PhD candidate position on Data Science | AI in Law

  • Contract
  • Anywhere

Maastricht University

PhD candidate position on Data Science AI in Law
PhD candidate position on Data Science AI in Law

Published Deadline Location
yesterday 27 Jun Maastricht

Maastricht University is offering one paid fulltime PhD position in computational methods and digital legal studies.

Job description

While the development and application of artificial intelligence (AI) has taken off, many vulnerable persons such as victims, social media users, children, and consumers are left unprotected or even exploited because they do not have access to legal information or to law enforcement. In your project, you will seek to contribute to a better understanding of how computational methods can assist in the application, interpretation, or evaluation of the law, for instance to develop solutions for vulnerable persons and ordinary citizens. Data sources may include legal texts (e.g. laws, court decisions), social media data, or forum posts where consumers complain about defective products.

You will undertake PhD research at the intersection of law and computer science under the supervision of professors of the Maastricht Law & Tech Lab. Your tasks concern conducting the research for your PhD project. Your PhD project will contribute to the Faculty of Law research programme on Law and Technology within the national framework of the Sectorplan on Digital Legal Studies. Your exact project will be determined in consultation with you. A small proportion of the appointment may be devoted to teaching activities, which commonly amounts to teaching activities in a period of eight weeks per year. Depending on your background and language skills, you will teach courses in law and technology or in private law.

You will be offered the opportunity to collaborate with researchers from different disciplines, including machine learning, data science, knowledge engineering, and law. You will be part of an exciting, vibrant, and quickly growing community where researchers from different disciplines meet and form interdisciplinary teams that conduct academically and societally relevant research. You will be offered the opportunity to

 gain insights not only on applying computational techniques, but also on law, regulation, and ethics. For this, you will be encouraged, coached, and allowed to attend courses, conferences and workshops that will add social and legal knowledge to your skillset. PhD researchers participate in the Maastricht University Graduate School of Law.


  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • Maastricht View on Google Maps

Maastricht University (UM)


Matching Skills and Competencies

  • Master’s degree in Law (LLM) or MSc degree in Computer Science, Data Science, Information Science, Artificial Intelligence or equivalent.
  • Proven experience with applying natural language processing or machine learning.
  • Community-friendly team player.
  • Excellent oral and written English communication.
  • Optional: geek-friendly.

Conditions of employment

  • Preferred start of employment: fall 2023;
  • 38 hours per week;
  • We offer a 4 year full-time appointment as PhD candidate. A positive assessment after the first year will result in an extension for another 3 years, which happens in the vast majority of cases;
  • Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD candidates starting with a salary of €2.541,- with a yearly growth to €3.247,- gross a month, based on a full-time appointment (38 hours/week). An 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance is also provided;
  • We offer an attractive package of fringe benefits such as, collective health insurance with attractive conditions, substantial leave arrangements, selection model for designing a personalised benefits package, use of UM Sport facilities against reduced rate, and application for attractive fiscal arrangements for employees from abroad;
  • We offer a rewarding career at a young university in the heart of Europe, with a distinct global perspective and a strong focus on innovative research and education;
  • We provide a stimulating, collaborative and interdisciplinary work environment with excellent opportunities for professional and personal development;
  • Maastricht University has an excellent international reputation, and Maastricht itself is a beautiful, open-minded city located in the center of Western Europe;
  • The PhD research will be conducted at the Maastricht Law & Tech Lab.

The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website  > About UM > Working at UM .

Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 22,000 students and about 5,000 employees. Reflecting the university’s strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. 
For more information, visit .

Department of Private Law

The administrative unit under which the position falls is the Department of Private Law. This department consists of a dynamic group of researchers and lecturers. Colleagues describe the Department as an exciting, inspiring, and diverse yet inclusive environment that fosters professional development, ambition, and innovative research in the field of private law. The atmosphere is one of academic freedom. You will be able to engage in a variety of other activities both within and beyond the Law Faculty, be they educational, managerial, strategic or extra-curricular. Support for grant applications will be provided.

The Maastricht Law and Tech Lab
The research will be carried out at The Maastricht Law and Tech Lab. The Lab is embedded within the Faculty of Law and aims to produce cutting-edge research and to build a creative community of researchers, teachers and students at the intersection of law, technology, data science and knowledge engineering. The Lab aims to analyze how technology and data science interact with law and justice in society, how technology and data science can increase access to law and justice in society, and analyzes the ethical, legal, and social issues arising from technology and data science innovations. Activities are conducted in collaboration between lawyers, data scientists and / or knowledge engineers.

Additional information

More information can be obtained from:
prof. dr. Gijs van Dijck, email [email protected] .

To apply at this vacancy, press the button ‘apply now’ to see the application procedure.

Please send your application before the deadline of 27 June 2023.

Working at Maastricht University

Maastricht University distinguishes itself with its innovative education model, international character and multidisciplinary approach to research and education.

Read more

Apply via postal mail
Apply via postal mail

[email protected]

Don’t forget to mention AcademicTransfer and the job number: AT2023.289 in your letter.

Back to the vacancy
Application procedure

Applications should include:

  • a letter of motivation;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • representative academic work.

Send your application, stating the vacancy number AT2023.289, by email to:
[email protected]

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.

Please note, the system cannot upload the following attachments ( .htm .html).

View or Apply
To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your email – cover/motivation letter where ( you saw this job posting.