Research Associate in Philosophy and Ethics of Human-Computer Interaction

Job summary

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Research Associate to explore the boundaries between beneficial designs and undesirable manipulation in human-computer interactions. The postdoctoral Research Associate will be working with Professor Rafael Calvo, as well as Dr. Celine Mougenot and Professor Sebastian Deterding at Imperial and Dr. Rune Nyrup at the University of Cambridge. This is part of a new project of the Wellbeing Technologies Lab...

Job listing information

  • Reference ENG02162
  • Date posted 23 May 2022
  • Closing date 24 June 2022

Job description

Job summary

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Research Associate to explore the boundaries between beneficial designs and undesirable manipulation in human-computer interactions. The postdoctoral Research Associate will be working with Professor Rafael Calvo, as well as Dr. Celine Mougenot and Professor Sebastian Deterding at Imperial and Dr. Rune Nyrup at the University of Cambridge. This is part of a new project of the Wellbeing Technologies Lab (https://www.positivecomputing.org) with a major consumer electronics company, so the successful candidate will have the opportunity to have a very significant impact worldwide. The team will be developing theory and methods to ensure and validate ethical design in automated recommendations, nudging, supra-liminal techniques, and other persuasive technologies.

Responsibilities and duties will include surveying existing literature (from academic, industrial and policy sources); developing research objectives; articulating and interrogating ethical frameworks; creating presentations, reports and publications; liaising and networking with colleagues in the UK and overseas; and supporting the production of research dissemination resources and workshops. The role requires strong philosophical expertise, a good understanding of digital technology, and the ability to engage in extensive interdisciplinary collaborations with engineers and psychologists, as well as partners in industry and policy.

Duties and responsibilities

Key Responsibilities

The activities associated with this post are:

  • Survey existing academic, industry and policy literatures on manipulation in human-computer interactions.
  • Critically interrogate existing framework on the ethics of manipulation
  • Help develop theoretical framework for identifying boundaries between beneficial design and undesirable manipulation in human-computer interactions.
  • Work with psychologists and design engineers to operationalise this framework as design processes and empirical methods to ensure and validate that computer systems do not cross these boundaries.
  • Publish original research on philosophy and applied ethics
  • Maintain accurate and complete records of all findings
  • Assist with the writing of reports to research sponsors
  • Present findings to colleagues
  • Assist with the publication of findings
  • Attend relevant workshops and conferences as necessary
  • Develop contacts within the College and the wider community
  • Promote the reputation of the Group, the Department and the College

In addition, at Research Associate level:

  • Take initiatives in the planning of research
  • Write reports for submission to research sponsors
  • Submit publications to refereed journals
  • Provide guidance to staff and students
  • Contribute to bids for research grants
  • Conduct and plan own scientific work with appropriate supervision
  • Maintain highly organised and accurate record of experimental Work
  • Actively participate in the research programme of the Group
  • Publish in high quality journals and present finds at national and international meetings.
  • Participate in Group research meetings and internal seminars
  • Collaborate with other allied scientists within Imperial College and elsewhere in London and abroad, as appropriate

 

 

 

Essential requirements

Education

PhD degree or higher in Philosophy or Applied Ethics

Knowledge & Experience

Expertise in an area of philosophy/applied ethics relevant to autonomy, consent, manipulation, nudging or similar topics.

Experience of using philosophical theory and concepts to engage with practical problems arising within other domains, e.g., science, technology or healthcare.

A track record of writing and/or publishing for academic dissemination.   

Publication experience appropriate to career stage. 

Evidence of previous work in multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder environments. 

Practical experience working within a research environment       

Skills & Abilities

Willingness to work flexibly in order to achieve project demands.               

Ability to organise and prioritise own work and organise research within the project timetable 

Ability to conduct a detailed review of recent literature

Ability to develop and apply new concepts

Creative approach to problem-solving

Excellent verbal communication skills and the ability to deal with a wide range of people

Excellent written communication skills and the ability to write clearly and succinctly for publication, including to interdisciplinary audiences and partners outside of academia.

Ability to organise own work with minimal supervision

Ability to prioritise own work in response to deadlines

Advanced computer skills, including word-processing, spreadsheets and the Internet

Ability to direct the work of a small research team and motivate others to produce a high standard of work (Associate)

Further information

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £36,694 - £39,888 per annum.

Documents

About Imperial College London

Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.

You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.

We work in a multidisciplinary and diverse community for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle the big global challenges our complex world faces.

It’s our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society – and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.

Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive, and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity and to eliminating discrimination. All employees are expected to follow the Imperial Values & Behaviours framework. Our values are: 

  • Respect              
  • Collaboration
  • Excellence          
  • Integrity
  • Innovation

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

We are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment for all. We therefore encourage candidates to apply irrespective of age, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation. We are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Disability Confident Leader and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

For technical issues when applying online please email support.jobs@imperial.ac.uk.