Postdoc positions on Gold Rush in the Data Mine

The Department of Theoretical Philosophy seeks candidates for postdoc projects on the philosophical aspects of data science and data science use (Gold Rush in the Data Mine), with specific attention to the use of data science methods in psychopathology.

New data science methods are changing research in psychopathology: clinical psychiatrists use automated classification methods to find subtypes of disorders, psychologists construct individual network models to unravel the causal structure of psychiatric disorders, and geneticists use “big data” methods to find their biological markers.

 The data science methods hold the promise of data-driven and theory-free results. But a closer look at data science reveals that the theoretical suppositions are merely hidden from view. This raises concerns over the reliability and accountability of the research that is based on them. To address these concerns over the responsible use of data science, they need to uncover the suppositions inherent to them and understand their relation to the specific context of the application.

The proposed research aims at such a clarification of data science methods. It employs a combination of formally oriented philosophy of induction, and practice-oriented philosophy of psychopathology. With this innovative combination of perspectives, they can illuminate data science methods conceptually as well as in their concrete scientific use. The result of this is a practice-oriented and formally precise epistemology of data science that can extend beyond psychopathology.

Duration: 2 years

Starting Date: The preferred start date is between 1 September and 1 December 2023.


They offer in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

  • a gross salary of € 2,970 gross per month in the first year to a maximum of € 4,670 gross per month in the final year (salary scale 10), based on a full-time position, and
  • a holiday allowance of 8% of gross annual income and a 8.3% year-end bonus
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Job Requirements

The department is looking for candidates who have finished, or are close to finishing, a PhD in philosophy, or in another field in which statistical or other scientific methods are studied.

Additionally, they require that candidates have:

  • excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
  • strong affinity with philosophy of science and scientific methodology
  • a proven track record of excellent philosophical or methodological research
  • expertise in, or a strong interest in medical science as an application domain
  • working knowledge of statistical or data science methods, or else the ability and willingness to learn on the job
  • a strong motivation for working in academia.

Application Process

Applications should be in English and contain the following materials:

  • a motivation letter
  • a curriculum vitae
  • the names of three academic referees
  • a list publications and presentations, and
  • a writing sample of at most 5000 words.

To applyclick here.

Deadline: June 20, 2023.

For more information on Postdoc positions on Gold Rush in the Data Mine, visit the official site.