Careers at UMC Utrecht
Vacancy number: 2021/0666
Apply to: March 15 2021
Education: University
Employment: Temporary position
Full-time/Part-time: 36 - 36 hours

Recent advances in neuroscience and technology make it possible to ‘read from’ and ‘write to’ the brain, which provides huge potential for blind and deaf people, as well as people who are paralyzed or have epilepsy. The combination of brain reading and writing with new methods in artificial intelligence (AI), enables to develop a new generation of neuroprostheses that are implantable and have functions that were previously unimaginable. These technological advancements in neurotechnology are paired with ethical implications, which are at the core of this project: We will address the user experience of neuroprosthetic devices, the conditions for societal acceptance of these devices and concise ethical analyses will be employed to scrutinize and refine central concepts in AI-augmented neurotechnology. The outcomes of these investigations will form the basis for a theoretically profound and empirically informed framework for the responsible development and use of AI-driven neuroprostheses.


You will write a PhD thesis (based on scientific publications) and follow courses at the Graduate School of Life Sciences and/or Philosophy; you will also teach Medical Ethics and Medical Humanities courses at the Faculty of Medicine. Please include in your application: a motivation letter in which you explain your interest in the position, Curriculum Vitae and when applicable an overview of past and current research and teaching activities. Interviews will take place on March 22 (12.00-4.00 pm). Starting date: May or June 1st, 2021. The appointment will be for a total of 48 months. The initial appointment will be for a period of 12 months, which will be extended upon a positive evaluation. This is a temporary appointment for 48 months. This project is funded by NWO, under the Crossover scheme.


This project will be conducted as part of the NWO funded INTENSE Consortium in collaboration with academic partners including: The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) and Radboud University and Donders Institute. The consortium includes neuroscientists, technologists, medical doctors, patient organizations and companies.

You will work in the Department of Medical Humanities of the Julius Center at the University Medical Center Utrecht and will collaborate with clinicians and academics both within and outside the UMC Utrecht. Supervisors of this project will be Prof Dr AL Bredenoord and Dr KR Jongsma.

Our interdisciplinary department is comprised of medical professionals, professors, associate and assistant professors and PhD students working on a variety of topics in the intersecting fields of medical ethics, innovation of biotechnology, history of medicine, narrative medicine and health law. As an embedded member of our department you will also be involved with shared activities pertaining to teaching, research and professional training.


You have a master degree in (bio)ethics, philosophy, neuroscience, science and technology studies and/or medicine with considerable experience in ethics or philosophy. You are interested in responsible innovation and about working at the crossroads of ethics and medicine/neuroscience. Experience with qualitative research methods such as interviewing, conducting focus groups, and (ethnographic) observation is essential. Experience with NVivo or Atlas.ti is also highly valued. You are highly self-motivated, willing to work in an interdisciplinary team, but also able to work independently. You have fluent oral and writing skills in English and Dutch.

The maximum salary for this position (36 - 36 hours) is € 3.196,00 gross per month based on full-time employment.

In addition, we offer an annual benefit of 8.3%, holiday allowance, travel expenses and career opportunities. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Cao University Medical Centers (UMC).

More information

If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Prof Dr AL Bredenoord, Hoogleraar Medische Ethiek, phone number: 088 75 59305, e‑mail adress:

Acquisition based on this jobopening is not appreciated.


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