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Vacancy | TU Delft
Posted on June 7, 2023

PhD Position Design for Values and Innovation for Quantum Technology

Challenge: Addressing the current corporate and geopolitical situation around quantum technologies.
Change: Update ethics of technology approaches such as Design for Values and Responsible Research and Innovation.
Impact: Develop ethical guidance fit for quantum technologies.


Job description

This PhD position aims to develop and tailor approaches for ethical technology guidance, specifically Design for Values and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), so that they can be effectively applied to quantum technologies. The development of quantum technologies largely takes place within large tech companies and is increasingly organised within the borders of global geopolitical blocks. As a result, research and innovation in quantum technology has become less transparent to society, which in turn challenges approaches in ethics of technology aimed at guiding technology development through moral values. This PhD position takes up these challenges.

To realise this goal the candidate will engage in the following activities

  • Description of current ethics of technology approaches for moral guidance of technology development, with a focus on Design for Values and RRI;
  • Analysis of the way in which corporate and geopolitical factors 1) limit 1) transparency of research and innovation in quantum technology; and 2) constrain the possibilities of Design for Values and RRI as forms of ethical guidance;
  • Development and tailoring of Design for Values and RRI to make them fit for purpose in the ethical guidance of quantum technology development.

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Conducting ethical research on quantum technologies within the Dutch Quantum Delta NL programme;
  • Publish and present scientific articles in international journals and conferences;
  • Contribute to educational activities;
  • Write a dissertation (monograph or paper-based).

You will be part of the Ethics/Philosophy of Technology department at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, and work within the Dutch Quantum Delta NL programme. You work together with Dr Pieter Vermaas, TU Delft, and collaborate with researchers working on ethical, legal and society issues part of Action Line 4 of Quantum Delta NL Action-line-4-Ethics-and-Society.pdf (



  • A Master degree in ethics, technology management, or related field relevant to the position;
  • Knowledge of or experience with ethics of technology approaches such as responsible research and innovation (RRI) and Design for Values;
  • Affinity with new and emerging science and technologies, including quantum technology is a significant bonus;
  • Ability to work in teams;
  • Ability to collaborate with researchers from other disciplines;
    Good academic writing skills;
  • Proficiency in expressing yourself verbally and in writing in English;
  • Proficiency in Dutch language would be helpful but is not required;
  • Interested in participating in interdisciplinary educational activities.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.


Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.


TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Technology, Policy and Management

The Faculty of TPM provides an important contribution to solving complex technical-social issues, such as energy transition, mobility, digitalisation, water management and (cyber) security. TPM does this with its excellent education and research at the intersection of technology, society and policy. We combine insights from both engineering and social sciences as well as the humanities. TPM develops robust models and designs, is internationally oriented and has an extensive network of knowledge institutions, companies, social organisations and governments.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management.


Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Pieter Vermaas, Researcher, email: .

For information about the selection procedure, please contact Olivie Beek, HR Advisor, email: .

Diversity and inclusivity are core values at TU Delft. We would like to encourage candidates from underrepresented groups in academia to apply.


Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 2 July 2023 via the application button. Please submit the following:

  • 1-page motivation letter;
  • Your CV;
  • Your M.Sc, thesis or a paper that you written, in which you demonstrate your writing (and scientific) skills;
  • Names of two people who can act as references at a later stage in the selection procedure;
  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure;
  • We plan to fill this position on short notice and will contact suitable candidate as soon as possible. Preliminary interviews can be conducted before the deadline;
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post;
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

More information

For more information and to apply go the TU Delft website.

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