PhD Position on Moral Creativity and Technology

PhD Position on Moral Creativity and Technology

Published Deadline Location
11 Jul 30 Aug Delft
Would you like to pursue a PhD on moral creativity and technology? Then apply for a fully funded position at TU Delft's Philosophy Section.

Job description

Moral problems are often thought of as dilemmas, with two options. However, in real-life there is often a potentially infinite number of choices that a moral agent can make in response to a problem.

Coming up with these potential responses, and reflecting on what they might mean and how they might play out in the world, requires creativity. This project investigates the role of creativity (including artistic creativity) in moral decision making, especially in connection with the innovation of technologies. The envisaged outcomes of this project include a theory of the role of creativity in the responsible development and anticipation of new technologies, and the establishment of methodological tools for transdisciplinary collaborations including artists, philosophers and technology developers. The PhD project will investigate these questions by combining philosophical reasoning with participation in transdisciplinary collaborations involving artists who work at the intersection of art, technology and society. To make this possible, we have established a collaboration with Waag Futurelab, which has experience with the exercise of moral creativity in artistic practice surrounding technologies.

This PhD position will be part of the Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies programme, ESDiT, a ten year long international research programme of seven academic institutions in the Netherlands that has started in January 2020. This programme has a combined budget of €27 million, and is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research in the Gravitation funding scheme for excellent research, and by matching funds from the participating institutions. The duration is from January 2020 to December 2029. The programme has the aim of achieving breakthrough research in at the intersection of ethics, philosophy, technology / engineering and social sciences, and to position its consortium at the top of its field internationally. A key objective is to investigate how new technologies challenge moral values and ontological concepts (like “nature”, “human being” and “community”), and how these challenges necessitate a revision of these concepts. The programme includes four research lines, “Nature, life and human intervention”, “The future of a free and fair society”, “The human condition” and “Foundation and Synthesis: Ethics of Technology, Practical Philosophy, and Modern Technology-Driven Societies”.

This PhD project will be embedded in the Art Track that cuts across the whole programme. Depending on the interests of the PhD candidate, the project can berelated to one or more of the programme's main research lines. More information can be found on the ESDiT website: https://www.esdit.nl/ The candidate is expected to play an active role in the project described above and to participate actively in the workshops, public events, courses and other activities of the ESDiT programme in general and the Art Track in particular. ESDiT-PhD students are encouraged to spend a semester abroad, and a budget is available to cover expenses. Furthermore, generous (conference) travel budgets are available for the position.

The supervisory team for this position will consist of dr. Mandi Astola (TU Delft), dr. Julia Hermann (University of Twente) and Prof.dr. Sabine Roeser (TU Delft). The position is based at the Ethics and Philosophy of Technology Section at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management (TPM) at TU Delft, which provides a stimulating and internationally oriented research environment. The candidate will participate in the activities of in the Graduate Schools of TU Delft, of the Faculty of TPM, and of the 4TU.Center for Ethics and Technology. Our PhD candidates also are expected to take on a small number of teaching tasks, under supervision.

Specifications

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Requirements

  • You will have completed, prior to appointment, a Master’s degree or equivalent degree in philosophy, but other Master’s degrees will also be considered if you have demonstrable expertise in close connection with the themes of the research project. (Minimaal BA in philosophy; MA in e.g. STS, history of science, arts and culture, media studies, design, engineering).
  • Strong conceptual and analytic skills.
  • You have proven affinity with technology and the philosophy of technology.
  • Relative to experience, you have excellent research skills and excellent academic writing and presentation skills.
  • You can work both independently and as part of a team.
  • You have a high level of proficiency in English.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. 

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

Employer

Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Department

Faculty Technology, Policy and Management

The Faculty of TPM provides an important contribution to solving complex technical-social issues, such as energy transition, mobility, digitalisation, water management and (cyber) security. TPM does this with its excellent education and research at the intersection of technology, society and policy. We combine insights from both engineering and social sciences as well as the humanities. TPM develops robust models and designs, is internationally oriented and has an extensive network of knowledge institutions, companies, social organisations and governments.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact dr. Mandi Astola m.astola@tudelft.nl.

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD05550

Employer

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Location

Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 30 August 2024 via the application button and upload:

  • A 1 page cover letter stating your motivation to apply for this specific position
  • A 1 page research note setting out your ideas for this project
  • A CV
  • Academic grade transcripts
  • An academic writing sample, in English
  • Names and contact details of two referees

The intended starting date for this PhD position is December 1st 2024.

Interviews with selected candidates will presumably be held on the following dates: 1st round: 19 September 2024 (online), 2nd round: 24 September 2024 (in person at TU Delft).

Please note that there are other vacancies in the Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies programme at different participating universities. In case several are of interest to you, we want to encourage you to apply to them simultaneously. In our research as well as in the composition of our teams we strive to for diversity and inclusivity. We especially encourage candidates from underrepresented groups in academia to apply. And we also encourage candidates to bring in novel perspectives, e.g. grounded in non-Western philosophical approaches or approaches from underrepresented perspectives. 

Also note:

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

Application procedure

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 30 August 2024 via the application button and upload:

  • A 1 page cover letter stating your motivation to apply for this specific position
  • A 1 page research note setting out your ideas for this project
  • A CV
  • Academic grade transcripts
  • An academic writing sample, in English
  • Names and contact details of two referees

The intended starting date for this PhD position is December 1st 2024.

Interviews with selected candidates will presumably be held on the following dates: 1st round: 19 September 2024 (online), 2nd round: 24 September 2024 (in person at TU Delft).

Please note that there are other vacancies in the Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies programme at different participating universities. In case several are of interest to you, we want to encourage you to apply to them simultaneously. In our research as well as in the composition of our teams we strive to for diversity and inclusivity. We especially encourage candidates from underrepresented groups in academia to apply. And we also encourage candidates to bring in novel perspectives, e.g. grounded in non-Western philosophical approaches or approaches from underrepresented perspectives. 

Also note:

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

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