PhD Law and Innovation in Quantum Technologies

University of Amsterdam
April 24, 2023
Offerd Salary:€ 2,541
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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PhD Law and Innovation in Quantum Technologies

Faculty/Services: Amsterdam Law School

Educational level: Master

Function type: PhD position

Closing date: 24.04.2023

Vacancy number: 11246

Do you want to study one of the core legal questions in emerging quantum technology value chains? And do you want to contribute to a vision on how the law can support equitable development of quantum technologies?

This PhD position on Law and Innovation in Quantum Technologies is part of the new research group on the law and governance of quantum technologies at the Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam. The Institute for Information Law is one of the largest research facilities in information law world-wide. The Institute brings together more than 40 researchers from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. The research group is a part of Action line 4 on the Ethical, Legal And Societal Aspects of Quantum Technologies of the Quantum Delta NL ecosystem.

What are you going to do

Intellectual property in the broad sense plays a vital role in advanced technology industries. Over the last years, public and private investment in quantum technologies, including quantum computing, communications and sensing, have received a significant boost. Innovation and development of quantum technologies is giving rise to specific questions of law and global value chains. Private sector quantum innovation strategies rely on strong protection through patents, trade secrets and other (quasi) intellectual property. This raises questions in relation to competition and equitable access to advanced quantum technologies across different stakeholders and internationally. National science and technology policies attempt to support thriving national and transnational quantum technology ecosystems, seeking protection for knowledge and skilled personnel. Concentrations of private power and geo- political competition around quantum technology development may lead a world of quantum haves and have-nots, increasing global inequalities. Early initiatives relating to quantum technologies at the international level include calls for responsible tech development, and recognition of human rights guarantees and Sustainable Development Goals.

Building on insights from the work on Law and Global Value Chains (GVCs), this PhD will engage with the following questions. What role do law and legal practice in the area of law and innovation (intellectual property, including trade secrets, contract law) play in emergent quantum technology ecosystems? What alternative arrangements are or can be imagined in relation to quantum technology intellectual property portfolio's, in particular to further equitable development, open innovation and access to quantum technologies? How does law support different positions and strategies of relevant actors, and how do other governance tools, such as standardization, help relevant actors address tensions between security and other interests? How might a clash between open quantum innovation and securitization of quantum technology production be resolved, also in light of a new European imperative of strategic autonomy?

The PhD project will be part of the research group on the Law and Governance of Quantum Technologies at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam. You will conduct original cutting-edge research into the law and governance of quantum technologies with a focus on emerging legal practices relating to quantum technology development. You will develop insights into the way in which law relates to the increasingly constitutive function of digital infrastructure in our societies, by conducting different case studies in the area of quantum computing, communications and sensing. Using relevant theory, information law and fundamental rights law, technology governance studies, and empirical methods, you will contribute to our understanding of law and quantum technology ecosystems in Europe and internationally.

What do we require

  • a completed degree in law, or equivalent degree;
  • affinity with questions of intellectual property and private law a knowledgeable curiosity for developments in quantum technologies;
  • knowledge of current legal developments with respect to technology and innovation;
  • excellent academic credentials, as demonstrated by grades and/or curriculum vitae;
  • a creative mind and strong critical and analytical skills;
  • an interest in working across legal disciplines, using different methods (including empirical, theoretical and interdisciplinary), and collaborations with other relevant non-legal disciplines. Some knowledge or experience with conducting empirical research is a plus;
  • strong communication skills and a commitment to contributing to diverse and inclusive team dynamics;
  • excellent language skills in English and one or more other languages;
  • If the vacancy appeals to you, but you are doubting whether you might be THE person we are looking for, please do apply. We particularly welcome applications from candidates from underrepresented backgrounds.

    Our offer

    We offer a temporary full-time contract for the period of 4 years (with a go no go review assessment after the first year). The preferred starting date is 1 September 2023.

    The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be € 2,541 to € 3,247 (scale P) gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling', may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

    The UvA offers excellent possibilities for further professional development and education.

    What else do we offer

  • Be part of a diverse team of engaged and enthusiastic researchers from a diversity of disciplines (law, computer science, communication science, ethics, economics, political science, humanities) and countries;
  • Mentoring and support in developing your future academic career;
  • Ample opportunities to translate your research into impact for society.
  • The Amsterdam Law School prides itself on its international orientation and strong social commitment. This is reflected by both its research and educational activities. The Amsterdam Law School offers three Bachelor's programs, including the interdisciplinary English-language Bachelor Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE) in cooperation with two other faculties, as well as a variety of Master's programs, several of which are taught exclusively in English (i.e. International and European Law, European Private Law, International Criminal Law, and Law & Finance). The Amsterdam Law School prepares students for a wide variety of legal careers including law firms, government, business and industry, the national and international judiciary, public service, human rights advocacy, and academia. With 5000 students and over 500 staff members, it is one of the largest law faculties in the Netherlands.

    To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterized by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society. Here you can read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


    Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

    Prof. Dr. Joris van Hoboken, [email protected]

    Job application

    Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 24 April. You may apply online by using the link below.

    If you are also interested in applying for one of the other two open PhD positions in the research group, please indicate so in your letter of motivation for the position of your preference. You do not have to submit multiple applications.

    Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a curriculum vitae and a list of 2-3 references that can be contacted in the process;
  • a letter of motivation describing your background and interests relative to the project;
  • one or two exemplary writing samples;
  • We will invite potential candidates for interviews within 2 weeks after the closing date.

    The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

    No agencies please.

    Apply now »

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