Postdoctoral researcher in criminal law and privacy

Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT)
June 6, 2017
Tilburg, Netherlands
Job Type


Post-doctorate position in criminal law, privacy at TILT: "Privacy in the 21st century: finding new boundary markers through comparative legal research".

TILT is looking for a post-doctorate researcher with a background in law, specialized in criminal law and having affinity with cybercrime and privacy. The position is, for the first two years, part of the VICI project of prof. Bert-Jaap Koops, 'Privacy in the 21st century: finding a new paradigm to protect citizens in the age of ubiquitous data'.

The project seeks to find ways to reinvent legal protection of privacy, which is currently based on a distinction between private and public places, which is outdated because people carry their private life around using mobile devices and cloud computing, and the default condition in public space is changing from being anonymous to being identifiable, through pervasive surveillance and tracking technologies. In view of these socio-technical trends, the law should find alternative concepts or distinctions to determine what comes closest to people's personal life in our technology-pervaded society:  a metaphorical 'home 2.0'.

The project addresses these questions through integrating comparative law and Science and Technology Studies. The postdoc will be responsible for comparative legal analysis of common-law jurisdictions, primarily the United Kingdom, and secondarily Canada and the United States. The research will focus on how new privacy concepts, such as ‘home 2.0’, fit in the legal system and whether they can be used to address topical legal challenges, such as cloud investigations, smartphone searches incident to arrest, and police hacking. The postdoc will closely collaborate with prof. Koops and a PhD student who research the same for civil-law jurisdictions.

Besides the project, the postdoc will supervise Master theses and possibly conduct other minor teaching tasks, as well as actively participating in everyday TILT activities. Collaboration may also be requested in other, shorter-term projects related to privacy or cybersecurity.

After two years, the postdoc will work on other (possibly self-initiated) projects on related topics, within TILT’s research cluster in cybercrime and cyber-investigations.

Job requirements and qualifications

You have completed a PhD in criminal law, or in a closely related field. You have experience in researching UK law and other common-law jurisdictions. You have demonstrable interest in developments in cybercrime, cybersecurity, and privacy, and you aim to develop yourself further in this field. You have an academic mind-set, good analytic skills, strong research, writing and collaborative skills, and an excellent command of written and spoken English. You like to work independently but also to collaborate closely within a small team. Teaching experience and experience in grant applications are considered an advantage.

Terms of employment

We offer a challenging job in an inspiring and friendly environment. The envisaged starting date is 1 September 2017 on a fulltime basis (both conditions negotiable). The position is for a fixed-term contract for 5 years as post doc researcher (UFO profile: researcher 3). Tilburg University is among the top of the Dutch employers and has an excellent policy concerning terms of employment. Depending on the candidates’ experience, the starting gross salary will vary between € 3.427,- and € 4.691,- per month (for a full-time appointment) based on scale 11 of the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) Dutch Universities. Researchers from outside the Netherlands may qualify for a tax-free allowance equal to 30% of their taxable salary. The university will apply for such an allowance on their behalf.

In case of 1fte employment (5-days work week), you will devote 80% of your time (0,8 fte) to the VICI activities, and 20% to other responsibilities, such as teaching, master thesis supervision and other tasks. In case of 0,8 fte employment (4-days work week), you will devote 100% of your time to the VICI activities for the duration of the project.

Applications and information concerning the vacancies

The project will be conducted at Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) within Tilburg Law School.

TILT is a top player in the field of the regulation and normative implications of technology. We conduct research into the legal and social implications of ICT as well as health-related technologies and robotics. A key feature of the institute’s research program is the interaction between legal, technological, and social perspectives. TILT is consistently ranked a top institute for research and education by national and international Legal Research and Education Assessment Committees.

TILT is a multidisciplinary research institute with over 40 international research staff, combining law, philosophy, social sciences, public administration and management sciences. This enables us to look at research topics from multiple perspectives and deliver valuable contributions to the existing knowledge in the field of law, technology, and society. TILT’s collaborative and open environment stimulates social and intellectual interaction.

Please consult the web for additional information about Tilburg University, Tilburg Law School and the Institute for Law Technology and Society (TILT) Specific information about the vacancy can be obtained from prof. Bert-Jaap Koops (via, reference “VICI vacancy”).

The application must include:

-- a curriculum vitae;
-- a motivation letter;
-- a list of publications and a copy of two (possibly forthcoming) publications and the PhD thesis;
-- teaching evaluations (if available)
-- the names and addresses of three referees. Referees will be contacted for shortlisted candidates only.

Applications should be submitted through the University’s online application system before 10 June 2017. Promising candidates will be invited for an interview, which will be held at 27 June 2017. Using videoconferencing is a possibility. Candidates may be asked to write down their ideas about how they would approach the project.

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