PhD Candidate: Predictive Policing (0.8 - 1.0 FTE)

Updated: about 19 hours ago

  • Employment: 0.8 - 1.0 FTE
  • Gross monthly salary: € 2,434 - € 3,111
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Required background: Research University Degree
  • Application deadline: 30 September 2021

The Dutch Crime Anticipation System (CAS) has been embraced as a step towards forward-looking crime prevention, but it has also been criticized for its potential discriminatory effects in both design and application. As a PhD Candidate, your research will focus on whether CAS has risks of discrimination and what interventions are possible to mitigate this risk.

The Department of Anthropology and Development Studies (CAOS) and the Interdisciplinary Hub for Security, Privacy and Data Governance (iHub), both at Radboud University, are looking for a PhD Candidate on the project 'Predictive Policing: The Dutch Crime Anticipation System (CAS) and its Discrimination Risks'.

Predictive policing tools have proliferated in the last two decades in response to louder calls for more effective and objective policing. Such tools allow for automated predictions about who will commit a crime or when and where crimes will occur. Predictive policing has been embraced as a step towards forward-looking crime prevention, but it has also been criticised for its potential discriminatory effects in both design and application.

In the PhD project we therefore focus on questions such as: How is CAS designed to work and how does it work as a (cultural) system in practice? Do the design and application of CAS bring risks of discrimination? Does current regulation sufficiently protect people against such risks? What legal and technical interventions are possible to mitigate the risk of discrimination? Using simulations, can we predict what the long-term effects of such predictive systems are? These questions ask for a combination of anthropology, law and computer science, disciplines that are reflected in the team of two CAOS and two iHub supervisors. You will:

  • Conduct a desk study of CAS and carry out an ethnographic study of its workings in practice in order to assess its discrimination risks.
  • Analyse current regulations that aim to protect people against discrimination and evaluate if such regulations need improvement, and, if possible, create a simulation, using artificial data, to improve CAS.
  • Fruitfully cross and combine the disciplines of (digital and legal) anthropology, law, criminology, and/or computer/data science.
  • Write articles in international journals and complete your PhD thesis within 4 / 5 years.

  • A completed Master's Degree or Research Master's degree in a related discipline such as Anthropology, Criminology, Law, or (critical) Data Science.
  • Experience with fieldwork; experience with mixed methods and/or simulations is a pro, but not a hard requirement.
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English and proficiency in Dutch.
  • The ability to finish the PhD thesis in four or five years, i.e. good skills in planning, taking initiatives, academic writing.
  • We encourage you to apply, even if you think you may not comply with all the requirements.

We are

The position will be partly (50%) embedded in the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies (CAOS), which is part of the Radboud Social Cultural Research (RSCR) institute at the Faculty of Social Sciences . This faculty is one of the largest faculties of Radboud University and holds the ambition to be among the top social science institutes in Europe, providing high-quality research and study programmes that rank among the best in the Netherlands. RSCR and CAOS focus on multidisciplinary research questions that have to do with diversity and inequality.

The position will also be partly (50%) embedded in Radboud University's iHub , which works on the impact of digitalisation on society and seeks to secure public values and the common good in digitalisation processes. The iHub brings together a diverse range of scholars from across the humanities, social sciences, engineering and natural sciences to tackle urgent questions raised by the increased digitalisation and datafication of science and society.

We offer
  • Employment: 0.8 (5 year contract) - 1.0 FTE (4 year contract).
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,434 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,111 from the fourth year onwards (salary scale P ).
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • Duration of the contract: you will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
  • Your teaching load may be up to 10% of your appointment.
  • The intended start date is 1 January 2022.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services . Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment  and help your family settle in Nijmegen.

Additional employment conditions
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions . You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.

Would you like more information?

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Paul Mutsaers, Assistant Professor Department of Anthropology and Development Studies

Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius, Professor of Law at iHub & iCIS Institute for Computing and Information Sciences

Practical information and applications

Please address your application to Paul Mutsaers and submit it, using the application button, no later than 30 September 2021, 23:59 Amsterdam Time Zone.   

Your application should include the following attachments:

  • Letter of motivation (max. 1 page).
  • CV including the names and contact details of two scholars who can provide references (max. 4 pages).
  • One-page research 'pitch' (maximum of 350 words) in which you lay out some initial ideas for this project; a short summary of the preliminary research proposal can be read here .
The first round of interviews will take place on 21 October 2021.

We drafted this vacancy to find and hire our new colleague ourselves. Recruitment agencies are kindly requested to refrain from responding.

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