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  3. PhD researcher in Legal Analytics (Full time for 4 years)

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PhD researcher in Legal Analytics (Full time for 4 years)

Department LTMS – home of TILT and TILEC is looking for a PhD researcher in Legal Analytics (Full time for 4 years)

ongeveer een jaar geleden


Warandelaan, Tilburg, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 uur
€ 2325 - € 2972 per maand


The Department of Law, Technology, Markets, and Society (LTMS) – home of TILT and TILEC - has a vacancy for a PhD (full time for 4 years). We are looking for someone who can apply existing data analytics methods in a number of case studies in the Dutch legal system, and will also work to develop new data analytics methods.


The selected candidate will contribute to the research program ‘From Regulating Human Behavior to Regulating Data’. This project is part of the Digital Legal Studies track within the sector plan for Dutch Law Schools funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. This position fits within the Legal AI project, an interdisciplinary project that aims to understand the impacts of AI on the Dutch legal system.


The PhD researcher will investigates the impact of (big) data and AI on decision making in different areas of the Dutch legal system. The PhD researcher will use existing data analytics methods in a number of case studies, and will also work to develop new data analytics methods – e.g. predictive analytics, legal data visualization, legal data & argument mining - for analyzing legal data. These new methods can then be used to make decision making in the legal system visible and open to analysis for an interdisciplinary team of scholars from legal and social sciences. 


A successful candidate should have the technical skills to perform analyses of structured and unstructured (textual) data and to develop new methods for such analyses. Furthermore, they should be comfortable working across disciplines, and have a strong interest in legal issues (and/or the field of fair, transparent and accountable AI). They 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.


Applicants must:

  • Have completed (or will complete by the end of August) Master’s degree in Data Science, Business Analytics or Statistics, or related disciplines such as Information Science, Digital Humanities or Artificial Intelligence with a focus on data science.
  • A demonstrable affinity with law and legal reasoning.
  • Be able to perform data analysis and exploration (preferably in R) of structured and unstructured textual data. Knowledge of advanced Natural Language Processing techniques is a plus.
  • Have a strong interest in doing research and is able to formulate views, ideas and concepts based upon complex information, as well as construct conceptual frameworks or models.
  • Have good planning and organizing skills because they are necessary to complete your PhD research in the total period of time.
  • Be able to undertake certain administrative duties autonomously
  • Be able and willing to work in a team and undertake administration tasks.
  • Be proactive and accountable, able to prioritize across responsibilities, and manage varied commitments.
  • Have excellent interpersonal, as well as strong and effective communication skills.
  • Because of the specific focus on the Dutch legal system, the candidate should have a level of Dutch at B2 or higher, but also should have perfect command of English.
  • Have perfect command of English, and knowledge of Dutch at level B2 or higher.
  • Be available to start working as soon as possible.
  • Be present at Tilburg University during working hours, and commit to integrate in the environment provided by LTMS and the Tilburg Law School.

The PhD researcher will have the following functions:
Research (0,8 fte)

  • Use and develop data analytics techniques for analyzing combinations of structured and unstructured textual data in the legal domain.
  • Actively contribute to the operationalization of LTMS research program ‘From Regulating Human Behavior to Regulating Data’. 
  • Pursue academically path-breaking research leading to an excellent PhD dissertation
  • Participate in the Tilburg Graduate Law School courses and activities.
  • Be an active member of LTMS by participating in and organizing LTMS events and activities, presenting and discussing research output within LTMS, and representing LTMS outside Tilburg University.

Teaching (0,2 FTE)

  • Co-supervise Law & Technology Master thesis students
  • Assist in the coordination and management of courses at the undergraduate and/or LLM programs that LTMS is involved in.
  • Cooperate with other LTMS members in developing new or modifying existing courses.


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 € 2,325 per month (for a full-time appointment) and will raise every 12 months to a maximum of € 2,972 based on the PhD salary scale of the Collective Labor Agreement (CAO) Dutch Universities.
Tilburg University is rated among the top of Dutch employers, offering very good fringe benefits, such as the possibility to determine your benefits individually through a labor choice model and reimbursement of moving expenses. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a tax-free allowance equal to 30% of their taxable salary.

Additional information

More information about the vacancy can be obtained from Professor Floris Bex (F.J.Bex@tilburguniversity.edu) or professor Ronald Leenes (R.E.Leenes@tilburguniversity.edu).