PhD position: Professional learning in software development teams for ethically responsible AI

University of Twente
December 03, 2023
Offerd Salary:€ 2.770
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

Software development teams need the capacity to develop software that meets technical requirements in relation to functionality and reliability, for example. In an increasing number of domains such as education and healthcare, they also need to comply with ethical principles such as transparency, fairness, non-maleficence, responsibility and privacy. There is a rising interest in considering those ethical principles in software development to avoid ethical issues, which gets tangible in the case an AI-cheating software falsely flagging innocent students1 for example.

To deal with ethical issues in a responsible way, professionals need to develop the skills to identify possible tensions, explore different values, and alternative development practices. Developing responsible software and AI hence requires transformative learning both on the individual and team-level. Currently, we lack insights in how this transformative learning evolves in ongoing practices and how we can better support software development teams in identifying and resolving ethical issues.

Your job

As a PhD-student in this project, you will work on the intersection of science and practice. Understanding and supporting professional learning for ethically responsible AI allows you to study how members of a development team address ethical issues and transform their working practices. Using a multi-method longitudinal research design, you will unravel individual and collaborative transformative learning activities and their specific drivers and triggers. Next, you will design and evaluate tools that support the development of ethical responsible software.

You will work independently on your research while maintaining close connections with other researchers in the section of Professional Learning and Development and stakeholders from small and medium-sized software development companies. You will be expected to report and present your findings for both scientific and non-scientific audiences, such as at scientific conferences, in journal publications, and during meetings with software development. 'communities.https: // www. cheating-detection-turnitin/

Your profile

To be considered for this position, you should:

  • have a MSc degree (or close to completion) in Educational Sciences, Psychology, Business Administration, Human Resource Management, Human Resource Development, Organization Studies, Communication Science, or a related field;
  • have expertise or demonstrable interest in the process of continuous workplace learning and ethical reflection;
  • have an interest in the current challenges and developments in Ethically Aligned Design, Ethics-in-Practice & Responsible-Research-Innovation;
  • have strong methodological knowledge, the project will contain a mix of qualitative and design-based research, possibly combined with intensive longitudinal methods;
  • be able to connect with members of a software development team as well as their stakeholders, and link your research to their values and interests;
  • have good social and communication skills in academic as well as non- academic contexts;
  • have excellent academic writing and organization skills; being able to understand and communicate Dutch is preferrable (for non-Dutch applicants: please indicate your level of Dutch).
  • have proven ability to work independently, but also to collaborate within a team and with relevant stakeholders.
  • Our offer

    We encourage high responsibility and independence, while collaborating with colleagues, researchers, other university staff and partners. We follow the terms of employment by the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities (CAO). Our offer contains: a fulltime 4-year PhD position with a qualifier in the first year; excellent mentorship in a stimulating research environment with excellent facilities; and a personal development program within the Twente Graduate School. It also includes:

  • Gross monthly salary of € 2.770 in the first year, increasing each year up to € 3.539 in the fourth year;
  • Excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme;
  • 29 holidays per year in case of full-time employment;
  • A training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a suitable education and supervision;
  • A green campus with free access to sports facilities and an international scientific community;
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid);
  • A full status as an employee at the UT, including pension, health care benefits and good secondary conditions are part of our collective labour agreement CAO-NU for Dutch universities.
  • Information and application

    Your application should include the following documents:

  • a cover letter (in English) which explains your interest in the position and your qualifications for it;
  • a curriculum vitae
  • a copy of your Master's thesis or, if it is not yet available, an outline and summary of your thesis.
  • Applications should be uploaded via www. (click twice to find vacancy). Since only three documents can be uploaded per application, please combine documents if needed.

    The application deadline is December 3th. The first round of interviews will be held in the beginning of new year. The starting date for the position is as soon as possible.

    For additional information about this position, you can contact dr. Sebastian Dennerlein ([email protected] / ++31534899217) or prof.dr. Maaike Endedijk (+31 639270228 / [email protected])

    More information about the departments of Professional Learning & Technology can be found on the following website: https: // www.

    About the department

    The department of Professional Learning & Technology is specialised in research on professional learning in and across organisations. Researchers at our department study formal and informal learning of (future) employees, including the use of technology to measure and support professional learning. Our studies often take place in the high-tech, health, and educational sector with the intention to understand, evaluate and optimize professional learning in these various contexts. We aim to understand the interactions between learning processes on the individual, team, and organizational level and design (technology based) interventions to optimize these processes. In our research group, we combine expertise from a range of disciplines (e.g., educational sciences, communication sciences, psychology, business administration). Staff members participate in the ICO research school (the Interuniversity Centre of Educational Sciences) and the Twente Graduate School.Our department is responsible for the courses of the Human Resource Development track of the Master Educational Science and Technology, and the corresponding pre-Master program.

    About the organisation

    The Faculty of Behavioral, Management and Social sciences (BMS) aims to play a key role in understanding, jointly developing and evaluating innovations in society. Technological developments are the engine of innovation. As a technical university that puts people first, we tailor them to human needs and behavior and use social engineering to integrate them into society. We also ensure adequate governance at public and private level, and robust, inclusive and fair organizational structures. We do this by developing, sharing and applying high-quality knowledge in Psychology, Business Administration, Public Administration, Communication Sciences, Philosophy, Educational Sciences and Health Sciences. Our research and education in these disciplines revolves around tackling and solving societal challenges. The research programs of BMS are closely linked to the research of the UT institutes Mesa+ Institute for Nanotechnology, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.

    As an employer, the Faculty of BMS offers work that matters. We equip you to create new possibilities for yourself and for our society. With us, you will become part of a leading technical university with increasing, positive social impact. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial atmosphere, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example through our flexible, adaptable benefits.

    Want to know more? Dennerlein, S.M. (Sebastian)

    Assistant Professor

    Dennerlein, S.M. (Sebastian)

    Assistant Professor

    Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Sebastian for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.



    Email:[email protected]

    How to apply Step 1

    Apply. When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

    Step 2

    Selection. The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

    Step 3

    1st interview. The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

    Step 4

    2nd interview. In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

    Step 5

    The offer. If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer.

    Your Colleagues
  • Endedijk, M.D. (Maaike)
  • Personal page LinkedIn

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