PhD candidates to research societal impact of AI

PhD candidates to research societal impact of AI

Published Deadline Location
6 Sep 15 Oct Rotterdam

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Ever thought of the implications of artificial intelligence in your daily life? Do you have a drive to figure out where AI will take society next? Then a PhD position in the Erasmus Initiative Societal Impact of AI is what you have been looking for!

Job description

Whether it's grocery shopping or dating, managing our work life, finding out about (possible) future diseases, or streaming a show on Netflix; artificial intelligence (AI) is changing our daily life.

What is the next step for AI? The interdisciplinary Erasmus Initiative 'Societal Impact of AI' aims for innovative research and education in AI that places society centre stage. Together with key stakeholders we will set the expectations for the use of AI that benefits society, bringing AI closer to the people. We focus on ensuring human augmentation with AI - AI that works in a manner consistent with the expectations of individual citizens and society.

To do so, we set the rules of engagement for the application of AI in key domains of our society, including work, media, health, and (urban) art. As a team, we address hot topics such as urban AI, deep fake, medical decision making, and digital placemaking and street art. We embrace a multidisciplinary and multimethod approach, including data science, citizen science, and living labs. We also create new opportunities for citizens, students, scholars and organisations to unlock their full potential with AI as co-worker and trusted advisor.

Your main tasks
As a PhD candidate, you will get the unique opportunity to help shape the Initiative with your research plan. Closely collaborating with your fellow PhDs and mentored by top scholars from various disciplines, you are encouraged and supported to conduct your PhD project. The position starts in January 2022.

Ever thought of the implications of AI in your daily life and wondered where AI would or could take society next? Do you have a strong intrinsic drive to figure out what these developments mean for society and are you ready for the next big step-obtain a PhD? Are you excited and interested to become team member and put your knowledge and aspirations to work? Then please write a short research proposal describing how you will investigate the societal impact of AI in your PhD project. We are very curious to find out about you, and your thoughts about which study design and analyses you would use for your project. The proposal will not only demonstrate your current research competencies, but also your ideas and aspirations for the project.


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)


What we expect from you:

  • A clear and appealing vision of the future of research into the societal impact of artificial intelligence.
  • A master degree in social-behavioural sciences or humanities, for example a research master degree in sociology, communication, law, economics, psychology, science or technology studies.
  • A proven affinity with artificial intelligence.
  • An interest in societal impact.
  • A spirit of team science and open science.

Your required competences


  • Excellent research skills and a strong methodological profile.
  • Excellent oral and written command of English.


Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 18 months.

  • The opportunity to develop your PhD project, in collaboration with top talent peers and senior scholars from various disciplines.
  • Training in the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities.
  • Supervision by a top talent fellow and a senior scholar.
  • Access to societal stakeholder network.
  • A supportive, inspiring, collaborative, and flexible working environment.
  • A dynamic and inspiring urban environment in the bustling city of Rotterdam.
We offer an appointment as PhD student for a period of 1.5 year, which will be extended with a second term of 2.5 years if the candidate performs well. Remuneration will be according to the PhD scales set by the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) and will range from € 2.434,- per month in the first year to € 3.111,- per month in the fourth year (gross amounts, in case of fulltime employment).

The EUR has attractive employment conditions, which include a holiday allowance of 8%, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and up to 41 vacation days.


Erasmus University Rotterdam

Erasmus University Rotterdam is an internationally oriented university with a strong social orientation in its education and research. Our scientists and students work in close collaboration with internal and external parties to solve global, social challenges, inspired by the always dynamic and cosmopolitan Rotterdam. Our mission is therefore "Creating positive societal impact". Our academic education is intensive, active and application-oriented. Our research increasingly takes place in multidisciplinary teams, which are strongly intertwined with international networks. With our research impact and thanks to the high quality of education, EUR can compete with the top European universities. The Erasmian values function as our internal compass and make Erasmus University recognizable to the outside world: engaged with society, world citizen, connecting, entrepreneurial and open-minded. 

Above all, Erasmus University finds the development of her employees of great importance. With our career-development policies and several educational possibilities we support and stimulate you to actively shape your own career. All this combined with our attractive employment conditions is what makes Erasmus University an interesting employer for you.



Societal Impact of AI' (AiPact) is one of four spearhead initiatives of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The Erasmus Initiatives streamline our academic activities to increase the social and economic impact of our work. The connection and interaction between science and society, between theory and practice, are part of our DNA. Talented researchers who enter into international collaborations with an open mind move science forward. The Erasmus Initiatives join forces for science that matters.

The Erasmus Initiative Societal Impact of AI (AiPact) is embedded in the Erasmus Centre for Data Analytics (ECDA).


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • 32—38 hours per week
  • €2434—€3111 per month
  • University graduate
  • 3445


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

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Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062PA, Rotterdam

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