PhD candidate position on Digital Legal Studies / Applied Computational Methods

PhD candidate position on Digital Legal Studies / Applied Computational Methods

Published Deadline Location
11 Jun 4 Jul Maastricht

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Maastricht University is offering one paid fulltime PhD position in digital legal studies and applied computational methods.

Job description

While the development and application of artificial intelligence (AI) has taken off, many vulnerable persons such as victims, social media users, children, and consumers are left unprotected or even exploited because they do not have access to legal information or to law enforcement. In your project, you will seek to contribute to a better understanding of how computational methods can assist in the application, interpretation, or evaluation of the law, for instance to develop solutions for vulnerable persons. Data sources may include legal texts (e.g. laws, court decisions), social media data, or complaints.

You will undertake PhD research at the intersection of law and computer science under the supervision of professors of the Maastricht Law & Tech Lab. Your tasks concern conducting the research for your PhD project. Your PhD project will contribute to the Faculty of Law research programme on Law and Technology within the national framework of the Sectorplan on Digital Legal Studies. Your exact project will be determined in consultation with you. A small proportion of the appointment may be devoted to teaching activities, which commonly amounts to teaching activities in a period of eight weeks. Depending on your background and language skills, you will teach courses in private law and/or in law and technology.

You will be offered the opportunity to collaborate with researchers from different disciplines, including data science, knowledge engineering, and law. You will be part of an exciting and vibrant 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, in addition to gaining knowledge on, expand your horizon and 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 and workshops that will add social and legal knowledge to your skillset. PhD researchers participate in the Maastricht University Graduate School of Law.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • Master’s degree in Law (LLM) OR MSc degree in Computer Science, Data Science, Information Science, Artificial Intelligence or equivalent.
  • Community-friendly team player.
  • Excellent oral and written English communication.
  • Optional: geek-friendly.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1+ 3 years.

  • Preferred start of employment: 1 September 2021.
  • 38 hours per week;
  • Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD candidates starting with a salary of €2.395,- with a yearly growth to €3.061,- gross a month, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours/week). An 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance is also provided;
  • We offer a 4 year full-time appointment as PhD candidate. A positive assessment after the first year will result in an extension for another 3 years, which happens in the vast majority of cases;
  • We offer an attractive package of fringe benefits such as, collective health insurance with attractive conditions, substantial leave arrangements, selection model for designing a personalised benefits package, use of UM Sport facilities against reduced rate, and application for attractive fiscal arrangements for employees from abroad;
  • 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: > Support > UM employees .
  • We offer a rewarding career at a young university in the heart of Europe, with a distinct global perspective and a strong focus on innovative research and education;
  • We provide a stimulating, collaborative and interdisciplinary work environment with excellent opportunities for professional and personal development;
  • Maastricht University has an excellent international reputation, and Maastricht itself is a beautiful, open-minded city located in the center of Western Europe.
  • The PhD research will be conducted at the Maastricht Law & Tech Lab.


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 20,000 students and 4,700 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.
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The Maastricht Law & Tech Lab offers an exciting and vibrant research community where legal scholars and data scientists meet and form interdisciplinary teams that work at the intersection of Law and Computer Science.

The Faculty of Law has a strong and distinct international profile both in education and research. Our faculty is an inspiring and lively place where enthusiastic and inquisitive researchers attempt to find answers to the important legal issues of today. Researchers are able to flourish in the faculty’s vibrant academic community. They develop their own research projects, within the contours set by the faculty’s research programme. Research is focused on the study of the role of law in an increasingly globalised society. Research involves studying both institutional and substantive developments in the process of Europeanisation and globalisation and the role of the national legal order therein. This takes place by means of comparative research and research in the field of European law, international economic law and human rights in a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary context. To this end, various research methods are applied whereby more traditional methods are combined with empirical research methods.


  • PhD; PhD scholarship
  • Law
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT2021.237


Maastricht University (UM)

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Bouillonstraat 1-3, 6211 LH, Maastricht

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