoc program, please indicate this in your motivation letter by referring to the specific reference number of that vacancy, e.g., Justice_Ecology_1.1.4.

Make sure to apply no later than 16 Jan 2023 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).