Postdoc "EU AI Diplomacy Towards China"

Updated: 5 months ago
Deadline: ;

The UvA department of political science is looking for a post-doctoral researcher embedded in the RegulAite project led by Prof. Dr. Daniel Mügge.

RegulAite investigates how the European Union regulates artificial intelligence (AI) in the context of global geopolitical, economic, and technological competition. Its core premise is that to minimise the potential risks from AI and maximise its benefits for society, EU AI regulation will have to accommodate the global force field in which it unfolds and will be implemented. Project details and background can be found on the RegulAite website .

Financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) through a Vici grant, the RegulAite project in turn is hosted by the PETGOV (Political Economy and Transnational Governance) programme group in the political science department.

What are you going to do

This post doc project investigates the interaction between the EU and China as a leading power in global (digital) politics and AI development (see subproject III ). In EU policy discourse, China is frequently held up as a negative example of government abuse of AI for oppressive aims. And in the current geopolitical climate, China is increasingly portrayed as the primary competitor of an American-European alliance.

At the same time, global standards agreement in the AI field will also require Chinese buy-in. Equally, bilateral trade in AI-powered devices will require some level of shared standards or regulatory agreements. The goal of the project is to understand how the EU interacts with China in the field of AI standard setting, and why so. Based on that, it assesses alternative future scenarios for such engagement and their relative merits and ancillary effects.

Embedded in the RegulAite project, the successful candidate will be part of a larger team studying issues of EU AI regulation, but with their own dedicated field of inquiry – for example by concentrating a particularly relevant subset or aspect of the dynamics mentioned in the project description.

You will/tasks

  • Complete at least two scientific articles in leading academic journals on the topic outlined above;
  • Aid the dissemination of research results through widely accessible formats;
  • Actively contribute to the RegulAite project’s activities and outreach;
  • Contribute to collective academic publications, as appropriate.

What do you have to offer

We are looking for a candidate with enthusiasm for social scientific research and the politics of AI regulation, as well as familiarity with EU policymaking. Successful applicants are capable of working independently. They have demonstrable experience in the scientific methods required to achieve the subproject’s aim. Even though most of the research will concern the EU-side of the Sino-European axis, acquaintance with Chinese regulatory politics and Chinese language proficiency are highly desirable. Given the project context, we appreciate colleagues who enjoy working in and contributing to a collective research effort. A lot of data collection will involve approaching and interviewing professionals in the field; ease in making connections with other people and gaining their cooperation will therefore be a plus.

Your experience and profile

  • PhD in political science or a related relevant discipline;
  • Familiarity with relevant social science research methods;
  • Affinity with and knowledge of policymaking concerning digital technologies.

What can we offer you

The position concerns (temporary) employment of 38 hours per week for a maximum term of 3 years/ 36 months. We will put together a curriculum which will also include the opportunity to attend training courses and both national and international events.

The UvA supports the application for the temporary residence permit procedure for international employees. Having a work permit is therefore not a requirement for this position.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and relevant experience, ranges between € 3974 to € 5439. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance. 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

Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at our deparmtnet we offer you multiple fringe benefits:

  • an opportunity to investigate a topic of enormous societal relevance;
  • a position in which initiative and input are highly valued;
  • an enthusiastic and warm team that is open to new colleagues;
  • an inspiring academic and international working environment in the heart of Amsterdam;
  • multiple courses on topics such as time management, handling stress and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
  • 7 weeks birth leave (partner leave) with 100% salary;
  • partly paid parental leave;
  • a pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution.

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organization. The social and behavioral sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


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

Job Application

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application/motivation letter and resume in one bundled .pdf by 21 November 2022.

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a letter of motivation;
  • a short research proposal of approximately 800 words describing, within the project parameters laid out above, which dynamics and questions the candidate would want to research in particular, including questions to be answered, potential cases to be analysed, data sources to be used, as well as potentially relevant literature(s).

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.

If you encounter Error GBB451, reach out to our HR Department  directly. They will gladly help you continue your application. 

No agencies please.

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