PhD position on Machine Learning, Data Science, and Algorithmic Accountability

PhD position on Machine Learning, Data Science, and Algorithmic Accountability

Published Deadline Location
1 May 30 May Maastricht

Job description

Maastricht University invites applications for a fully-funded PhD position focused on using technical methods to make digital technologies safer and follow relevant laws.

Job Description
Law affects us all, but it still struggles to address widespread harms in digital technologies. The massive adoption of (often) annoying – and usually illegal – “cookie banners” on websites is just one symptom of this. In your PhD project, you will seek to contribute to a better understanding of how technical methods can help study how cutting-edge digital technologies affect society – and what can be done in response. Your work will aim to better protect the digital lives of ordinary citizens, who are commonly exposed to deceptive software designs, abuse of their data and privacy, and the will of large tech companies in determining how foundational digital infrastructure – that we use daily – is built. To this end, you will work closely with relevant industry partners and public authorities. Ultimately, the ability to find innovative technical solutions to legal challenges – the foundation of this PhD position – could become a key skill of your future career, whether as a researcher, entrepreneur, or engineer.

The PhD position will be carried out as part of the RegTech4AI project, which brings together six full-time researchers to work on a shared vision. Your primary task is conducting the research for your PhD project under the supervision of professors of the Maastricht Law & Tech Lab. Your exact project will be determined in consultation with you and according to your interests and skills. As such, you will be expected to develop your own independent research agenda with the support of our experienced researchers in the Law & Tech Lab. A small proportion of the appointment may be devoted to teaching activities, which commonly amount to teaching activities in eight weeks per year.

You will be allowed to collaborate with researchers from different disciplines, including machine learning, data science, and law. You will be part of an exciting, vibrant, and quickly growing community where researchers from different disciplines meet and form interdisciplinary teams that conduct academically and societally relevant research. You will be offered the opportunity to gain insights not only on applying computational techniques but also on law, regulation, and ethics. For this, you will be encouraged, coached, and allowed to attend courses, conferences, and workshops that will add social and legal knowledge to your skill set. PhD researchers participate in the Maastricht University Graduate School of Law.

  • MSc degree in Computer Science, AI, Machine Learning, or Data Science (or equivalent).
  • Fluency with Python programming for data analysis or machine learning.
  • Interest in learning about other disciplines, law in particular.
  • Community-friendly team player.
  • Excellent oral and written English communication.

What we offer
As PhD at Faculty of Law, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:
  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale Promovendus/PhD, according to UFO profile PhD, with corresponding salary from €2770,00 in the first year and increaseing to €3539,00 gross per month in the fourth year (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 12 months with a scope of 1.0 FTE. Upon a positive evaluation, an extension of 3 years will follow.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'.

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, click here.

Maastricht University
Why work at Maastricht University?
At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research.

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers.

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community.

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together.

Click here for more information about UM.

Faculty of Law
The Faculty of Law at Maastricht University is a top-quality provider of challenging and rewarding Dutch and European legal education at bachelor’s, masters and PhD-level. A true pioneer in small-scale education and the teaching of legal skills for a broad range of future legal professionals.

The clear research focus on European and international aspects of law and technology. On the empirical dimension of law provides both students and staff with a stimulating work environment. The faculty values its open and inclusive community, which contributes to creating a productive and pleasant place for work and study.

The Faculty of Law offers a wide range of bachelor and master's programs. Would you like to learn more about our programs? Visit our website for more information on the courses, career perspectives, and admission requirements of our programs.

Are you interested in this exciting position but still have questions? Feel free to contact Dr. Konrad Kollnig via or via +31 43 388 1835 for more information. Do you have any questions regarding the procedure, please contact Lisa Turcotte (Recruiter) at

Or are you already convinced and ready to become our new PhD? Apply now, no later than May 30, 2024, for this position. The interviews will be held in June 2024.

Applications should include:
  • a letter of motivation
  • a curriculum vitae
  • representative work (e.g. a master thesis).

The vacancy is open for internal and external candidates. In case of equal qualifications, internal candidates will be prioritized.

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • PhD
  • Law
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 929


Maastricht University (UM)

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Bouillonstraat 3, 6211LH, Maastricht

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 30 May 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).