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Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Philosophy, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Job category Postdoc or similar / Fixed term
AOS AI and the future of work
AOS categories Philosophy of Computing
Social and Political Philosophy
AOC Applied Ethics, Political Philosophy
AOC categories Philosophy of Science
Applied Ethics
Social and Political Philosophy
Workload Full time
Vacancies 1
Location Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Start date January 20, 2022
Job description

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University of Massachusetts Boston
Boston, MA

The Applied Ethics Center (AEC) and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) are excited to invite applications for a full-time Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in the Future of Work at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The post is fixed-term for 24 months from the date of appointment.

Some forecasters believe automation and other emerging technologies will cause a rapid loss of traditional employment in the coming decades. Other forecasters argue that there will not be a net loss of jobs, but foresee instead a rapid innovation of new jobs, and transformation of existing jobs. Policies to address the rapidly changing labor market include reforming higher education and job re-training, shortening the work week, a federal jobs guarantee, and a universal basic income. Whether work is threatened or not, some see a post-work future as a desirable goal of public policy, while others believe work is essential to meaning and social engagement. How can higher education focus more on non-automatable skills like creativity and social-emotional intelligence? What are the impacts of employment versus guaranteed income? Many of us find the primary locus of meaning in our work. Would living in a world with less, or transformed, work be less meaningful?  The Future of Work Fellow will help AEC and IEET research the academic and policy work being done on these questions.


  • The Future of Work Fellow will be expected to teach between one and two courses per year, write academic articles for publication and present at relevant conferences in consultation with the AEC and IEET. 
  • Fellows will be expected to help raise awareness of these issues as a guest classroom lecturer, through writing popular essays, and being a press contact for interviews and podcasts. 
  • The Fellow will help organize lectures on these topics by emerging and established scholars. 
  • The Fellowship will be capped by a conference on The Future of Work. The Fellow will work with the AEC and IEET to plan the conference and related publications.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • The ideal candidate will have a PhD (by December 1, 2021) and a publication record in philosophy, law, computer science, a social scientific discipline, or related fields, and a demonstrated interest in the social, ethical, legal and/or economic implications of artificial intelligence, employment, social welfare and/or technological change. 
  • Experience conducting interdisciplinary research is a plus.

Application Instructions:
Candidates please apply online with your CV, a cover letter, an article-length writing sample, and a short research proposal (no more than 800 words). Please ask three recommenders to send their letters directly to Nir Eisikovits, Director of the UMB Applied Ethics Center, at nir.eisikovits@umb.edu. Applications received through any other channel will not be considered.

The closing date for applications is June 15, 2021. Interviews will take place virtually in June and July of 2021, with decisions made by the end of September. The position is to start January 20, 2022. Please contact director@ieet.org with questions about the role or application process.

Review of candidates will begin following the application closing date.

Salary Range: 
Stipend: $50,000. This two-year appointment has a Boston residency requirement.

This is a non-union, exempt position.

About the Applied Ethics Center at UMass Boston:
The Applied Ethics Center (AEC) is located in the Philosophy Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston (www.umb.edu/ethics), and promotes research, teaching, and awareness of ethics in public life.  Through public conversations, specialized courses, and research projects, the center creates a forum for exploring topics ranging from the meaning of artificial Intelligence to the ethics of fighting terrorism to the status of controversial public monuments. 

The AEC is directed by associate professor of philosophy Nir Eisikovits.  Before coming to UMass Boston Professor Eisikovits was associate professor of legal and political philosophy at Suffolk University, where he co-founded and directed the Graduate Program in Ethics and Public Policy. He writes on the ethics of war, transitional justice and on how societies come to terms with their past.

About the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies:
The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) is a technoprogressive thinktank founded in 2005 by Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom and sociologist James Hughes.  The IEET (ieet.org), a 501c3 nonprofit registered in Connecticut, promotes ideas about how technological progress can increase freedom, happiness, and human flourishing in democratic societies. The IEET seeks to cultivate academic, professional, and popular understanding of the social implications of emerging technologies, both positive and negative, and to encourage responsible public policies for their safe and equitable use.

The IEET Executive Director James Hughes is a bioethicist and sociologist who has taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Connecticut, Trinity College and the University of Massachusetts Boston. He now serves as an Associate Provost at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future, co-editor of Surviving the Machine Age: Intelligent Technology and the Transformation of Work, and many articles and chapters. 

The University of Massachusetts Boston provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, genetic information, pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, or membership in any other legally protected class. The University of Massachusetts Boston complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the university operates. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment.

How to apply
Application type Email
Candidates please apply online with your CV, a cover letter, an article-length writing sample, and a short research proposal (no more than 800 words). Please ask three recommenders to send their letters directly to Nir Eisikovits, Director of the UMB Applied Ethics Center, at nir.eisikovits@umb.edu. Applications received through any other channel will not be considered.
Email to apply
Hard deadline June 15, 2021, 11:59pm EST
Web address for more information https://employmentopportunities.umb.edu/boston/en-...
Contact name Nir Eisikovits
Contact email
Time created April 21, 2021, 8:03pm UTC
Scheduled expiry date June 15, 2021, 11:59pm EST
Last updated May 3, 2021, 4:41pm UTC
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