Postdoc position at the Brightlands Institute for Smart Society (BISS), Maastricht University with a focus on Ethics and Politics of Artificial Intelligence

Postdoc position at the Brightlands Institute for Smart Society (BISS), Maastricht University with a focus on Ethics and Politics of Artificial Intelligence

Published Deadline Location
15 Dec 31 Jan Heerlen

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The Brightlands Institute for Smart Society (BISS) of Maastricht University (UM) offers a 4-year post-doc position to candidates who are strongly motivated to have real impact with their work in the field of ethics and politics of artificial intelligence.

Job description

We offer a dynamic and challenging job in an internationally oriented organisation where students receive an advanced education and scholars conduct exciting and socially relevant research. The Post-Doc candidate will have the unique opportunity to carry out research at BISS. At BISS, researchers and professors from all different UM faculties work together on the interdisciplinary use of Artificial Intelligence for addressing societal challenges. The candidate will be part of an international network of top universities and renowned scholars within the field.

We are seeking a highly motivated and passionate candidate who is interested in joining the Human-Centric Artificial Intelligence Group, and who has a keen interest in empirical investigation of topics in this field. The activities will focus on the use of trustworthy AI for the analysis and tackling of various societal challenges (e.g. poverty, radicalization, just transition). On a more applied level, the candidate will help designing and setting-up experimental participatory processes (Social Labs) to identify, discuss and address societal challenges. The candidate will work on existing projects, contribute to the acquisition of external funds, and strengthen external relations.


Maastricht University (UM)


The candidate is expected to:

  • Prepare detailed conceptual analyses of central ethical and societal concepts and earlier empirical work in AI, that will inform empirical work to be conducted by other project members.
  • Play a crucial role in the conceptual and methodological innovations required by the centre, in collaboration with the other researchers on the team.
  • Set-up participatory processes with different stakeholders.
  • Write reports about the outcomes of participatory processes.
  • Participate to projects and team meetings and fulfill tasks required by the project’s activities.
  • Contribute to external funds acquisitions.
  • Strengthen existing relations and contribute to creating new ones.

You have:

  • A completed PhD in ethics of technology; philosophy of technology; sociology; science and technology studies (STS); critical AI studies; or another relevant humanities or social science discipline.
  • Experience of doing research that addresses the interrelationships between digital technologies (specifically AI in any of its manifestations) and their use in society. You are interested in responsible innovation, governance of AI, and in working at the crossroads between sociology, ethics and politics of research and innovation.
  • The ability to conduct both sociological and conceptual analyses, and to describe and reflect on the way digital technologies impact societies.
  • Experience with critical methods and conceptual analysis is essential. Experience with one or more qualitative methods is also fundamental.
  • Excellent written and spoken command of English (Cambridge English Proficiency, level C2, oral and written), and Dutch as demonstrated by academic publications and presentations at international conferences.

A willingness to contribute proactively to the development of the BISS team. You are highly self-motivated and willing to work in an interdisciplinary setting but you are also able to work independently. Good organizational skills, plus an open and effective working

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for Post-Doc positions starting with a salary of min. € 3,974, max. € 5,439 gross a month (based on a full-time appointment). Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% of the yearly gross income.

Other secondary employment conditions might apply such as a pension scheme, a corporate fitness plan, a bicycle scheme, 232 hours of yearly leave hours, and partially paid parental leave.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > About UM > Working at UM.


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 22,000 students and about 5,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. For more information, visit



BISS & Brightlands Smart Services Campus

Brightlands Institute for Smart Society (BISS) is part of Brightlands, an open innovation community in Limburg, The Netherlands with 29,000 innovative entrepreneurs, researchers and students. Every day they work on breakthroughs in the field of sustainability, health and digitization. BISS is based on the Brightlands Smart Services Campus in Heerlen. The campus combines science, entrepreneurship, talent and state-of-the-art facilities in one place.

At Brightlands Institute for Smart Society (BISS), Maastricht University scientists work on innovative and responsible solutions to data challenges. All disciplines and faculties collaborate in applying data science and technology to solve real life societal and business needs. BISS’ mission is to empower people and organisations through the socially responsible application of digital technologies. We focus on privacy preserving technologies, on value creation from data, and on human-technology interaction.

Our research is operated with public and private actors and has been rewarded with several international awards and is often funded by prestigious grants from NWO (The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research), and the European Commission. We are proud of our excellent reputation in our fields of expertise and enjoy sharing our knowledge with the regional and European community to help solving some of the pressing questions that managers and society face.

Apart from education and research, our centre also recognizes and rewards societal impact and academic leadership. It is expected to transfer knowledge and expertise to the outside world (societal impact). For example, through projects for companies via one of our innovative outreach centers.


  • Postdoc; Research, development, innovation
  • Engineering; Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €3974—€5439 per month
  • Doctorate
  • AT2022.548


Maastricht University (UM)

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Smedestraat 2, 6411CR, Heerlen

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