PhD researcher in Data Protection and Cybersecurity Law

PhD researcher in Data Protection and Cybersecurity Law

Published Deadline Location
13 Jun 4 Jul Tilburg

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Tilburg University | Tilburg Law School is looking for a PhD candidate in the field of privacy and data protection, Department Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society

Job description

The selected candidate will contribute to the research program Digital Legal Studies track within the sector plan for Dutch Law Schools funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The PhD project shall address issues relating to privacy and/or data protection  

The Digital Legal Studies track addresses, among others, the issues arising from the fact that the regulatory paradigm is gradually shifting from a human-centric paradigm to a data-centric one, raising fundamental questions on the formulation and enforcement of norms and the shaping of checks and balances in regulatory processes. This shift is accelerated by big data and artificial intelligence. The digital legal studies program aims to map, understand, and – to the extent possible – help shape the shift from a human-centric regulatory paradigm to a data-centric regulatory paradigm. The overarching research question is: how can the shift from a human-centric regulatory paradigm to a data-centric regulatory paradigm be mapped, understood, and (if possible) shaped?

The Phd candidate is required to execute research that fits this general program and chose a topic that is specifically focused on or relates to the field of privacy and data protection. The proposed project shall address issues relating to the way how data relations are or can be governed by rules; which concepts are or can be used to govern data relations by rules; or which values are or should be safeguarded when regulating data relations. Applicants can suggest their own research topic, questions and approach in a proposal. The selection of the candidate will depend heavily on the quality of that proposal. 

This fulltime position contains both research and teaching activities. More specifically, the successful candidate will:

  • Independently pursue path-breaking research leading to an excellent PhD dissertation.
  •  Actively contribute to the Digital Legal Studies track of the Sectorplan project.
  • Participate in the Tilburg Graduate Law School courses and activities.
  • Be an active member of the department by participating in and organizing events and activities, presenting and discussing research output within the department, and representing the department outside Tilburg University.
  • Co-supervise students in writing their Master thesis in Law & Technology and reading and grading Master theses on a variety of topics.
  • Assist in the coordination and management of courses at the undergraduate and/or LLM programs that TILT is involved in. 
  • Cooperate with other TILT members in developing new or modifying existing courses.


Tilburg University


Tilburg University believes that academic excellence is achieved through the combination of excellent research and education, whereby societal impact is achieved by means of sharing knowledge. In doing so, we recognize that excellence is achieved not only through individual performance, but primarily through team efforts where each team member acts as a leader connecting people.

The ideal candidate: 

  • Holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at the time of application;
  • Holds a Master of Laws (LLM), preferably with a specialization on human rights/privacy/data protection at the time of application, or has a graduation date planned; 
  • Has very good academic results at Master level; 
  • Shows a research interest in data protection law and human rights law, as evidenced by a master thesis and/or other activities. Work that combines two or more of these regimes is preferred; 
  • Is willing to complete a PhD-project within four years, that fits with the project area and the above-mentioned research interests; 
  • Has experience with early academic work and/or work in NGOs or public interest bodies; 
  • Is able and willing to work in a team and undertake teaching and administrative support in parallel to the PhD-research; 
  • Has excellent communication skills in English, orally and in writing. Knowledge of the Dutch language would be an asset, but is not required; 
  • Will be available to start working in September 2022.

Tilburg University assumes the provision of physical education. The starting point is that all employees perform their work in the Netherlands (with the exception of cross-border workers). This means, among other things, that new employees are expected to move to the Netherlands before the start of their employment.

Personal qualities/talents

  • You show personal leadership: you take responsibility for your work and career and possess a good level of self-knowledge.  
  • You have team spirit: you feel part of a team and express this through collaboration, sharing knowledge and experiences, and contributing to an open and inclusive work environment. 

Conditions of employment

Tilburg University is among the top employers in the Netherlands and has excellent terms of employment.

This is a position for 0.8 - 1.0 FTE (32 - 40 hours per week) of full working time. 

The salary amounts to a minimum of gross € 2,443 and a maximum of € 3,122 gross per month for full-time employment, based on UFO profile ‘ Promovendus’ (PhD student) and salary scale P of the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. Tilburg University uses a neutral remuneration system for salary scaling that is based on relevant education and work experience.

This is a vacancy for a temporary position in accordance with Article 2.3 paragraph 5 of the CLA for Dutch universities. You will be given a temporary employment contract for the duration of 16 months. Upon proven suitability and continuation in the same position, you will receive a subsequent employment contract after this period that can be extended to a maximum duration of 32 months 

You are entitled to a vacation allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% of your gross annual income. If you work 40 hours per week, you will receive 41 paid days of leave per year.

Tilburg University offers excellent employment conditions with attention to flexibility and (personal) development and has excellent fringe benefits (one of the best non-profit employers in the Netherlands), such as an Options Model for employment conditions and an excellent reimbursement of moving expenses.

We make clear agreements on career paths and offer all kinds of facilities and arrangements to maintain an optimal balance between work and private life. You can also follow numerous training courses, for example, in the areas of leadership skills, personal effectiveness, and career development. 

All employees of the university are covered by the so-called General Pension Fund for Public Employers (Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP). Researchers from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a tax-free allowance of 30% of their taxable salary. The university applies for this allowance on their behalf. The university offers attractive fringe benefits (one of the best non-profit employers in the Netherlands),

Tilburg University values an open and inclusive culture. We embrace diversity and encourage the mutual integration of groups of employees and students. We focus on creating equal opportunities for all our employees and students so that everyone feels at home in our university community.

Tilburg University has a lively campus in beautiful green surroundings that is easily accessible by public transport. We are committed to a sustainable society and challenge you to make an active contribution.

Please visit working at Tilburg University for more information on our terms of employment. 


Tilburg University

Under the motto of ‘Understanding society’, Tilburg University’s more than 1,500 employees develop knowledge, transfer it to others, and bring people from various disciplines and organizations together. In this way, we want to contribute to solving complex social issues. Our focus areas are economics, business and entrepreneurship, social and behavioral sciences, law and public administration, the humanities and digital sciences, and theology. Tilburg University is internationally known for its high standards in education and scientific research, as well as its good support facilities. The Tilburg University campus offers both quietness and connectivity as it is located in a wooded park, ten minutes away from the city center, main highways, and railways. A mid-sized city of 200,000 inhabitants in the South of the Netherlands, and in proximity to cities like Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, and London, Tilburg is situated at the very heart of Western Europe. 

Tilburg Law School offers highly ranked national and international education and research in law and public administration. Currently, almost 4,000 students are enrolled at Tilburg Law School. Students in Tilburg can choose from five Bachelor's programs, one of which is taught in English (Bachelor Global Law) and ten Master's programs, eight of which are taught in English. The international orientation of Tilburg Law School is reflected in these Bachelor's and Master's programs. The research conducted within Tilburg Law School is aimed at social relevance and provides students with the tools and skills to study and deal with current issues at an academic level. The research within Tilburg Law School is organized into five cross-departmental research programs: 1) Global Law and Governance; 2) New Modes of Lawmaking and Governance in a Multilayered Order; 3) Law and Security; 4) Connecting Organizations: Private, Fiscal and Technology-Driven Legal Relations in a Sustainable Society; and 5) Law and Technology.


Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT)

TILT is one of the leading research groups in Europe at the intersection of law, technology, and society. It is premised on the multidisciplinary study of socio-technical change, aiming at understanding the interaction of technology and social and normative practices, in order to clarify how regulatory challenges of socio-technical change can be addressed. TILEC, a Center of Excellence at Tilburg University and a global leader in the study of economic governance, consists of some 40 committed members working on economic law and regulation as well as institutional, behavioural and experimental economics. In addition, Tilburg University is a social science specialized institution, hosting various research groups on topics covering multiple aspects of transnational, comparative and global law from a theoretical and empirical viewpoint.


  • PhD
  • Law
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • €2443—€3122 per month
  • University graduate
  • 20387



Warandelaan 2, 5037 AB, Tilburg

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