PhD Governance of Access to (Quantum) Computing

PhD Governance of Access to (Quantum) Computing

Published Deadline Location
21 Feb 24 Apr Amsterdam

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Job description

Over the last years, public and private investment in quantum technologies, including quantum computing, communications and sensing, have received a significant boost. Quantum computing has been the most eye catching in the broader quantum tech innovation landscape. It promises, when fully realized, to add additional special-purpose computational capacity to our current-day digital infrastructure.

Pathways to realizing scaled-up quantum computing remain uncertain, but one thing that different scenarios have in common is the problem of how to govern access to such new powerful computing resources. When quantum computers become a reality, how can and should access to these new types of computational resources be structured, governed and regulated? How can the governance of access address the possible harmful use of quantum computing, while offering the widest possible access for beneficial uses?

Seen in a historical perspective, what governance frameworks for access to computing can be discerned, and how have such frameworks been informed by the potentialities, organization, and ownership of computational resources? How can the governance of access to computing account for the specific interests in access to computing by public actors, industry, civil society and scientific researchers? And what are the distributive consequences of different access mechanisms and regimes, and how equitable will they be?

In this PhD, which is part of the research group on the Law and Governance of Quantum Technologies at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam, you will study these and related questions. You will conduct original, cutting-edge empirical, theoretical and interdisciplinary research relating to the law and governance of advanced computing, including quantum computing, high performance computing and so-called hyperscale cloud offerings. You will develop insights into the way in which law relates to the increasingly constitutive function of computing in our societies, through the perspective of access to computing. Using information law, fundamental rights law, law and political economy, technology governance studies, and other relevant approaches and disciplines, and while engaging with relevant stakeholders in the public and private sector, you will contribute to our understanding of the relation between law and computing today and in the quantum age.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


  • a completed degree in law, technology governance, or equivalent degree;
  • affinity with the law and governance of computing and knowledgeable curiosity for developments in quantum technologies;
  • good knowledge of current regulatory developments with respect to the digital infrastructure and cloud computing;
  • excellent academic credentials, as demonstrated by grades and/or curriculum vitae;
  • a creative mind and strong critical and analytical skills;
  • an interest in working across legal disciplines, using different methods, and collaborations with other relevant non-legal disciplines;
  • strong communication skills and a dedication to contributing to diverse and inclusive team dynamics;
  • excellent language skills in English and one or more other languages;
If the vacancy appeals to you, but you are doubting whether you might be THE person we are looking for, please do apply. We particularly welcome applications from candidates from underrepresented backgrounds.

Conditions of employment

We offer a temporary full-time contract for the period of 4 years (with a go no go review assessment after the first year). The preferred starting date is 1 September 2023, with a possibility to start earlier.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be € 2,541 to € 3,247 (scale P) gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

The UvA offers excellent possibilities for further professional development and education.

What else do we offer
  • Be part of a diverse team of engaged and enthusiastic researchers from a diversity of disciplines (law, computer science, communication science, ethics, economics, political science, humanities) and countries;
  • Mentoring and support in developing your future academic career;
  • Ample opportunities to translate your research into impact for society.
The Amsterdam Law School prides itself on its international orientation and strong social commitment. This is reflected by both its research and educational activities. The Amsterdam Law School offers three Bachelor's programs, including the interdisciplinary English-language Bachelor Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE) in cooperation with two other faculties, as well as a variety of Master's programs, several of which are taught exclusively in English (i.e. International and European Law, European Private Law, International Criminal Law, and Law & Finance). The Amsterdam Law School prepares students for a wide variety of legal careers including law firms, government, business and industry, the national and international judiciary, public service, human rights advocacy, and academia. With 5000 students and over 500 staff members, it is one of the largest law faculties in the Netherlands.

To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterized by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society. Here you can read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


  • PhD
  • Law
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • 11242


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018WV, Amsterdam

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