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Postdoctoral position in the ERC project BIOUNCERTAINTY (EXPIRED)

Interdisciplinary Centre for Ethics, Jagiellonian University

Job category Postdoc or similar / Fixed term
AOS Ethics, Bioethics, Value Theory, Philosophy of Science
AOS categories Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Social Science
AOC Open
Workload Full time
Vacancies 1
Organization's reference number 805498
Location Remote work
Organization based in Kraków, Poland
Start date July 2021 or later
Job description

The Jagiellonian University in Kraków welcomes applications for a postdoctoral position ("adiunkt") in the project "Deep uncertainties in bioethics: genetic research, preventive medicine, reproductive decisions" (BIOUNCERTAINTY), funded by the European Research Council Starting Grant (ERC). The Principal Investigator of this project is Tomasz Żuradzki (Philosophy, Jagiellonian University). The Jagiellonian University is one of the oldest universities in Europe (established in 1364) and now one of the best two universities in Poland. 

Job description

The person appointed will be expected to be engaged in high-level research relevant to the project goals, to publish in their specialist field, present papers at appropriate scholarly conferences and meetings, and assist with the administration of the project and its events. There is no obligation to teach (but the possibility exists if someone would like to do so). Knowledge of Polish is not required. 

Salary: €30,000-45,000 gross per annum depending on experience (health and social insurance are included, we can also cover expenses for travel, conferences and research stays).

The successful candidate will initially appointed for a period of one year, which may be extended by a year. Starting date: between July and October 2021. The position is based at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Ethics and the Institute of Philosophy of the Jagiellonian University, in central Kraków (52 Grodzka Street). Remote work is possible. 

Application deadline: June 4, 2021 (applications received after the deadline may be considered if the position has not yet been filled).

Project description

Uncertainty is everywhere, as the saying goes, but rarely considered in ethical reflections. This project aims to reinterpret ethical discussions on current advances in biomedicine: instead of understanding bioethical positions as extensions of classical normative views in ethics (consequentialism, deontologism, contractualism etc.), my project interprets them more accurately as involving various normative approaches to decision making under uncertainty. The following hard cases in bioethics provide the motivation for research:

1) Regulating scientific research under uncertainty about ontological/moral status (e.g. parthenogenetic stem cells derived from human parthenotes) in the context of meta-reasoning under normative uncertainty.

2) The value of preventive medicine in healthcare (e.g. vaccinations) in the context of decision-making under metaphysical indeterminacy.

3) Population or reproductive decisions (e.g. preimplantation genetic diagnosis) in the context of valuing mere existence.

The main drive behind this project is the rapid progress in biomedical research combined with new kinds of uncertainties. These new “deep” uncertainties trigger specific forms of emotions and cognitions that influence normative judgments and decisions. The main research questions that will be addressed by conceptual analysis, new psychological experiments, and case studies are the following: how do the heuristics and biases (H&B) documented by behavioral scientists influence the formation of normative judgments in bioethical contexts; how should we demarcate between distorted and undistorted value judgments; to what extent is it permissible for individuals or policy makers to yield to H&B? The hypothesis is that many existing bioethical rules, regulations, practices seem to have emerged from unreliable reactions, rather than by means of deliberation on the possible justifications for alternative ways to determine them under several layers and types of uncertainty.

About the workplace

The Institute of Philosophy at the Jagiellonian University is located in the very heart of Kraków, on 52 Grodzka Street, and now is one of the best philosophy centres in Poland. In the past few years, our faculty members have published papers in the main international journals in philosophy, bioethics and cognitive science: American Journal of Bioethics; Journal of Medical Ethics; Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics; Ethics and Information Technology; Synthese; Erkenntnis; The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science; European Journal for Philosophy of Science; Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics; Biology & Philosophy; Intelligence; Memory and Cognition; Journal of Philosophical Logic... Here is the list of selected publications: https://filozofia.uj.edu.pl/en_GB/publications

Formal requirements

Individuals may apply for the postdoctoral position who meet the following requirements:

-   hold at least the academic degree of doctor or PhD (or to be officially awarded with one before the date of competition settlement),

 -   their doctoral or habilitation thesis was highly regarded/assessed,

 -   relevant academic achievements, apart from the doctoral thesis,

 -   active participation in academic life, particularly involving presentations at conferences and symposiums,

 -   positive opinion of the head of department/chair or academic tutor on candidate’s qualifications and suitability to conduct research,

 -   has at least one publication (published or accepted for publication) in an international peer-reviewed journal in the field,

-   demonstrates an interest in the project topics (ethics, bioethics, philosophy of science, moral psychology etc.) and a readiness to engage in the realization of the project BIOUNCERTAINTY (no. 805498), information about the project: https://incet.uj.edu.pl/en_GB/biouncertainty

-   good organizational skills, research independence, reliability, ability to keep deadlines,

-   proficiency in English (knowledge of Polish is not required).


Candidates who apply for the post are required to send the following documents by email to: incet@uj.edu.pl

  1. Application.
  2. Curriculum vitae.
  3. Personal questionnaire.
  4. Copy of doctoral diploma or habilitation diploma.
  5. Report concerning main research areas, scientific achievements of the candidate, as well as research plans related to the project BIOUNCERTAINTY (no more than 3 pages).
  6. List of publications (including publishing house and number of pages).
  7. Information regarding classes taught by a candidate, if applicable.
  8. Reviews of doctoral or habilitation thesis.
  9. Form of the latest interim evaluation, if a candidate was evaluated.
  10. Opinion of the head of department or academic tutor on candidate’s suitability and qualifications for research and teaching classes – including results of students’ questionnaires, if a candidate was assessed in this manner.
  11. Statement declaring that Jagiellonian University will be the main place of employment if employed following the completion of the competition procedure.
  12. Statement – in accordance with Article 113 of the Act Law on higher education and science.
  13. Statement regarding acquaintance and acceptance of intellectual property rules as well as legal protection of intellectual property.
  14. Information regarding personal data processing.
  15. A scientific text (an article, a book, a chapter), that a candidate regards as her/his best (published or accepted for publication – in this second case, please attach a letter of acceptance issued by an editor or a publisher).

Statement forms can be downloaded on the website: http://www.dso.uj.edu.pl/druki-do-pobrania/dokumenty-dla-kandydatow-pracownikow

Enquiries about the appointments procedure and related matters may be made to Katarzyna Żebrowska, the grant administrator, at katarzyna.zebrowska@uj.edu.pl. Enquiries about academic matters may be made to Tomasz Żuradzki, the Principal Investigator, at t.zuradzki@uj.edu.pl

How to apply
Application type Email
Web address to apply https://incet.uj.edu.pl/en_GB/aktualnosci/-/journa...
Email to apply
Hard deadline June 4, 2021, 11:59pm CET
Web address for more information https://incet.uj.edu.pl/
Contact name Tomasz Żuradzki
Contact email
Contact phone +48126633033
Time created May 14, 2021, 2:47pm UTC
Scheduled expiry date June 4, 2021, 11:59pm CET
Expired on June 6, 2021, 12:46am CET
Last updated June 5, 2021, 10:46pm UTC
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