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ERC PhD researcher in Data Justice (1,0 fte)

The PhD research will be carried out within the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) as part of the Tilburg Graduate Law School, which is responsible for training and guidance of PhD’s ...

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Warandelaan, Tilburg, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 - 40 uur


The PhD research will be carried out within the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) as part of the Tilburg Graduate Law School, which is responsible for training and guidance of PhD’s. TILT is a top player in the field of the regulation and governance of technology and its normative implications. A key feature of the institute’s research program is the interaction between legal, technological, and social perspectives. TILT is consistently ranked a top institute for research and education by national and international Legal Research and Education Assessment Committees.

TILT is a multidisciplinary research institute, combining law, philosophy, social sciences, public administration and management sciences. This enables us to look at research topics from multiple perspectives and deliver valuable contributions to the existing knowledge in the field of law, technology, and society. TILT’s collaborative and open environment stimulates social and intellectual interchange.


The successful candidate will be comfortable working across disciplines and will have a strong interest in social justice issues. You will have experience with ethnographic research, and the ability and inclination to learn new (digital) methodologies. You will also have the flexibility and communication abilities to work within a small interdisciplinary team and with a wide range of project collaborators, and the ability to communicate research to diverse audiences. You will have completed a Master’s degree in Development Studies or a related discipline. Related disciplines may also include media studies, science & technology studies, human geography, international relations and political science. You will have a demonstrated research interest in digital technologies and human development, and will have good writing skills and an excellent command of written and spoken English. Knowledge of Swahili (or the willingness to learn) is a plus.


Tilburg University is rated among the top of Dutch employers and has excellent terms of employment. The total duration of the PhD trajectory is four years (48 months). The candidate will initially be appointed for a fixed period of 16 months. After 12 months, an evaluation will take place. If the performance evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended for the remaining period of 32 months. Selected candidates will be ranked in the Dutch university employment system (UFO). The starting gross salary is € 2.222,- per month (for a full-time appointment) and will raise every 12 months to a maximum of € 2.840,- based on the PhD salary scale of the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) for Dutch Universities.

Researchers from outside the Netherlands may qualify for a tax-free allowance equal to 30% of their taxable salary. The university will apply for such an allowance on their behalf. The university offers very good fringe benefits (it is one of the best non-profit employers in the Netherlands), such as an options model for terms and conditions of employment and excellent reimbursement of moving expenses.

Additional information

Project: Global data justice in the era of big data: toward an inclusive framing of informational rights and freedoms (DATAJUSTICE)

The ‘data revolution’ is creating new visibilities, particularly in lower-income regions where statistics were previously relatively scarce. These visibilities are not neutral: they offer the possibility of promoting human development, and simultaneously have the potential to amplify socioeconomic and geographical power asymmetries and facilitate new forms of colonialism. These new sources and possibilities of digital data also involve linkages between the public and private sectors worldwide that have implications for citizenship, representation and the public domain.

This ERC project, led by Linnet Taylor, will conceptualise and develop a framework for data justice, seeking common principles based on the different challenges and impacts of data technologies worldwide. Taking a comparative international perspective, the project will explore discourses and practices around data technologies and use the findings to develop a social-justice-based framework that can inform their development and governance. The research has two main objectives:

1) to provide a critical assessment of the case for, and the obstacles to, data justice as an overall framework for data technologies’ design and governance

2) to present a conceptual framework for data justice and refine it through a series of discussions and debates worldwide.

This PhD, which will be a four-year appointment, will focus on the Kenya case study within the project. The project will be interdisciplinary and will involve a mixed methods approach, including policy & legal analysis, digital issue mapping, ethnographic research including digital ethnography, and social network analysis. Research team members will participate in all elements of the project, for which training will be provided where necessary.

The starting date of the position is 1 March 2018, or as soon as possible thereafter. A project synopsis can be found https://linnettaylor.wordpress.com/2017/09/13/data-justice-project-brief/; for the full version contact Dr. Linnet Taylor by email (l.e.m.taylor@uvt.nl).


Tilburg Law School (TLS) staat voor kwaliteit, met brede, internationale opleidingen en innovatief onderzoek. Het onderzoek van Tilburg Law School vindt plaats in een organisatie waar ruimte is voor diversiteit. De Tilburg Graduate Law School is verantwoordelijk voor de opleiding en begeleiding van promovendi en onderzoeksmasterstudenten. De inspirerende en open cultuur maakt het werken plezierig.

Tilburg Law School