Doctoral fellow

Last application date
Sep 13, 2023 00:00
RE23 - Department of Criminology, Criminal Law and Social Law
Limited duration
A completed Master’s degree (MA or MSc), by preference in a relevant field within the legal sciences: law and/or disciplines with legal specialisations.
Occupancy rate
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

Vacancy PhD fellow (m/f/x) with ethical and legal focus

The European Research Council has awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant to Prof Dr Wim Hardyns of the Department of Criminology, Criminal Law and Social Law (Ghent University). ERC projects are known as the most prestigious research projects in Europe. The BIGDATPOL project will conduct research on big data and crime. As part of this project, we are recruiting a fulltime (100%) PhD fellow (m/f/x) within the legal sciences.

About the BIGDATPOL project
‘Big data policing’ can be seen as an innovative information-driven policing strategy that uses advanced statistical methods to analyse historical data to predict where and when there is a high risk of new crime. In existing big data policing applications, algorithms are being developed with the aim of "learning" from past crime patterns to predict future trends and patterns. Big data policing is piquing the interest of many police forces in Europe. This research project, funded by the European Research Council (ERC), aims to develop an evidence-based big data policing model that will be tested in several European cities.

Job profile

Your profile

  • A completed Master’s degree (MA or MSc), by preference in a relevant field within the legal sciences: law and/or disciplines with legal specialisations. Good study results throughout the entire educational trajectory are an asset.
  • A strong interest in scientific research in general, and the use of big data for crime prevention/ security applications in particular. You will conduct research in this domain with a focus on the ethical, legal, privacy-related and AI-sensitive dimensions.
  • Clear scientific and communicative skills (e.g., critical thinking, scientific writing, presentation skills, project management, methodological skills).
  • A profound knowledge of the English language is a prerequisite, as the successful candidate will have to present research results at international conferences, as well publish research findings in high-quality international scientific journals and books.
  • Proficient knowledge of the Dutch language is a plus.
  • You work systematically and with an eye for detail.
  • You are a team player who can also work independently.
  • You are punctual and show a sense of responsibility.
  • You know how to organise your work flexibly and efficiently according to priorities.

What do we offer?

  • A fulltime position as PhD researcher of maximum four years.
  • You will be part of one of the most prestigious scientific projects, which will be focused on high-risk/high-gain research and will generate the necessary scientific impact.
  • The possibility to contribute to a societally highly relevant domain, and to make an impact for society.
  • The opportunity to build a national and international network, which also offers prospects for your future career.
  • Numerous opportunities for personal growth, illustrated by e.g., conference participation, “doctoral schools” courses on transferable skills, fieldwork in European police departments and cities, participation in the department’s educational initiatives, and publication opportunities.
  • You will collaborate with other ambitious researchers and disciplines in the BIGDATPOL project.
  • In addition, you will also be part of a young and dynamic research team, which has an eye for social activities alongside the work.
  • A social, tolerant, and constructive working environment that offers many and diverse opportunities for personal development.
  • A correct and beneficial salary (conform the official university scales). Click here for more information about our salary scales.
  • Earliest starting date possible: November 15, 2023.

How to apply

Please apply before September 13, 2023 (23.59 pm).
Interested candidates should submit their curriculum vitae (CV) (indicating degrees obtained), point lists and cover letter to Prof Dr Wim Hardyns,
For substantive questions about the position, please contact Prof Dr Wim Hardyns,