Postdoctoral research fellow in blockchain for healthcare (0.4 FTE) - 59025

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Law School within the College of Arts and Law

This project seeks to identify, map and examine the implications of utilising ‘blockchain’ technology in healthcare.  In so doing, it will identify the legal, ethical, technical and governance opportunities, risks and challenges in utilising blockchain technologies in healthcare, both in (1) securing compliance with regulatory goals and (2) securing the protection of fundamental values.  Many commentators claim that blockchain technologies have enormous potential to address challenges associated with managing healthcare data in ways that are efficient, reliable and compatible with human rights.  Yet it far from clear that blockchain technologies will live up to their promise, both generally and in healthcare contexts in particular.

As Research Fellow, the post-holder will undertake the primary technical research supporting this project and contribute towards ensuring its efficient and effective progress through to completion.  A large part of the substantive work will consist of critically assessing the potential of distributed ledger (‘blockchain’) technologies in the healthcare context. Among other things, the post-holder will undertake a multi-disciplinary review of the grey and academic literature in order to map the state of the art in blockchain technologies, protocols and applications, to identify current, proposed and developing blockchain applications in healthcare worldwide as well as specific blockchain proposals within the UK healthcare context. The post-holder will also tasked with assisting in the arrangement and hosting of stakeholder workshops and identifying and analysing findings emerging from the research. 

The post-holder will be located primarily in the School of Computer Science, but in addition to engaging with analysis of the technical dimensions of blockchain systems, will also be expected to engage with literature from the social sciences and humanities that can illuminate the opportunities, challenges, and risks associated with utilising blockchain technologies in healthcare.

The post-holder will work with Prof. Karen Yeung on the Wellcome Trust funded project “Blockchain for Healthcare: mapping the legal, ethical, technical and governance challenges and opportunities“.

Skills and Experience

  • First degree in area of specialism and normally, a higher degree relevant to research area or equivalent qualifications
  • High level analytical capability
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly
  • Fluency in relevant models, techniques or methods and ability to contribute to developing new ones
  • Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively
  • Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration processes
  • Contribute to the planning and organising of the research programme and/or specific research project
  • Co-ordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort

Closing date: 17 May 2018                 Reference: 59025

To download the details and submit an electronic application online please click on the Apply Online button below; please quote Job Reference in all enquiries. Alternatively information can be obtained from 0121 415 9000 or visit

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Midlands of England