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We are looking for an enthusiastic, dedicated and well-organized PhD researcher, who has preferably graduated in a research Master, specialized in health law or with comparable health law expertise and experience, is eager to contribute to a four year project on obtaining deeper understanding of the impact of AI-driven medical decision-making) on the physician’s professional autonomy. The ideal candidate has an understanding of the main technological developments in this field and a proven affinity with broader information law issues, and privacy and data protection in particular. The PhD will be part of a larger interdisciplinary team on AI in Health Decisionmaking at the University of Amsterdam.

What are you going to do

Within the framework of a University wide research programme on AI Health Decisionmaking we are looking to understand – in the context of two AI use cases in the clinic – howAI decision-making impacts on medical decision-making, with a special focus on the legal-ethical concepts of professonial autonomy in the context of the patient-physician relationship. The legal research aims to use a legal and qualitative case study analysis. Medical-professional and patient autonomy are together the ethical and legal basis for medical decision-making. Medical professional autonomy is based on the principle that doctors are responsible for a good standard of care, share responsibilities with other care providers and are accountable for their actions. Hence, the patient-medical professional relationship builds on protecting autonomy, as the key to their relationship of trust. In this regard the research will inform a legal analysis on the impacts of AI health decision-making on good care and liability for malpractice, (perceived) privacy and data protection and trust, from the perspective of the health professional. The results will provide insights for the future development of new AI models and their clinical implementation.

You execute your PhD research in close collaboration with the other project team members and supervisors, leading to completion and publication of a dissertation.

  • If needed, you engage autonomously in the collection of empirical data (interviews, document analysis).
  • Obtain approval from ethics review committees.
  • Take the lead in authoring articles to be published in international peer-reviewed journals (in English).
  • Present intermediate research results in internal discussions and potentially at workshops and conferences.
  • Participate in and present findings at the RPA meetings.
  • Contribute to the activities of the RPA, and engage in (interdisciplinary) collaborations with other members.
  • Compile your thesis based on submitted articles or in a full monograph.

What do we require of you

The doctoral positions are open to persons who are not yet accepted for a PhD programme.

An applicant meets the general eligibility requirements for doctoral studies (third-cycle studies) if she/he has:

  • a law degree, Masters level or equivalent. Research masters degrees are an advantage. Applications from students with a MPH, or students with a degree in public health or health sciences with a clear focus on law and public policy can also be considered;
  • ideally experience in legal research and/or designing and conducting qualitative research;
  • ideally a demonstrated ability to communicate complex findings to an audience with varied disciplinary background;
  • fluency in spoken English, and excellent writing skills in English;
  • candidates that are fluent in Dutch are especially invited to apply, as some of the data gathering might be easier;
  • willingness and ability to work independently and to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team.

Our offer

The appointment will be initially for the period of one year and will be extended for another three years upon favorable evaluation. There is no possibility for a permanent position. The position as PhD researcher will start on 15 October 2021 or if particular reasons justify it, as soon as possible thereafter.

The gross monthly salary based on full-time employment (38 hours per week) ranges from €2,325 up to a maximum €2,972 (salary scale PhD). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end-of-year bonus. The starting salary will be based on qualifications, expertise and relevant experience. The profile PhD researcher is applicable in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities.

The UvA offers excellent possibilities for further professional development and education.

What else do we offer

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to participate in the Faculty’s PhD training programme and be part of the PhD community of the Faculty.

The positions are first and foremost research positions; yet the successful applicant will incidentally have the opportunity to be involved in teaching in the Health Law Masters at the Law School.

About us

Your research will be carried out within the Law Center for Health and Life at the Faculty of Law (section Public Law) and in the context of the Research Priority Area, at least one day a week at the Amsterdam University Medical Centers. The Law Center for Health and Life is a newly established research centre. 


The Amsterdam Law School prides itself on its international orientation and strong social commitment. This is reflected by both its research and educational activities. The Amsterdam Law School offers three Bachelor’s programs, including the interdisciplinary English-language Bachelor Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE) in cooperation with two other faculties, as well as a variety of Master's programs, several of which are taught exclusively in English (i.e. International and European Law, European Private Law, International Criminal Law, and Law & Finance). The Amsterdam Law School prepares students for a wide variety of legal careers including law firms, government, business and industry, the national and international judiciary, public service, human rights advocacy, and academia. With 5000 students and over 500 staff members, it is one of the largest law faculties in the Netherlands.

To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterized by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society. Here you can read more about working at the University of Amsterdam

Questions

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity. 

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 18 september 2021. You may apply online by using the link below.

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • Cover letter;
  • Curriculum vitae;
  • A project idea in light of the proposed theme on AI decisionmaking of no more than 2 000 words, excluding references;
  • Copies of the LL.B. and LL.M. degrees or equivalent, providing information about the programme's length, content, passed courses and grades;
  • Writing sample of a recently written, single authored manuscript (e.g., your master’s thesis or other work written during your degree) in English and/or Dutch.

The project outline should contain the following headings:

  •  aim and background;
  •  research problem/ research questions;
  •  method;
  •  novelty and relevancy of the proposal;
  •  reference list, (please, use the Oxford or the Harvard system format for in-text citations and the reference list).

We will invite potential candidates for interviews within three weeks after the closing date of 18 September 2021.