Leiden Law School, Center for Law and Digital Technologies (eLaw) is looking for a

Postdoc on Law, Diversity, Robots, & AI (0,80 – 1 fte) 
Vacancy number 22-386 11943

eLaw, the Center for Law and Digital Technologies at Leiden University, is looking for a 4-year postdoctoral researcher with expertise in law, robots, artificial intelligence (AI), and diversity considerations. 

Discrimination and bias are inherent problems of many robot and AI applications. Face recognition systems do not recognize dark-skinned women, content moderator tools silence drag queens online, and exoskeletons do not fit different body shapes and sizes. These outcomes may derive from limited datasets that do not fully represent society as a whole or from the AI scientific community’s western-male configuration bias. Although being a pressing issue, understanding how robot and AI systems can replicate and amplify inequalities and injustice among underrepresented communities is still in its infancy in social science and technical communities.

As a postdoctoral researcher at eLaw, you will advance the knowledge of how robotics and AI can be more diverse and inclusive. In particular, we are interested in understanding the consequences of missing intersectional considerations, including gender, sex, and age, in developing robot and AI technologies. We are also looking to know how the design of such technologies could promote a more inclusive society.

Within this narrative, you will contribute to several ongoing activities, projects, and initiatives in our group at Leiden University, including: 
•    Contribute to the legal and regulatory aspects of a four-year project funded by Horizon Europe aiming at mitigating diversity biases in algorithms used for the labor market; 
•    Be partly responsible for the initiative Gendering Algorithms at Leiden University to create a community at Leiden University on the topic of gender and sex considerations for algorithms; 
•    Play a part in the research of the use of assistive technology to help realize the sexual needs of people with disabilities.
•    Lead the eLaw Pre-University class on Law and Technology in collaboration with our PhD Candidates for talented high school students (taught in English).

Because postdoctoral researchers must grow and excel, you will also have time to forge your research line and explore the topics dearest to you. 

Key responsibilities        
•    Independent performance of research in law, robots, and AI technologies, with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion; 
•    Analysis of relevant legal frameworks, new regulations, discrimination, privacy, liability and responsibility issues, and labor law;    
•    Preparing questionnaires, conducting interviews with affected stakeholders, and processing the outcomes in deliverables and publications; 
•    Conducting AI trustworthy assessment lists and putting forward ethics/privacy by design requirements to robot and AI developments;
•    Disseminating academic results in leading international and peer-reviewed scientific journals and top-tier conferences;
•    Communicating project results to the broader public in different formats, including blog posts, podcasts, media material, or art installations;
•    Management and coordination tasks within ongoing projects and initiatives of the center;
•    Initiating and coordinating the submission of research grant proposals to different funding agencies;                
•    Expanding your teaching experience by preparing some lectures in existing bachelor’s or master’s courses and coordinating a pre-university course;
•    Contributing to the team spirit of eLaw.

Selection Criteria                    
•    A completed PhD in the field of law and digital technologies or computer science with a mixed background in value-sensitive design. Candidates who have not yet completed their PhD but have an approved manuscript can also apply. Candidates without an approved manuscript are not eligible for this position;
•    Academic background in diversity, inclusion, discrimination, technology law, artificial intelligence, robotics, or labor law;
•    Experience with empirical legal research, including survey and questionnaire preparation, interviews, and data processing;
•    Experience in intersectionality domain and the AI Trustworthy Assessment List is an advantage, but not a strict requirement;
•    Excellent research and writing qualities, demonstrated by (international, peer-reviewed) publications, dissertation, and outreach activities;
•    Experience in submitting research proposals to grant organizations;
•    Experience in working in multidisciplinary and/or international teams, including sensitivity and inclusiveness regarding cultural differences among staff and students;
•    Enthusiastic and proactive, with excellent interpersonal and communication skills, spoken and written; 
•    Excellent team player and warm community builder;
•    Excellent English, spoken and written. Command of other European languages is an advantage.

Our organisation
Leiden Law School is located in Leiden and The Hague. With more than 6500 students and around 1000 staff, it is one of the largest university faculties in the Netherlands. The faculty focuses on innovative multidisciplinary research and educational programmes that are constantly renewed in response to issues in society. Our faculty is large enough to make a difference nationally and internationally, yet small enough to offer personalised education. This is how we contribute to a safe and sustainable world, each and every day. For more information: Leiden Law School – Leiden University.
The Center for Law and Digital Technologies (eLaw) was founded in 1985 and has a leading role in research and education on law and digital technologies. The Center studies the social, legal and normative impact of emerging digital technologies. Our research and education focus particularly on digital technologies and their interplay with fundamental rights and the rule of law. Key themes in our research and education are: online privacy and personal data protection; cybercrime and cybersecurity; data science and law; internet governance; law and complexity in digital society; electronic communications law; law and human-machine interaction; children’s rights in the digital world; and media and fundamental rights.        

Terms and conditions
•    This is a 0.8 – 1 fte postdoctoral researcher position, starting around October 2022 (open for discussion for before or later). The period of employment is 4 years with a 1 year probation time. If the employee performs well, the duration of the contract will be 4 years.       
•    Salary range from € 2846.- to € 4490.- gross per month on a full-time basis (pay scale 10, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). Salary scale depends on education and experience.
•    Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions 
•    Within our policy framework on quality, almost all academic staff at the Faculty of Law have obtained a PhD degree and have met the requirements for the advanced research qualification. In addition, they make a significant contribution to the faculty research program. More information on the advanced research qualification and research programs of the Graduate School of Legal Studies.             

Diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

Further information about the position can be obtained from Dr. Fosch-Villaronga, email e.fosch.villaronga@law.leidenuniv.nl.
For more details on the procedure, please contact our secretary, email elaw@law.leidenuniv.nl.     

Please submit online your application no later than 07/15/2022 via the blue button in our application system.
 Applicants should submit:
•    An online motivation letter of interest with
1.    A clear explanation of how the candidate intends to contribute to the key responsibilities as described in the vacancy. 
2.    A motivation statement explaining how the candidate is the best suited for this position and why their skills and experience matches the selection criteria as described in the vacancy
3.    A list of concrete ideas to conduct research on the topics of diversity and inclusion for robotics and AI. 
•    An updated CV with a list of publications, outreach activities, and relevant experience.
Successful candidates will be notified during the first week of August and the interviews will be held Monday 29 August online. 
Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

Apply now

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