Postdoctoral researcher on algorithmic decision-making in healthcare: making and contesting the rule

Postdoctoral researcher on algorithmic decision-making in healthcare: making and contesting the rule

Published Deadline Location
22 Nov 15 Jan Tilburg
The Department of TILT (Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society) has a vacancy for a Postdoctoral Researcher in legal sociology. This project will use interdisciplinary methods (qualitative and ethnographic research as well as sociolegal methods) to bring insights from law to questions of rulemaking and contestation on automated decision-making in the healthcare domain.

Job description

There has been a shift toward the use of automated decision-making systems (ADS) in the health domain with increasing reliance on born-digital data. These data are sourced by tracking practices, inputs, and outcomes in order to predict risk, aid decision-making, and track professionals within the healthcare domain itself to make more efficient use of people and resources (industrialisation through tracking). ADS such as digital imaging for diagnosis affect not only the core of professional practice, but also how doctors perceive and work with rules. Healthcare practitioners’ use of ADS are constrained by laws including confidentiality, data protection, patent law and risk law. Healthcare professionals are charged in many different ways with ‘speaking for the law’ – doctors, nurses, safety officers and administrators – but without themselves being legal professionals or having input from legal professionals. This also means that contestation and the making of claims does not take place in the courts, but internally within the health domain. 

 

For this reason, law manifests in the form of multiple and diverse rules, where for example separate officers become responsibilised for each type of rule (e.g. privacy of records vs confidentiality), and healthcare-related ADS development becomes separated from healthcare professionals and is placed entirely with developers. Research also shows an overestimation of the quality of risk prediction, where professionals who estimate the risks without the ADS are pushed aside and asked to act with these technologies, without the ability to contest this pressure.

 

This project will explore the changes in rulemaking around ADS in the health domain. It will focus on data and associated risk assessment technologies, and how these ADS can simultaneously introduce greater uncertainty in decision-making at the patient care level, and greater administrative clarity at the managerial level. We will research the different effects at these two levels, one where immediate risk assessment is the priority, and the other where longer-term risks are assessed on the institutional level. The central issue this project aims to investigate is how can law help with problems of rulemaking around ADS in healthcare, how is it possible to connect law to the health domain.

 

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.

  • Completed a PhD in legal sociology or a related legal field;  
  • Experience in using qualitative empirical methodologies to investigate questions in the healthcare domain, or a comparable area; 
  • Sociolegal research skills and experience of interdisciplinary and empirical research; 
  • A strong affinity with the healthcare domain;
  • An interest in learning from, and working with, computational social science or digital methods
  • The ability to collaborate with non-academic partners, exchange ideas and communicate knowledge to non-expert audience;  
  • An excellent written and spoken command of English, as demonstrated by publications in English (written and spoken command of other EU languages is a plus); 
  • 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; 
  • Awareness of ethical concerns and scientific integrity when conducting research;  
  • Experience with organising workshops, lecture series, and similar events; 
  • Be prepared to live in the Netherlands and to 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

Fixed-term contract: 3 years.

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 5 of the CLA for Dutch universities. You will be given a temporary employment contract for the duration of 36 months;
  • A salary of minimum €3.974 and maximum €5.439 gross per month for full time employment, based on UFO profile Researcher and salary scale 11 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. Linnet Taylor (L.E.M.Taylor@tilburguniversity.edu).

Specifications

  • Research, development, innovation
  • Law
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • 21185

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_002 for your application and attach the following documents:

  1. Cover letter
  2. CV
  3. Best publication and publication list
  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_002 for your application and attach the following documents:

  1. Cover letter
  2. CV
  3. Best publication and publication list
  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).