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Research Fellow

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

Location: Birmingham
Salary: Grade 7
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 14th December 2022
Closes: 22nd January 2023
Job Ref: 100919

Fixed term contract until 31/08/2025

Job Summary 

Are you interested in working on an exciting interdisciplinary project? Are you interested in the law and policy challenges relating to ‘smart’ medical devices? Do you have a background in empirical research?

We are now recruiting an empirical Research Fellow to work on an exciting interdisciplinary research project. The project, ‘Everyday Cyborgs 2.0: Law’s Boundary-work and Alternative Legal Futures’ is based at the law school at the University of Birmingham and is funded by the Wellcome Trust. It is focused on the legal and conceptual/philosophical challenges regarding 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. For instance, 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 new Research Fellow will work with the project team to answer such questions. They will use 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).

The post is offered for 2 years initially, starting 1st March 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter. The post may be extendable for a further 6 months. 

Main Responsibilities 

The Fellow will be expected to design, develop, and execute empirical components of the project. They will undertake focus groups and in-depth interviews with medical device users, regulators, policy-makers, and other relevant stakeholders, and lead the analysis and interpretation of the data.

Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications and Experience Required 

First degree in area of specialism and a PhD (near to completion) in a socio-legal or other empirical-focused cognate discipline (or equivalent experience). An ability to work across disciplinary boundaries will be a distinct advantage, as will an interest in health and/or technology law and policy.

A full description of the role, responsibilities, and person specification is available on the University of Birmingham job vacancies website: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/jobs

Informal enquiries are welcomed and encouraged. Potential applicants should contact the project’s Principal Investigator Professor Muireann Quigley at m.quigley.2@bham.ac.uk.

To download the full job description and details of this position and submit an electronic application online please click on the Apply Online button below or visit https://edzz.fa.em3.oraclecloud.com/hcmUI/CandidateExperience/en/sites/CX_6001/job/964/?utm_medium=jobshare. Please quote the Job Ref 100919 in all enquiries. 

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment  

We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working.

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