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Postdoc / Adviser in Ethics of Information Technology (2 years, full-time) – University of Twente

CTIT and the department of philosophy at the University of Twente are seeking a Postdoc / Adviser in Ethics of Information Technology (2 years, full-time)

The Challenge

In this function, you are researcher for 50% and Ethics Adviser for the remaining 50%.  The function of Ethics Adviser is associated with University of Twente center for information technology research, CTIT, and concerns ethical advice regarding research on ICT.  The Ethics Adviser works alongside CTIT researchers to help them incorporate value analyses within their work.  This includes two specific tasks.  First, you are responsible for writing ethics sections of European and other grant proposals in the area of ICT.  Second, you collaborate on a variety of ICT research projects within CTIT, with the role of stimulating reflection of the researchers and designers as to the reciprocal and dynamic relationship between the development of ICT systems and societal/cultural values (the ethical dimensions of their work). These activities are meant to show the utility of ethics throughout the research and design process, taken as broad reflection on the quality of the impact of ICT systems.  An additional goal is to enlarge the impact of ICT research on the societal challenges of our times by considering them from the inception of research activity.

The research component of the position (50%) will be self-directed research for half the time, which we expect to be (mostly) devoted to research on ethical issues in IT.  The other half will be research within the European (FP7) project SATORI (http://satoriproject.eu/), which is a project that aims to develop improved practices and protocols for ethical assessment of research and innovation.  You will be involved in research on ethical assessment of ICT and other types of research and innovation.  One of the tasks in the project is to develop a better system of ethics review for Horizon 2020.  For your research, we expect you to publish in international peer-reviewed journals and to engage in international collaboration.  You are also encouraged to get involved in grant applications that can help fund your own research.


You are appointed postdoc / ethics adviser (full-time) for a period of two years.  Your office and appointment will be at the philosophy department. Salary is € 45560 – € 50342 per year, depending on experience. Starting date is December 1st, 2014 (negotiable). The University of Twente has excellent terms of employment.

Your profile

You hold a PhD in philosophy, preferably with a specialization in ethics, or a multidisciplinary PhD with a significant ethics component.  If your PhD has not been completed yet, it will be by the time of appointment. You preferably have a track record in research on ethical aspects of ICT.  You have an excellent list of publications in peer-refereed journals, and have relevant international experience.  You are willing and able to collaborate with researchers in the ICT field, and you preferably have experience doing so.  You have an excellent command of the English language.  You have good analytical skills, are creative, open-minded and possess the ability to develop new ideas.  You have good communication skills and are a good team player. You are prepared to move to the Netherlands, to the region where the University of Twente is located.

Information and application

For more information, please contact prof. dr. Philip Brey (e-mail:

p.a.e.brey@utwente.nl; phone: +31534894426; please contact after August 22nd).

Your application should include the following documents:

  • a cover letter which explains your interest in the position and your qualifications for it, and which also discusses your research plans for the 25% of the position that is free (self-directed) research.
  • a curriculum vitae which includes the name and e-mail address/telephone number for two references
  • a writing sample (preferably a published article)
  • a summary and table of contents of your dissertation (or the entire dissertation)

Applications should be uploaded via www.utwente.nl/vacatures/en. Since only three documents can be uploaded per application, please combine documents if needed.

The application deadline is September 30th, 2014.  Interviews will be held in early/mid October.

About CTIT and the department of philosophy

CTIT (http://www.utwente.nl/ctit/) is the largest academic research institute in the Netherlands – and one of the largest in Europe – in the field of ICT and ICT applications. Typical for CTIT is the “ICT Research in Context” approach: research groups working together on present-day technological, economic and social challenges. Multidisciplinary research is key, not only between technical disciplines such as computer science, electrical engineering and mathematics, but also between these disciplines and behavioural and social sciences.  CTIT research has an impact on cyber-physical systems, human-machine interaction, and solutions for the present grand societal challenges. Examples include intelligent energy networks (smart grids), care and coaching at a distance (tele-medicine), and complex logistic processes.

The department of philosophy at the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (http://www.utwente.nl/gw/wijsb/) is internationally leading in the philosophy and ethics of technology, especially in ethics of information technology and medical technology. It currently includes eight tenured and tenure-track staff members, two postdocs, eight PhD students, and five part-time faculty. The department participates in the interuniversity 3TU.Center for Ethics and Technology (http://ethicsandtechnology.eu/) and currently houses the directorate of the Center. Both the department and the Center have a strong international orientation and include members from many different nationalities.

About the university and region

The University of Twente (UT) is a research university with a strong international orientation and a focus on science & engineering and social and behavioral sciences. It includes more than 3,300 faculty and staff and 9,000 students. Its motto “high tech, human touch” expresses the aim of combining research in engineering with social and behavioral sciences. The UT is a campus university, located in the city of Enschede, in the east of the Netherlands. Enschede is a lively city of 150,000, located in beautiful countryside and near spectacular nature areas. It is only two hours away from major European cities like Amsterdam, Cologne and Düsseldorf, three hours from Brussels and less than six hours by land – or one hour by air- from Berlin, Paris and London.




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Last Modified: August 26, 2014