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Research Fellow 1 - Everyday Cyborgs 2.0

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Law School

Location: Birmingham
Salary: £30,395 to £39,609 with potential progression once in post to £42,036 a year
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 18th February 2019
Closes: 29th March 2019
Job Ref: 80749

Fixed term for 5 years

Grade 7

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,395 to £39,609. With potential progression once in post to £42,036 a year.

We are now recruiting two Research Fellows to work on an exciting research project titled Everyday Cyborgs 2.0: Law’s Boundary-work & Alternative Legal Futures at the University of Birmingham.  There will be three Research Fellows on the project, with the third being recruited in Autumn 2020.

Everyday cyborgs are persons with attached and implanted medical devices; e.g., joint replacements, pacemakers, insulin pumps, and limb prostheses. Increasingly, these devices are smart devices. They run software and have wifi capabilities. They collect, analyse, and transmit data. However, their integration with persons creates difficulties for the law. Unanswered questions include:

  1. Should internal medical devices which keep the person alive be viewed as part of the person or mere objects (or something else)?;
  2. Is damage to neuro-prostheses personal injury or damage to property?;
  3. Who ought to control/own the software in implanted medical devices?; and
  4. How should the law deal with risks around unauthorised third party access and hacking?

Building on preliminary research, the project team will answer such questions, using written documents, interviews, and focus groups to better understand the challenges, and test a series of imagined legal futures to assess what is practically possible and suggest solutions. The research will draw on literatures and methods from a range of disciplines, including law and policy, regulatory and governance studies, political theory, philosophy, sociology, and science and technology studies (STS).

Research Fellow 1 is offered for five years, starting on 1st September 2019.  The person appointed will have a regulatory theory/governance studies background (but may draw from any number of disciplines: e.g. law, political science, philosophy, STS, etc.). The fellow will focus mainly on the conceptual and normative components of the project.

Research Fellow 2 is offered for four years, starting on 1st September 2019. The person appointed will have a socio-legal or other relevant empirical background and will focus on mapping and exploring the regulatory landscape, as well as working on the interviews, focus groups, and scenario/vignette testing.

Both fellows will be expected to initiate and conduct original research, plan, and coordinate research activities and programmes, publish the results of their own research, supervise PhD students, and contribute to knowledge transfer, public engagement or similar activities in the School of Law.

Candidates are expected to have a higher degree relevant to the research area or equivalent qualifications. An ability to work across disciplinary boundaries will be a distinct advantage.

Informal enquiries are welcome and encouraged. Potential applicants should contact the project’s Principal Investigator Professor Muireann Quigley at

Deadline for applications: 29th March 2019

Interviews will be held in April 2019

Reference: 80749

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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