Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Doctorate

Are you an experienced and passionate Computer Science researcher with a track record in ethical computing, and do you want to contribute and collaborate to shape the future of ethical computing models and applications with an eye on society? Then please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

FTE: 0.8

Job description

We seek a new colleague who will collaboratively contribute to research on ethical computing within our department, and will be responsible for teaching courses on related topics in the Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence or Information Sciences education programs. We look for an active researcher able to perform groundbreaking research and to apply this in relevant societal domains. 

Depending on the profile of the candidate, she or he will take up the responsibility of designing ethical computational systems and developing ethics performance metrics for computing, for example by:

  • operationalizing high-level social values and norms into concrete tools that can be used to evaluate and improve socio-technical systems. Example areas of interest include defining norms for “moral machines” and defining transparent systems;
  • co-designing and developing (semi-)formal computational models for systems with such social values and norms built-in; 
  • developing ethical guidelines and (semi-)automatic methods for verifying compliance to such guidelines;
  • designing methods to convey results of complex and intelligent computing to users; and
  • engage in the public debate over societal controversies, such as those concerning digital privacy and online manipulation.
Your duties
The tenure track position starts at the level of assistant professor in the areas of research, education and management (40%:40%:20%), and contains among others the following duties:
  • performing research in the field of ethical computing;
  • developing new course material for the Bachelor and Master programmes of the Department of Computer Science;
  • supervising PhD students;
  • supervising MSc/BSc student research projects in CS/AI/IS;
  • contributing to research grant proposals; and
  • contributing to administrative tasks.


  • completed a PhD in Computer Science or field relevant to this position;
  • demonstrated affinity with philosophical fundamentals related to ethical computing;
  • an international research profile, demonstrated by publications in relevant journals and conferences;
  • academic teaching experience, preferably with experience in the supervision of MSc/PhD students; and
  • experience with applications for research funding, either individually or collaboratively.

What are we offering?

 A challenging position in a socially involved organisation. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of € 3.637.- and a maximum € 4.978,- in accordance with salary scale 11, depending on your education and experience. The job profile (UD2) is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 0.8 FTE.

This is a tenure track position; the initial appointment will be for a period of five years. Based on performance indicators agreed at the start of the appointment, a tenure track position will lead to a tenured position of UD1 in a period of maximally 5 years. In the fifth year of the appointment the tenure decision will be taken and a midterm review will take place in 2,5 years’ time after starting date.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. And to be a university where personal education and societal involvement play a leading role. Where people from different disciplines and backgrounds work together on innovations and on generating new knowledge. Our teaching and research embrace the whole spectrum of science – from the humanities, the social sciences and the pure sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,500 students. We employ more than 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible, located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

Diversity is one of our university’s core values. We are an inclusive community, and we believe that diversity and international activities enhance the quality of education and research. We are always looking for people who can enhance diversity on our campus thanks to their background and experience.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to around 6,000 students.

About the department, institute, project
The VU Department of Computer Science has approximately 170 members, including 35 tenured staff members and 40-50 PhD students. The tenured staff members form the essential basis for the functioning of the department. A tenured staff member is required to make significant contributions to the research and education programmes, and to spend effort on specific tasks at the department level.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button and upload your curriculum vitae and cover letter before May 2, 2020

The Department of Computer Science is committed to improving its gender balance. As a consequence, we will focus this procedure initially on female applicants. If this does not result in a match we will expand the procedure with male applicants.

Applications received by e-mail will not be processed.

Vacancy questions
If you have any questions regarding this vacancy, you may contact:
Name: Prof. dr. Dick Bulterman
Position: Head, search committee

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