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Vacancy | Wageningen University & Research
Posted on April 21, 2023

Postdoctoral researcher in ethics of technology or Science and Technology Studies (STS)

Your job

Do you want to follow your passion for ethics of AI in a Post-doc project at Wageningen University (the Netherlands)? Are you an openminded  academic who likes to collaborate with other researchers in the emerging field of AI ethics? If so, we have an exciting opportunity for you!

The Philosophy Group and the Information Technology Group seeks a talented post-doc researcher in the field of ethics of technology or Science and Technology Studies (STS), doing and ethical investigations on the ethical, legal and societal aspects (ELSA) of AI applications for Sustainable Food Systems.

This postdoc position is part of the AI for sustainable food systems (AI4SFS) laboratory, an interdisciplinary research project funded by the Dutch Research Council NWO that started September, 1 2022. The AI4SFS project develops responsible and trustworthy AI in sustainable food systems through the development of an Ethical, Legal, Social Aspects (ELSA) lab. We will (a) develop insights into the ELSA challenges and opportunities related to AI applications for sustainable food systems, (b) design an ELSA lab methodology (including tools, (ethical and legal) guidelines and engagement strategies) for responsible AI for the agri-food sector, and (c) conduct multiple case studies where we will integrate ELSA aspects in AI (re)design. After the project, we will develop the ELSA lab into an independent hub for responsible AI for sustainable food systems. The Post-doc researcher will focus on the governance of the ELSA lab, collaborate with AI-researchers to develop ELSA compliant AI, and with the various PhD’s involved in the project. The candidate will be supervised by prof. dr. Vincent Blok and prof. dr. Bedir Tekinerdogan.

Your qualities

As the successful candidate you:

  • hold a PhD in Philosophy, applied ethics, or STS, with an affinity with informatics/computer science/AI
  • are an enthusiastic, dedicated and engaged academic  who is well capable to work in interdisciplinary contexts;
  • like to explore fundamental questions in philosophy and ethics of technology;
  • preferably have experience in conducting empirical research (interviews, focus groups;
  • excellent communication skills.

For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.

Our postdoc researchers are encouraged to supervise MSc thesis students when such opportunities arise, and you will be involved in teaching activities.

We offer you

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • holiday allowance of 8%;
  • excellent pension scheme;

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will of course receive a good salary. Depending on your experience, we offer a competitive gross salary of between €2960 and €4670 for a full-time working week of 38 hours, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale 10). This position is for the period of 48 months. Initially you will receive a contract for the period of 1 year, which can be extended for the duration of the project.

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 18th consecutive time.

Do you want more information?

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Dr. Vincent Blok by e mail : .

For more information about the procedure, please contact Noorien Abbas, Recruiter, by e mail: .

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

This vacancy is open up to and including the 15th of May, 2023. The first job interviews will take place in the first week of June. The position is to start on 1 September 2023.

Equal opportunities employer
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.

The Philosophy Group focuses on ethical and epistemic issues involved in the relationship of humans with nature, animals, food and agriculture. The group aims to understand processes of ethical deliberation around science and technology in different societal and cultural settings.The Post-doc is embedded in the research group of prof. dr. Vincent Blok, who is involved in several National and International Research projects in the field of philosophy of technology and responsible innovation. See for more information about his research and projects..

The Information Techology aims to advance the field of smart systems engineering and informatics through education, research, and collaboration. We strive to provide our students with the knowledge and skills they need to become leaders in the fast-changing world of data science, big data, and artificial intelligence. We conduct cutting-edge research that pushes the boundaries of knowledge and addresses real-world challenges in food and health, business, and society. We work closely with industry, government, and other academic institutions to create a vibrant ecosystem of innovation, where our ideas can have a tangible impact on people’s lives. We are committed to excellence, diversity, and inclusion, and we believe in the power of technology to create a better future for all.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.

Apply now

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