24 September 2021

PhD vacancy on Artificial Intelligence and Data regulation(s) – Managing Director of the Hub




The Regulation of AI and personal data protection in the EU digital sphere is a critical issue that increasingly requires interdisciplinary and policy efforts. The EU is trying to bridge this gap through different regulatory strategies. This situation opens interesting and urgent research scenarios: how to define and regulate AI? How to reconcile Data Protection law (in particular, the GDPR) and the upcoming Artificial Intelligence Act? How to protect vulnerable data subjects in the AI environment? How to reach fairness in AI and data protection, through an interdisciplinary approach?


The Brussels Privacy Hub is looking for a motivated and talented doctoral researcher to join the team to conduct doctoral research on Artificial Intelligence and Data Protection law and serving as Managing Director of the Hub. The doctoral candidate will be immersed in the high-level academic environment of the Brussels Privacy Hub and of the multidisciplinary Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) at the Faculty of Law and Criminology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).


The Brussels Privacy Hub (BPH) is a leading academic research centre with a global focus. As an entity of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University of Brussels or VUB), it uses its location in Brussels, the capital of Europe, to engage EU policymakers, data protection regulators, the private sector, and NGOs, and to produce innovative, cutting-edge research on important questions of data protection and privacy law and policy. Brussels is where key decisions are taken on data protection in the European Union, and EU rules set the standard for data protection and privacy law around the world.


The LSTS research group, established in 2003, has become a prominent European research institute in the area of technology and regulation. The team is led by Prof. Dr. Mireille Hildebrandt and Prof. Dr. Gloria González Fuster. The staff comprises around 50 researchers: professors as well as senior and post-doctoral-, doctoral- and associated researchers. Research staff at the VUB-LSTS have background in a number of areas, including law, ethics, philosophy, political science, sociology, criminology and others. Great emphasis is placed on incorporating a multidisciplinary perspective in all their work. 


What we offer


Contract: full‐time research grant for one year, renewable on an annual basis, with the firm intention to renew it for the future years. Extension of the contract is subject to the agreement of the doctoral committee. Remuneration is at the level of a full-time research assistant at a Flemish university (i.e. approximately € 2.100 net per month) and includes holidays, contributions for social security and additional benefits (e.g., eco-cheques, etc.). Secondary employment is not allowed. The PhD degree will be awarded in law, subject to successful completion of the PhD requirements over the coming years. The researcher will have access to doctoral training offered by the VUB, as well as to all facilities of the university.

For more information about facilities and benefits of employment at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, please visit under the heading ‘future employees’.

The researcher will be integrated within a dynamic team, composed of both experienced and early career researchers, working at her doctoral dissertation under the guidance of Prof. Paul de Hert and Prof. Gianclaudio Malgieri, and profiting from the mentorship of other distinguished Professors, including Prof. Christopher Kuner. The researcher will be able to collaborate closely with the other members of the Brussels Privacy Hub. At the same time, the researcher will be part of the multidisciplinary Research Group on Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) at the Faculty of Law and Criminology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), a prominent European research institute in the area of technology and regulation.


What we ask


Within the first year of employment, the researcher is expected to develop a research proposal for a doctoral thesis (PhD) on a topic within the expertise of VUB-LSTS and in the interest of the Brussels Privacy Hub. In addition, the researcher will have the opportunity to take an active role in the VUB-LSTS, contributing to their research agendas, attending and presenting in seminars, assisting in organising conferences and workshops, publishing in books and journals, and participating in competition for national and European funding opportunities.


In addition, the PhD candidate will play a key role in the daily life of the Brussels Privacy Hub, leading the research and dissemination agenda, dealing with the following tasks, each of which will be supported by the Event, Educational, and Training Coordinators:


  • Define the Brussels Privacy Hub research and events agenda, as well as financial strategy, together with the Hub co-directors.
  • Coordinate and manage the execution and implementation of the Brussels Privacy Hub projects and activities, by interfacing with the co-directors, third parties (e.g., sponsors, project partners) and the VUB administration (e.g., legal department, finance department).
  • Coordinate the outreach and communication tools of the Brussels Privacy Hub (e.g., website, Twitter & LinkedIn account, newsletter).
  • Represent the Brussels Privacy Hub at third party events and meetings.


Eligibility criteria


Candidates are expected to possess the following qualifications:

  • ‪a master’s degree in law or other relevant subjects, preferably with a specialization in technology law, or privacy and/or personal data protection law, awarded by the deadline for applications;
  • ‪demonstrate enthusiasm by contributing to ongoing research activities and attracting external funding for research projects;
  • ‪‪fluency in English, and the ability to conduct research in at least one other language;
  • ‪excellent organisational and communicative skills;
  • ‪the ability to work independently, under pressure, respect deadlines, and produce quality work.


Interdisciplinary experience (for example, in an area such as law & technology, economics, ethics or computer science) and fluency in Dutch would be added bonuses.


How to apply


Applications (in English) must include the following:

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a cover letter which explains the motivation and qualifications of the candidate;
  • samples of 2 (two) recent works: essay or excerpt from recent (academic) research or article
  • written by the candidate (max. 5000 words per contribution);


Additional documents (not mandatory, but welcome):

  • 1 (one) letter of recommendation;
  • a draft research proposal for a doctoral thesis (1 page).


To apply please send the required documents to and no later than 10 October 2021, but the soonest the best.

For further information, please contact and


The position will start from 1 November 2021.

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Brussels Privacy Hub

Law Science Technology & Society (LSTS)

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Pleinlaan 2 • 1050 Brussels



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