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Justice vacancies

Postdoctoral Researcher Algorithmic Decision-making in Healthcare: Making and Contesting the Rules

Tilburg University

There has been a shift toward the use of algorithmic decision-making in the health domain with increasing reliance on born-digital data in order to predict risk, aid decision-making, and to track professionals within the healthcare domain itself to make more efficient use of people and resources. Healthcare practitioners’ use of ADS are constrained by laws including confidentiality, data protection, patent law and risk law. Healthcare professionals are charged in many different ways with ‘speaking for the law’ – doctors, nurses, safety officers and administrators – but without themselves being legal professionals or having input from legal professionals. This also means that contestation and the making of claims does not take place in the courts, but internally within the health domain. This project will explore the changes in rulemaking around ADS in the health domain. It will focus on data and associated risk assessment technologies, and how these ADS can simultaneously introduce greater uncertainty in decision-making at the patient care level, and greater administrative clarity at the managerial level. The central issue this project aims to investigate is how law can help with problems of rulemaking around ADS in healthcare, and how it may be possible to connect law to the health domain.

Click here to read the full project description.

Profile of the candidate

The candidate for this position has a PhD in legal sociology or a related field, and has experience in using qualitative empirical methodologies to investigate questions in the healthcare domain, or a comparable area. The candidate has a strong affinity with the above topics and in working together with a team of people from different disciplines including an interest to learn and work with empirical and computational social science or digital methods. 

Furthermore you have:

  • Proven academic interest in questions regarding algorithmic applications and digital society;

  • Interest in working in a very interdisciplinary, cross-university environment;

  • Interest in contributing to and helping to create the broader algosoc research community;

  • An excellent written and spoken command of English (written and spoken command of other languages, including Dutch, French, and/or German is a plus);

  • Affinity with organising workshops, lecture series, and similar events. 


If the vacancy appeals to you, but you are doubting whether you might be THE person we are looking for, please do apply. We encourage all qualified applicants, including minorities, women, people with disabilities, and members of other groups underrepresented in academia to apply. We wish to create a consortium that consists of persons who each contribute in their unique way to the team. Complementarity and not homogeneity is what we are looking for.  

Developing a societal vision on automated decision making concerns us all. We believe that a diversity of perspectives in our consortium will be important in developing an inclusive societal vision and strive therefore also in our hiring policy for encouraging applicants from diverse backgrounds. We are committed to creating an environment of mutual respect, inclusiveness, equal opportunities with room for situated experiences, diverse perspectives, and ideas to flourish. This commitment applies to our research, organisation, room for flexibility, training, and community activities as well as our hiring strategy.  

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