PhD on Big Data, Democracy and Fundamental Rights in Belgium

Deadline: 16 August 2020
Open to: international applicants
EUR 1900 net per month


LSTS is looking for a motivated researcher who will focus on Big Data, Democracy and Fundamental Rights.

The multidisciplinary Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) at the Faculty of Law and Criminology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), established in 2003, has become a prominent European research institute in the area of technology and regulation. The team is led, both administratively and academically, by Prof. Dr. Mireille Hildebrandt and Prof. Dr. Gloria González Fuster. The staff comprises around 50 researchers: professors as well as senior and post-doctoral-, doctoral and associated researchers. Research staff at the VUB-LSTS have background in a number of areas, including law, ethics, philosophy, political science, sociology, criminology and others. Great emphasis is placed on incorporating a multidisciplinary perspective in all their work.


Candidates are expected to possess the following qualifications:
• a master’s degree in law, preferably in combination with an additional degree in political science or another social science , awarded by the deadline for applications;
• experience in analyzing the legal, ethical and social aspects of new technologies;
• knowledge of relevant European regulatory frameworks: data protection, fundamental rights, intellectual property rights;
• relevant working experience (includes internships and traineeships); acquaintance with EU Horizon 2020 projects is welcome but not required; Interdisciplinary experience is a plus;
• good writing skills (published papers are appreciated);
• demonstrate enthusiasm by contributing to ongoing research activities and attracting external funding for research projects;
• fluency in English;
• excellent organisational and communicative skills;
• the ability to work independently, under pressure, respect deadlines, and produce quality work;
• knowledge of data management and setting up questionnaires is a plus; and
• interest in surveillance studies is a plus.


Full-time research grant for one year, renewable on an annual basis for a maximum of four years. The extension of the contract is subject to the agreement of the doctoral committee. Remuneration is at the level of a full-time research assistant at a Flemish university (i.e. approximately EUR 1900 net per month) and includes contributions for social security. Secondary employment is not allowed.

How to apply?

The candidate will be selected on the basis of the quality of the application, expertise, work experience and qualifications. The following application documents are to be consolidated into a single PDF file sent by email to

Applications (in English) should include the following:
• a curriculum vitae;
• a cover letter which explains the motivation and qualifications of the candidate;
• two recent works: essay or excerpt from recent research or article written by the candidate;
• a letter of recommendation.

For more information, please visit the official web page.