PhD Governance of Access to (Quantum) Computing

Category Research / Academic

Amsterdam location

Would you like to contribute to a vision of how access to computers can be regulated? And do you want to address one of the key legal and governance issues related to quantum technologies?

This PhD position on the governance of access to (quantum) computing is part of the new research group on the law and governance of quantum technologies at the Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam. The Institute for Information Law is one of the largest research institutions in information law worldwide. The institute brings together more than 40 researchers from various disciplines. The research group is part of the line of action 4 on the ethical, legal and societal aspects of the quantum technologies of the ecosystem Quantum Delta NL.

What are you going to do

In recent years, public and private investment in quantum technologies, including quantum computing, communications and sensing, has experienced a significant upswing. Quantum computing is the most prominent in the broader quantum technology innovation landscape. It promises, when fully realized, to add additional computing capacity for special purposes to our current digital infrastructure.

Ways to realize scale-up quantum computing remain uncertain, but one thing that different scenarios have in common is the problem of how to regulate access to such new powerful computing resources. If quantum computing becomes a reality, how can and should access to these new types of computing resources be structured, governed, and regulated? How can access control address the possible harmful uses of quantum computing while providing the widest possible access for beneficial uses?

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What governance frameworks for access to computers can be identified from a historical perspective, and how have such frameworks been influenced by the possibilities, organization and ownership of computer resources? How can computer access governance address the specific interests of public actors, industry, civil society and academic researchers in computer access? And what are the distributional consequences of different access mechanisms and regimes, and how fair will they be?

In this PhD, which is part of the research group on the law and governance of quantum technologies at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam, you will explore these and related questions. They conduct original, cutting-edge empirical, theoretical and interdisciplinary research on the law and governance of advanced computing, including quantum computing, high performance computing and so-called hyperscale cloud offerings. They develop insights into how the law relates to the increasingly constitutive function of data processing in our societies from a data processing access perspective. Using information law, fundamental rights, law and political economy, technology governance studies and other relevant approaches and disciplines, and collaborating with relevant stakeholders in the public and private sectors, you will contribute to our understanding of the relationship between law and computer science today and in the quantum age.

Requirements: University degree in law, technology governance or an equivalent degree; Affinity with the law and governance of computing and knowledgeable curiosity about developments in quantum technologies; good knowledge of current regulatory developments in relation to digital infrastructure and cloud computing; excellent academic certificates, evidenced by grades and/or curriculum vitae; a creative mind and strong critical and analytical skills; Interest in cross-disciplinary work, application of different methods and cooperation with other relevant non-legal disciplines; strong communication skills and a commitment to contribute to diverse and inclusive team dynamics; excellent language skills in English and one or more other languages;

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If the position appeals to you, but you have doubts as to whether you are THE person we are looking for, then please apply. We particularly welcome applications from candidates from underrepresented backgrounds.

Salary Benefits:

We are offering a full-time, fixed-term contract for a period of 4 years (with Go No Go evaluation after the first year). Preferred entry date is September 1, 2023, with the option to start earlier.

Depending on the relevant experience before the start of the employment relationship, the salary is € 2,541 to € 3,247 (scale P) gross per month, based on a full-time contract (38 hours per week). That is excluding 8% vacation pay and 8.3% year-end bonus. The collective agreement of the Dutch universities applies.

The UvA offers excellent opportunities for professional development and training.

What else do we offer?

Be part of a diverse team of dedicated and enthusiastic researchers from different disciplines (law, computer science, communications, ethics, economics, political science, humanities) and countries; mentoring and support in developing your future academic career; Diverse opportunities to implement your research in society.

The Amsterdam Law School is proud of its international orientation and strong social commitment. This is reflected in both his research and educational activities. The Amsterdam Law School offers three bachelor’s programs, including the interdisciplinary English-taught Bachelor Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE) in cooperation with two other faculties, as well as various master’s programs, some of which are taught exclusively in English (i.e. International and European Law, European Private Law, International Criminal Law and Law & Finance). Amsterdam Law School prepares students for a variety of legal careers, including law practice, government, business and industry, national and international justice, public service, human rights defense and academia. With 5000 students and over 500 employees, it is one of the largest law schools in the Netherlands.

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Working at the University of Amsterdam means working in a challenging, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterized by an open atmosphere and a genuine commitment to the city of Amsterdam and society. You can read more about working at the University of Amsterdam here.

working hours:

38 hours a week


New aft canal 166