PhD Position Artificial Intelligence: Power Asymmetries and Data Justice

PhD Position Artificial Intelligence: Power Asymmetries and Data Justice

Published Deadline Location
24 May 8 Sep Amsterdam

Job description

Are you looking for a challenging position in a dynamic setting? The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) currently has a vacant PhD position as part of the Artificial Intelligence: Power Asymmetries and Data Justice project led by principal investigators Dr Lonneke van der Velden and Dr Claudio Celis Bueno. ASCA is one of the five Research Schools within the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR).

ASCA is a research community devoted to the comparative and interdisciplinary study of culture (in all its forms and expressions) from a broad humanities perspective. ASCA is home to more than 120 scholars and 160 PhD candidates and is a world-leading international research school in Cultural Analysis. ASCA members share a commitment to working in an interdisciplinary framework and to maintaining a close connection with contemporary cultural and political debates.

Candidates can work on a study of their own choosing within the broader scope of the project (critical AI studies, AI and power asymmetries, and data justice). Candidates are encouraged to think creatively in terms of research design. We welcome projects that are original, conceptually rigorous, and critical. We invite interested candidates to prepare short proposals (details below) that could, for instance, examine:
  • The (invisible) labour behind artificial intelligence;
  • Bias and discrimination in AI applications;
  • AI and Epistemic Injustices;
  • AI and educational equity;
  • Environmental cost and extractivist logics of AI;
  • AI, automation, and the transformation of labour;
  • Feminist and/or decolonial approaches to AI.

What are you going to do?
Your research will be part of the Artificial Intelligence: Power Asymmetries and Data Justice project, which explores AI technologies from a critical perspective. You will be working under the supervision of Prof Dr Stefania Milan, Dr Lonneke van der Velden, and Dr Claudio Celis Bueno. Special focus on asymmetric power relations and/or data justice is encouraged. Once appointed for the position, your final PhD proposal will be developed in a productive dialogue with the ongoing research of Dr Lonneke van der Velden and Dr Claudio Celis Bueno.

Tasks and responsibilities:
  • submission of a PhD thesis within the period of appointment;
  • participating in meetings of the project research group;
  • publishing of single-authored and/or co-authored outputs derived from your doctoral research, including peer-reviewed academic articles;
  • presenting intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • organising knowledge dissemination activities within the research group and the research school;
  • (co-)teaching courses at BA-level in the second and third year of the appointment (maximum 0,2 fte per year);
  • Participating in the Research School and Faculty of Humanities PhD training programmes.

What do you have to offer?
We are looking for candidates who are interested in the intersection between technology and politics, power relations and social justice, and capable of developing a critical, conceptually rigorous, interdisciplinary, and situated analysis of some form of AI application. The ideal candidate is able to formulate an original research question and contribute to ongoing debates around the social and political effects of AI.

Your experience and profile:
Candidates need to have the following qualifications:
  • a completed Master's degree in Media Studies, Communication Science, Science and Technology Studies, Political Science, Philosophy of Technology, or related discipline. You may apply if you have not yet completed your Master's degree only if you provide a signed letter from your supervisor stating that you will graduate before 31 December 2024;
  • excellent and independent research skills demonstrated by an outstanding Master's thesis and a demonstrable capacity to develop an outstanding publication record;
  • a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research;
  • enthusiasm for communicating academic research to non-academic audiences;
  • excellent command of the English language.

Critical technical literacy and societal engagement will be considered of added value.

Please note that if you already hold a doctorate/PhD or are working towards obtaining a similar degree elsewhere, you will not be admitted to a doctoral programme at the UvA.

What can we offer you?
We offer a temporary employment contract for the period of 48 months. The first contract will be for 16 months, with an extension for the following 32 months, contingent on a positive performance evaluation within the first 12 months. The employment contract is for 38 hours a week. The preferred starting date is 01 February 2025.

Your salary, depending on relevant experience on commencement of the employment contract, ranges from € 2,770 up to a maximum of € 3,539 gross per month on the basis of a full working week of 38 hours. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance. Favourable tax agreements may apply to applicants moving from abroad. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

What else do we offer?
  • PhD candidates receive a tuition fee waiver;
  • PhD candidates have free access to courses offered by the Graduate School of Humanities and the Dutch National Research Schools;
  • excellent possibilities for further professional development and education;
  • an inspiring academic and international work environment in the heart of Amsterdam;
  • an enthusiastic and professional academic team.

About us
The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 42,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

The Faculty of Humanities provides education and conducts research with a strong international profile in a large number of disciplines in de field of language and culture. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the faculty maintains close ties with many cultural institutes in the capital city. Research and teaching staff focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and are active in several teaching programmes.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

If you have any questions about the position or the department, please contact during office hours: For practical questions about the position and the application process, please contact Dr Eloe Kingma ( For questions regarding the research proposal, you may contact Dr Lonneke van der Velden ( or Dr Claudio Celis Bueno (

Job application
If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the link below. We will accept applications until 08 September 2024.

Your application should include the following information:
  • a motivation letter and full academic CV;
  • a research proposal of 800-1000 words (excluding references) that describes your topic and the main conceptual lens that would inform your project;
  • a writing sample, for example, a chapter from your Master thesis or an article;
  • a list of all Master-level modules you have taken, with an official transcript of grades;
  • the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of two academic references, which includes preferably your supervisor, who may be approached by the selection committee.

Please submit the required information in 1 pdf by uploading in the required field ‘CV’.

The first round of interviews will be held in October 2024.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

No agencies please.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


  • PhD
  • Language and culture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 13035


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012CX, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 8 Sep 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).