POSTDOC in the Governance of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies

POSTDOC in the Governance of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies

Published Deadline Location
21 Dec 18 Feb Amsterdam

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Are you fascinated by the societal challenges that Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies pose and the attempts of governments to cope with these? Then we very much invite you to apply this postdoc position at the Department of Political Scie...

Job description

The Department of Political Science and Public Administration is looking for a Postdoc in the Governance of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies. The postdoc will undertake research in the context of the newly established research lab of the department, the Artificial Intelligence and Digital Governance (AIDG) lab, co-directed by Prof. dr. Madalina Busuioc and Prof. dr. Ben Crum. The AIDG-lab focusses on the interaction between public values and AI and digital technology. Research in the lab broadly examines the implications of the growing reliance on AI and digital technologies for public administration and governance, how values (like democracy, accountability, and transparency) are to be secured in the collective steering of the use of AI and digital technology, and the potential social effects that the (public) use of AI produces, think of (in)equality and inclusion. Concretely, the lab researches themes like the use of AI by government and public organizations, including the far-reaching implications of these developments for citizens, the impact of digital technologies on processes of collective will-formation and elections, and the transnational dynamics of the (global) regulation of AI and digital technologies.

We are looking for a postdoc whose research addresses these themes. Under the supervision of the co-directors of the lab, the envisaged postdoc will have to opportunity to develop a substantial research agenda within the thematic focus of the lab. In parallel, we expect the postdoc to help build the profile of the lab by building connections with affiliated colleagues and helping to develop new projects and events.

Your duties
  • undertake independent research on the governance of AI and digital technologies and realize international peer-reviewed publications
  • assist in the organization and further development of the AIDG-lab
  • apply for external research funding
  • develop and maintain an (international) network of researchers and relevant stakeholders
  • actively contribute to the scholarly community of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration
  • optionally for a full-time appointment: teach in one or two courses in our Political Science and Public Administration programmes
  • act as thesis supervisor for Bachelor and/or Master students


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • a PhD degree (or very close to completion) in a relevant social science discipline, e.g. Public Administration or Political Science
  • expertise in the domain of the governance of AI and digital technology
  • an attractive research agenda and a proven track-record of publishing in high-quality international refereed journals
  • excellent command of the English language
  • the ability to work in a team as well as independently

Conditions of employment

A stimulating position in a highly committed team within a societally-engaged university and a vibrant international city. The job profile is based on the university job ranking system researcher (UFO profile Onderzoeker 3 or 4) and is vacant for 0.7 FTE for the research and organizational duties within the AIDG-lab. In consultation with the selected candidate, the contract can be extended to 1.0 FTE by adding teaching tasks and thesis supervision.

Depending on the previous experience of the candidate, the remuneration on a full-time basis amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of € 3.877 (scale 10.4) up to a maximum of € 4,640 (scale 11.2). Foreign candidates may be entitled to a 30% tax break, upon approval of the Dutch tax agency.

This is a fixed-term employment contract for a period of up to 18 months.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

Given the current composition of the department, we especially welcome applications by women and members of underrepresented groups.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 31,000 students. We employ over 5,000 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Faculty of Social Sciences
The Faculty of Social Sciences examines the major social problems of our time from multiple perspectives. From bullying at school to dealing with transnational immigration, from the rise of populist politicians to creating a self-reliant society. Only at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam you will find all the academic disciplines needed to understand these 'wicked problems': alongside the traditional disciplines such as sociology, anthropology and politics, we also research and teach the new social sciences such as communication science and management & organization science. We do not settle for easy answers in our teaching and research. Our researchers and students are critical thinkers and doers who work together to devise surprising solutions to the problems of today.

Working at the Faculty of Social Sciences means working with colleagues from a range of academic disciplines in an inspiring and personal work and study environment with excellent research facilities. We employ more than 350 staff members, and we are home to around 3,000 students.
Department of Political Science and Public Administration
The Department of Political Science and Public Administration is committed to high quality academic education and research. Our educational programmes include Political Science (bachelor and master), Governance and Organisation (bachelor), and Public Administration (master). We collaborate with the faculties of Humanities and Economics in the bachelor Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and with the Law Faculty in the master Law and Politics of International Security. Our research is organized in two programmes: ‘Multi-layered governance in Europe and beyond’ and ‘New modes of public governance’.


  • Postdoc
  • 26.6—38 hours per week
  • €3226—€5929 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 16782


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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