PhD (Quantum) Data Governance and the Law of Sensing and Measurement

PhD (Quantum) Data Governance and the Law of Sensing and Measurement

Published Deadline Location
21 Feb 24 Apr Amsterdam

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Job description

Over the last years, public and private investment in quantum technologies, including quantum computing, communications and sensing, have received a significant boost. Quantum computing has been the most eye catching in the quantum tech innovation landscape. It promises, when fully realized, to add additional special-purpose computational capacity to our current-day digital infrastructure. The advancement of quantum sensing technologies has proceeded with less fanfare, despite more advanced technology-readiness and wide possible application areas. Quantum sensing technologies promise to enhance digital infrastructures in ways that may have significant societal implications.

Measurement and sensing, including the establishment of standards and the collection of digital data in socio-technical settings, is a core function of current-day digital infrastructures. Through sensing, digital infrastructure facilitates processes of capture. This can be capture of operations, of behavior, and of environments, each creating new possibilities for control and governance in the process. Innovations in quantum sensing technologies may reconfigure such possibilities of capture in new ways.

Taking the increasing entanglement of law and digital infrastructure as a starting point, this PhD project will engage with the following questions. What are some of the unique legal challenges that quantum sensing applications may create in light of current information law, fundamental rights (including the right to private life and data protection)? Do some of the unique properties of quantum information (such as the possibility of entanglement and no cloning) and particular quantum sensing and metrology applications call into question the relation of law to information and data, as it has developed over the last decades? How can law support the beneficial and responsible use of quantum sensing applications while addressing such legal challenges? What challenges do disruptive sensing technologies pose for the law-infrastructure relationship? And finally, how should law respond to the dual-use nature of certain quantum sensing applications and contribute to the proper balance between the different societal interests implicated by quantum sensing technologies?

The PhD project will be part of the research group on the Law and Governance of Quantum Technologies at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam. You will conduct original cutting-edge research into the law and governance of quantum technologies, quantum sensing technologies in particular. You will develop new insights into the specific legal implications of particular quantum sensing applications. And using legal theory, information law and other relevant disciplines, and while engaging with relevant stakeholders, you will contribute to our understanding of the relation between law and digital infrastructures today and in the quantum age.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


  • a completed degree in law, or equivalent degree;
  • affinity with questions of data governance and a knowledgeable curiosity for developments in quantum technologies;
  • good knowledge of current regulatory developments with respect to digital infrastructure and cloud computing;
  • excellent academic credentials, as demonstrated by grades and/or curriculum vitae;
  • a creative mind and strong critical and analytical skills;
  • an interest in working across legal disciplines, using different methods (including empirical, theoretical and interdisciplinary), and collaborations with other relevant non-legal disciplines;
  • strong communication skills and a commitment to contributing to diverse and inclusive team dynamics;
  • excellent language skills in English and one or more other languages;
If the vacancy appeals to you, but you are doubting whether you might be THE person we are looking for, please do apply. We particularly welcome applications from candidates from underrepresented backgrounds.

Conditions of employment

We offer a temporary full-time contract for the period of 4 years (with a go no go review assessment after the first year). The preferred starting date is 1 September 2023, with a possibility to start earlier.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be € 2,541 to € 3,247 (scale P) gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the '30% ruling', may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

The UvA offers excellent possibilities for further professional development and education.

What else do we offer
  • Be part of a diverse team of engaged and enthusiastic researchers from a diversity of disciplines (law, computer science, communication science, ethics, economics, political science, humanities) and countries;
  • Mentoring and support in developing your future academic career;
  • Ample opportunities to translate your research into impact for society.
The Amsterdam Law School prides itself on its international orientation and strong social commitment. This is reflected by both its research and educational activities. The Amsterdam Law School offers three Bachelor's programs, including the interdisciplinary English-language Bachelor Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE) in cooperation with two other faculties, as well as a variety of Master's programs, several of which are taught exclusively in English (i.e. International and European Law, European Private Law, International Criminal Law, and Law & Finance). The Amsterdam Law School prepares students for a wide variety of legal careers including law firms, government, business and industry, the national and international judiciary, public service, human rights advocacy, and academia. With 5000 students and over 500 staff members, it is one of the largest law faculties in the Netherlands.

To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterized by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society. Here you can read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


  • PhD
  • Law
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 11243


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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