Senior Research Fellow – Ethical Autonomous Systems


UNSW Canberra is a campus of the University of New South Wales located at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. UNSW Canberra endeavours to offer staff a rewarding experience and offers many opportunities and attractive benefits, including:

  • One of Australia’s leading research and teaching universities
  • Australian bush land setting
  • FREE Onsite GYM, pool and Indoor Sports Centre
  • A strong commitment to staff development and learning
  • A strong commitment to work life and family balance
  • Generous superannuation and salary packaging opportunities
  • Location: Canberra, Australia

At UNSW, we pride ourselves on being a workplace where the best people come to do their best work

About the role

  • Academic Level B or Level C
  • $108,282 – $131,519 pa (+17% super and leave loading)
  • Fixed term (36 months) starting in July 2020
  • Full-time

UNSW Canberra has an opportunity for a Senior Research Fellow on Ethical Autonomous Systems. You will undertake research on a large project concerning military robotics and autonomous weapon systems, conducted in collaboration with a Defence partner. The Project aim is to provide value-sensitive input to guide the responsible design and development of future weapons.

Your research will be focused on enhancing the ethical and legal interpretability of autonomous systems, and other open topics of impact to be published in peer reviewed journals. Depending on your research background, you might model how and ethical intent and action can modelled or ask questions such as: can robots have emotions; can robots recognise surrender; can robots be morally prejudiced in war? You will also be required to travel to attend meetings both nationally and internationally as well as present findings at national and/or international conferences.

About the successful applicant

To be successful in this role you will need to have:

  • A PhD in a relevant area/discipline (humanities, social sciences or a socio-technical field) that complements the breadth of expertise of the Values in Defence & Security Technology (VDST) Group
  • A demonstrated ability to undertake an internationally competitive research program in a relevant area
  • An understanding of ethics as it applies to autonomous systems/robots
  • Practical understanding of, or training in, a relevant technical field (AI, machine learning, etc) and/or practical experience in a relevant military field.

You should systematically address the selection criteria listed within the position description in your application. Please apply online – applications will not be accepted if sent to the contact listed.

Download File 499272 – PD – RA Ethical Autonomous Systems VDST – SEIT – March 2020 – Final.pdf


Dr. Jai Galliott, Director of the VDST Group 

Application Enquiries – Human Resources, UNSW Canberra –           

Applications close: 11:30 pm (AEST), 24 May 2020.

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Position Description

Advertised: 09 Apr 2020 AUS Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: 24 May 2020 AUS Eastern Standard Time

Apply now