PhD Candidate LAW

Maastricht University is offering one paid full time lecturer-PhD-researcher position (6 years) with the possibility to promote, once finished the PhD.
  • WO
  • Tijdelijk
Universiteit Maastricht (UM)


The project: A data-driven approach for Competition and Taxation Issues in IoT enabled world

In a digitally connected world, communication transcends from human-to-human to machine-to-machine. This is the world of the internet of things (IoT). Communication between the devices is imperative to facilitate a smooth IoT-enabled ecosystem. This inter-device communication creates advantages for certain players to gain positions of enduring power. From a competition law perspective, this means that oftentimes, the market is dominated by a handful of players. In other words, competition is for the markets, and not in the markets (Tyagi, Springer, 2018). While dominance may per se not be a problem, abuse of dominance is a key concern amongst regulators worldwide. To address this concern, the Commission recently conducted a IoT Sector Inquiry and identified that even though the IoT ecosystem is fast emerging, however, concerns remain from a competition law perspective. In light of this, this research, and potential PhD candidate shall look at the dynamics of competition in the IoT-enabled connected world, and how markets may function smoothly, and to the benefit of consumers.

The main concerns regarding taxation purposes on IoT are related to the treatment of taxpayers' data from IoT devices. In that sense, the main concerns revolve around Tax Authorities' access to the data gathered by these devices, owned by the taxpayers but whose data are kept in private databases managed by the developers or such technology. This problem leads to other questions, such as regarding the categories of data: Are all the data gathered in IoT devices developed for the same purposes but by different developers the same? Or can specific devices only collect and keep certain types of data even though the devices are designed for the same purpose? These questions open another field of interest, such as the potential necessity of guidelines or regulations to standardize the type and amount of data foreseeably relevant for tax purposes and how it will affect targeting certain data for tax purposes and the obligations regarding data protection for the different database managers.

A temporal data-driven analysis (including but not limited to topic modelling and sentiment analysis) of the social network data related to the various big players in the IoT market and the tax authorities may assist in uncovering the market trends which drive the competition and dominance in the market (Bahamazava, K., & Nanda, R. (2022)). The outcome of such an analysis would also be useful in studying the evolution of the motivations of the IoT players and the challenges faced by the tax authorities for developing and adopting appropriate regulations/guidelines to standardize the type and amount of data relevant for tax purposes.

In light of this, this project looks at how competition and taxation issues play in the IoT-enabled world. Competitive and digital connected markets can facilitate a digital society that maximizes consumer welfare, while retaining incentives to innovate.

You will have to develop research within the project “A data-driven approach for Competition and Taxation Issues in the IoT enabled world”, with the support of inter disciplinary experts of Maastricht University, who will encourage, coach, and allow you to attend courses and workshops that will add social and legal knowledge to your skillset.


We are looking for candidates who

  • Are highly motivated and creative post-graduate with a relevant Master degree in Law, Economics or MSc degree in Computer Science, Data Science, Information Science, Artificial Intelligence or equivalent completed with excellent grades. Final-year (master) students are (likewise) welcome to apply if they are expecting to complete their degree soon.
  • Recent graduates (with upto three years of work experience) are also highly welcome
  • Can demonstrate relevant writing skills, proven, for example, by the quality of their master thesis;
  • Possess first-rate analytical skills;
  • Have an excellent research idea;
  • Have excellent written and oral command of English.
  • Proof of the English language level (being a native speaker, having completed a university degree in the English language or having passed a Cambridge English Qualifications, IELTS or TOEFL test; a Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) or C2 Proficiency (CPE); a IELTS score of 6.5 with no less than 6.5 in writing or an internet-based TOEFL score of 90 with no less than 23 in writing is sufficient);


Maastricht University (UM) is known for its unique innovative and problem-based education system (PBL), which is characterized by a small-scale and student-centered approach. Research at UM is multidisciplinary and thematic in nature, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. UM currently has nearly 22,000 students and approximately 5,000 employees. As a result of its highly international character, a large proportion of both students and employees come from abroad. UM has six faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.

For more information visit:


  • We offer a 6 year fix-term contract, full-time appointment as Lecturer-PhD Candidate, starting September 2023; (50 % teaching (0,5fte) and 50% research position (0,5fte). The first year will be a probation period followed by an evaluation. After a positive evaluation the position will be extended for 5 years.
  • 38 hours per week;
  • Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD candidates starting with a salary of €2,960 with a yearly growth to €3,703 gross a month, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours/week). An 8% holiday and an 8,3% year-end allowance is also provided;
  • We offer the opportunity to collaborate with researchers from different disciplines, including Law, data science and knowledge engineering.
  • To be part of an exciting and vibrant community where researchers from different disciplines meet and form interdisciplinary teams that conduct academically and societally relevant research.
  • We offer an attractive package of fringe benefits such as, reduction on collective health insurance, substantial leave arrangements, selection model for designing a personalised benefits package, use of UM Sport facilities against reduced rate, and application for attractive fiscal arrangements for employees from abroad;
  • We offer a rewarding career at a young university in the heart of Europe, with a distinct global perspective and a strong focus on innovative research and education;
  • We provide a stimulating, collaborative and interdisciplinary work environment with excellent opportunities for professional and personal development;
  • Maastricht University has an excellent international reputation, and Maastricht itself is a beautiful, open-minded city located in the center of Western Europe;
  • The appointment will be at the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University.

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the Collective Bargaining Agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, consult the website> About UM > Working at UM.

Meer informatie

Further information may be requested by Tyagi, Kalpana:

You can apply for this position by clicking the "apply now" button.