CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 2 Postdoc positions FOR:

‘COUNTING AS A HUMAN BEING IN THE ERA OF COMPUTATIONAL LAW’ (COHUBICOL)

COHUBICOL is an ERC Advanced Grant project on Fundamental Research into the Implications of ‘Legal Tech’

We are now hiring:

2 postdoctoral researchers

(April 2021 – January 2024)

These postdoc positions are open for the second part of this project, moving towards an integration of theoretical and hands-on research into legal technologies. Please check the website of the project to get a sense of our research objectives. The positions are open to those with a PhD in law and to those with a PhD in computer science.

The researchers will join the legal team in Brussels at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) (if they have a PhD in law), and the CS team in Nijmegen at Radboud University (RU) (if they have a PhD in CS). They will work on

  • a proper understanding of the claims made about legal technologies and their substantiation, taking into account both technical and organisational issues
  • an analysis of how the integration of these technologies into legal practice will affect both the development of positive law and the nature of the rule of law

The project involves theoretical research into the impact of major investments in machine learning and other types of ‘legal tech’ (= data- or code-driven) on the nature of legal protection as offered by modern positive law (= text-driven).

Together with the other members of the VUB legal and the RU CS teams, these postdocs will further develop the typology of so-called ‘legal tech’, contribute to working papers, co-organise seminars and conferences, and develop their own research agenda on the subject matter of ‘AI in law’.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Candidates will have an excellent track record:

  • a PhD in either law or computer science, with a demonstrable interest in conceptual exploration, cross-disciplinary investigations and philosophical inquiry
  • analytical skills and an affinity with novel types of conceptualisation
  • passion for conceptual clarity, critical reflection and creative intervention
  • independent thinking and working, also when under pressure, respect for colleagues, for deadlines, and the ambition to produce high quality work.

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

The successful candidates will collaborate in a cross-disciplinary team, composed of both experienced and early career researchers, working under the guidance of Principal Investigator Prof. Mireille Hildebrandt.

If a lawyer, they will be appointed in Brussels, in the context of the renowned research group on Law, Science, Technology and Society studies (LSTS) and if selected, the candidate will have access to doctoral training offered by the VUB, as well as to all facilities of the university. If a computer scientist, they will be appointed at Radboud University, at the institute of Computing and Information Sciences (iCIS). Successful candidates are expected to work at the VUB premises in Brussels and to live in Belgium (if a lawyer) or at the premises of the RU in Nijmegen (if a computer scientist). Office space and equipment will be provided along with a budget for travelling and other research‐related expenses.

The positions are full-time, in principle for up to 2 years and 10 months. For more information about facilities and benefits of employment at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, please visit https://jobs.vub.be, and for employment at Radboud University, see https://www.ru.nl/english/working-at/working-at-radboud-university/employment-conditions.

APPLICATION

The candidates will be selected on the basis of the quality and relevance of their application, as well as interactions during an eventual interview. The following application documents (in English) are to be consolidated into a single PDF file and sent by email to Irina.Baraliuc@vub.be.

  1. A curriculum vitae: degrees (including the grades obtained) and other completed courses, a list of scientific publications and presentations, work experience and a list of degree projects, language skills;
  2. An expression of interest (1000 words), explaining what you think are the core tenets of COHUBICOL, and how you would contribute (based on the content available at cohubicol.com);
  3. A PDF of your most relevant publication;
  4. Two reference letters with contact details.

Deadline for the submission of applications is 10 February 2021, 12:00 CET. A first round of interviews with selected candidates will take place via skype. The candidates will start at VUB from 1 April 2021.

For information please connect with the Principal Investigator Prof. Mireille Hildebrandt at either mireille.hildebrandt@vub.be or m.hildebrandt@cs.ru.nl.