PhD investigating how data-driven technologies lead to value change in the justice domain

PhD investigating how data-driven technologies lead to value change in the justice domain

Published Deadline Location
22 Nov 15 Jan Tilburg
The Department of TILT (Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society) has a vacancy for a PhD Researcher in ethics/STS. Are you interested in how legal and public values are changing under the influence of technology? Are you conceptually strong and do you want to learn how in everyday practice actors give meaning to values and what we can learn from this for theory building? Then this could be the ideal PhD project for you!

Job description

The promise held by data-driven technologies to make processes more efficient, predictions more accurate, and decision-making practices more affective has also reached the judicial domain. The introduction of these technological innovations has raised the question how to ensure that core judiciary values (independence, impartiality, integrity, transparency, and fairness) can be upheld, for instance by investing in “by design” approaches (e.g. transparency by design, non-discrimination by design) and Responsible Innovation practices. One of the implicit assumptions of these approaches is that what values boil down to is rather stable and that the challenge predominantly lies in the integration of these existing values into new technological practices. In the domain of philosophy of technology and applied ethics, there is however an increasing acceptance of the idea that values are dynamic and susceptible to change. This project, therefore, takes as its starting point that if we want to develop ADM and AI practices in the judicial domain that adhere to public values, it is essential to understand how these public values change through the introduction of data-driven technologies. To develop this understanding, this project will focus on how different sets of values (technological, commercial, public) interact and how conditions to enact the core values underpinning the judicial domain are affected.

 

This PhD project operates at the intersection of philosophy/ethics of technology, Science and Technology Studies, and regulatory theory. It will combine a literature study of value change with an empirically-informed evaluation: mapping ‘value clashes’ through desk research, organizing focus groups, and semi-structured interviews with experts/stakeholders. One case-study will focus on the dynamics within public administration, particularly at the level of the municipality. Municipalities are increasingly tasked with providing services that touch upon (access to) justice. To give shape to their, oftentimes, executive role, they turn to ADS and AI tools. Municipalities heavily rely on commercial parties to provide them with these tools and the solutions they offer to adhere to public values. How key public values such as legitimacy, autonomy, and transparency take shape in these interactions, if and how value conflicts occur, and how public values in the end are safeguarded, is the overarching focus of this project. A second case-study will be selected together with the PhD researcher.

 

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. 

 

If the vacancy appeals to you, but you are doubting whether you might be THE person we are looking for, please do apply. We encourage all qualified applicants, including minorities, women, people with disabilities, and members of other groups underrepresented in academia to apply. We wish to create a consortium that consists of persons who each contribute in their unique way to the team. Complementarity and not homogeneity is what we are looking for.   

 

Developing a societal vision on automated decision-making concerns us all. We believe that a diversity of perspectives in our consortium will be important in developing an inclusive societal vision and strive therefore also in our hiring policy for encouraging applicants from diverse backgrounds. We are committed to creating an environment of mutual respect, inclusiveness, equal opportunities with room for situated experiences, diverse perspectives, and ideas to flourish. This commitment applies to our research, organisation, room for flexibility, training, and community activities as well as our hiring strategy.

Specifications

Tilburg University

Requirements

Tilburg University is curious about how you can contribute to our research, education, impact, and to the team you will be part of. Therefore, we would like to get the best possible picture of your knowledge, insight, skills, and personality. Below you can find the qualifications we consider important for the position.

 

The candidate for this position has a (research) master’s degree in philosophy or ethics of technology, Science and Technology Studies, public administration or a related field. The candidate has a strong affinity with the above topics and in working together with a team of people from different disciplines including an interest to learn and work with empirical social science or digital methods in combination with conceptual analysis. 

 

Profile of the candidate:

  • Completed a Master in philosophy or ethics of technology, Science and Technology Studies, public administration or a related field.
  • Develop, conduct, and publish research on how the use of AI/ADS affects the current ethical framework that guides key actors in the justice sector (e.g. the municipality); how (new) values that guide the use of AI and ADS interact with the core values of the justice domain; how the use of AI and ADS affect the conditions for enacting the core public values that guide and enable justice actors in their activities.
  • Contribute to the public debate and outreach activities of ALGOSOC;
  • Contribute to the overall program in terms of events, research meetings, activities; 
  • Collaborate with other researchers within the ALGOSOC consortium;
  • Give guest lectures in the area of your expertise at BA or MA level at Tilburg University;
  • Demonstrable interdisciplinary mindset and team spirit; 
  • Excellent writing and communication skills in Dutch and English. 
  • The ability to supervise students in writing their Master thesis in Law & Technology and the ability to read and grade Master theses on a variety of topics; 
  • Ability to appreciate an open and diversified culture of excellence. 
  • Be present at Tilburg University at least 2 days a week in line with TILT's hybrid working policy office hours and commit to integrate in the environment provided by the department TILT and Tilburg Law School. 

 

To maintain a vibrant and active university community, it is important that we meet each other regularly and that the connection between us remains good. Therefore, the premise is that all staff members carry out their work in the Netherlands and that lecturing is done physically.

Conditions of employment

Tilburg University offers excellent terms of employment with attention to flexibility and room for (personal) development. We recognize and reward our employees and encourage the use of talents and strengths.

 

Tilburg University is committed to an open and inclusive culture, embracing diversity, and encouraging the mutual integration of groups of staff and students. We create equal opportunities for all our staff and students so that everyone feels at home in our university community. 

We work in a vibrant and lively (work) environment on our beautiful campus, close to the forest and easily accessible by public transport. We are committed to a sustainable society and challenge you to make an active contribution to this. 

 

For this position, we offer:

  • A position based on 0.8-1.0 FTE (32-40 hours per week);
  • It is a vacancy for a temporary position in accordance with Article 2.3 paragraph 8 of the CLA for Dutch universities. You will be given a temporary employment contract for the duration of 16 months. Upon proven suitability and continuation in the same position, you will receive a subsequent employment contract after this period that can be extended to a maximum duration of 48 months;
  • A great opportunity to gain experience in research as well as in teaching because we like to see you spend about 80% of your time on research and 20% of your time in teaching;
  • A salary of €2.541 gross per month for full time employment, based on UFO profile Promovendus and salary scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. Tilburg University uses a neutral remuneration system for salary scaling that is based on relevant education and work experience;
  • Vacation allowance (8%) and a year-end bonus (8.3%);
  • Vacation days (41 days for a 40-hour work week);
  • Options Model for benefits and reimbursement of moving expenses;
  • Employees from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a tax-free allowance of 30% of their taxable wages. We will apply for this reimbursement for you;
  • You will be enrolled in the General Pension Fund for Public Employers (ABP) through us;
  • Various training courses, for example in leadership skills, personal effectiveness, and career development;
  • A wide range of amenities and facilities and various arrangements to create an optimal work-life balance;

 

Visit working at Tilburg University for more information on our terms of employment. 

Employer

Tilburg University

Tilburg University's motto is Understanding Society. Based on this vision, our more than 1,500 employees conduct research, inspire more than 19,000 students of 110 nationalities, and bring people from different disciplines and organizations together to learn from each other. In this way, we want to contribute to solving complex social issues. In doing so, we work from the fields of economics, business and entrepreneurship, social and behavioral sciences, law and public administration, humanities and digital sciences, and theology. We seek the connection between the various disciplines to find solutions to the major issues we face as a society. Our students are educated to become responsible and entrepreneurial thinkers, driven by solidarity, a sense of responsibility, and empathy, who are able to influence and give direction to a rapidly changing society in an innovative way. Tilburg University has a culture of collaboration and co-creation, at local, regional, national, and international level.

Department

Since its founding in 1963, Tilburg Law School has become one of the leading law schools in Europe.  Through top research and the provision of high-quality university education, the School contributes to society. Tilburg Law School is organized into five Departments: Public Law and Governance; Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, Markets and Society; Private, Business and Labour Law; the Fiscal Institute Tilburg; and Criminal Law. The mission of the School is to understand and improve the role of law and public administration in addressing the social problems of today and tomorrow. Through research and education, our scholars contribute to that mission. 

 

More than 4,000 students pursue a Bachelor's, pre-Master's or Master's degree at Tilburg Law School. Through this education, we train students in law, public administration, and data science. The Tilburg Educational Profile (TEP) is unique in the Netherlands. Central to it are three core concepts: knowledge, skills, and character. A university education provides students with the latest substantive knowledge and trains them to be critical thinkers and resilient professionals. In addition, the School is committed to innovative educational concepts and, partly in response to the coronavirus crisis, has invested heavily in the quality of online education and in innovative didactic tools to make and keep students inquisitive. 

 

Tilburg Law School's research is highly regarded nationally and internationally. The Tilburg Law School Departments work closely together in their research in four signature research programs: 1) Global Law and Governance; 2) Law and Security; 3) Connecting Organizations; and 4) Regulating Socio-Technical Change. 

 

The Department Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) is home to teaching and research on the effects of socio-technical change on the regulation and management of economic activities in an era when information technology is a key driver of innovation. TILT is one of the leading research groups in Europe at the intersection of law, technology, and society. It is based on multidisciplinary research on socio-technical change, aimed at understanding the interaction between technology and social and normative practices to clarify how to address the regulatory challenges of socio-technical change.

Additional information

More information about the vacancy can be obtained from Prof. Dr. Esther Keymolen (E.L.O.Keymolen@tilburguniversity.edu).

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Law
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 21183

Employer

Location

Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB, Tilburg

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Application procedure

We invite you to apply online for this position by January 16, 2023. 

 

Please mention the reference Justice_004 for your application and attach the following documents:

  1. Cover letter
  2. CV
  3. Best publication and publication list (if available)
  4. Contact information of at least two referees (including name, phone number, and e-mail address). We only approach referees for candidates who go to the second selection round. 

 

Please apply for 1 position within the algosoc program only. In case you are interested in multiple positions within the algosoc program, please indicate this in your motivation letter by referring to the specific code of that vacancy. You can find an overview of all our vacancies within the algosoc program on algosocvacancies.org.

Application procedure

Application procedure

We invite you to apply online for this position by January 16, 2023. 

 

Please mention the reference Justice_004 for your application and attach the following documents:

  1. Cover letter
  2. CV
  3. Best publication and publication list (if available)
  4. Contact information of at least two referees (including name, phone number, and e-mail address). We only approach referees for candidates who go to the second selection round. 

 

Please apply for 1 position within the algosoc program only. In case you are interested in multiple positions within the algosoc program, please indicate this in your motivation letter by referring to the specific code of that vacancy. You can find an overview of all our vacancies within the algosoc program on algosocvacancies.org.

Make sure to apply no later than 15 Jan 2023 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).