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Research Assistant to Understanding Medical Black Boxes (Part Time, Fixed Term)

Location: Cambridge
Closing date 23.04.2019

Role information

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 18 months in the first instance.

The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) at the University of Cambridge invites applications for a 0.2 FT (7.4 hours per week) Research Assistant to the Wellcome Trust funded project Understanding Medical Black Boxes: A Philosophical Analysis of AI Explainability. This is an exciting opportunity for a talented individual to support and maintain the national and international reputation for excellence in research of the CFI.

CFI is a highly interdisciplinary research centre addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by artificial intelligence (AI). Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, CFI is based at the University of Cambridge, with partners in the University of Oxford, Imperial College, and UC Berkeley. The Centre also has close links with industry, policymakers, and many academic disciplines.

This is a new Research Assistant post within the Centre's Philosophy and the Ethics of AI Programme, based in central Cambridge. The Understanding Medical Black Boxes project, led by Dr Rune Nyrup, examines the notions of explanation and understanding in the context of AI decision making in the medical domain. The project will in the first instance run for 18 months, with the aim of developing and securing funding for a larger, multi-year project.

The role will involve carrying out research tasks including assisting with literature reviews, workshop organisation, and development of funding applications. The assistant may fit their own research and publication interests around these tasks. The post is open to applicants based outside of Cambridge as long as they are able to come to Cambridge regularly.

Applicants should have, or be studying for, a postgraduate qualification in philosophy, ethics, or a related discipline. Experience in literature reviewing in philosophy is essential, as is prior experience with at least one of the following fields: philosophy of science, philosophy of medicine/healthcare, medical ethics, ethics of AI. Conference or workshop organisation experience is desirable, and website and social media skills would be an advantage.

Please upload in the Upload section of the online application (1) your Curriculum Vitae (CV); (2) a Covering Letter of no more than 1,000 words, outlining a proposed approach to reviewing relevant philosophical literatures and to locating relevant case studies of medical AI, and explaining how this proposal and your skills would contribute to the project; and (3) a Sample of Writing of no more than 5,000 words that demonstrates your suitability for this project.

Closing Date: Midnight (GMT) on 23 April 2019

Click the 'Apply here' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

If you have any questions about this vacancy or the application process or procedure, please contact Susan Gowans at

Please quote reference GO18569 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further Particulars

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