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Vacancy: Research Fellow in Philosophy of Science (100% for 20 months, fixed term)

14.03.2024, Wissenschaftliches Personal

“Philosophy of Open Science for Diverse Research Environments” is a project funded by a European Research Council Consolidator Award under the leadership of Sabina Leonelli, dedicated to the philosophy, history and social studies of open research.

Vacancy: Research Fellow in Philosophy of Science

(100% for 20 months, fixed term)


About us

This opportunity is offered by the Chair for Philosophy and History of Science and Technology at the TUM School of Social Sciences and Technology (SOT).

The Research Fellow will be a member of the PHIL_OS research team for 20 months, starting preferably in January 2025 until August 2026. The Chair for Philosophy and History of Science and Technology, which hosts the PHIL_OS project, comprises an interdisciplinary, public-interest-minded, international and impact-oriented team based at the TUM SOT. We have world-leading expertise in the philosophy, history and social studies of Open Science, data-intensive research and the governance of data and AI. The Chair is located within the Department of Science, Technology and Society, which is dedicated to understanding the larger social, political, ethical and legal dimensions of science and technology. Embedded in TUM’s unique innovation ecosystem, we are committed to enabling a more responsible and sustainable engagement with science and innovation through social science research, teaching and public dialogue – often in collaboration with partners from technical fields. The TUM STS community strives to provide new intellectual and practical resources for dealing with the challenges of highly technologized societies, and to train future leaders with a unique sensibility for the critical interface between science, technology and society. As one of Europe’s largest hubs for STS, we are a lively intellectual community of 70+ researchers from numerous disciplines and fields of specialization. As a department, we deliver 2 Master’s programs and design STS content for the School’s PhD program. We offer regular public lectures and symposia, weekly discussion groups, and visiting researcher programs. We maintain close collaborative ties to other parts of TUM as well as to leading HPS and STS centers in Germany and around the world.

We invite the researcher taking on this position to become a core contributor to PHIL_OS (https://www.opensciencestudies.eu).


About the PHIL_OS project

 “Philosophy of Open Science for Diverse Research Environments” is a project funded by a European Research Council Consolidator Award under the leadership of Sabina Leonelli, dedicated to the philosophy, history and social studies of open research. The project, which relocates to TUM from the University of Exeter in September 2024, aims to develop an empirically grounded philosophy of Open Science [OS] that emphasizes the diversity of research environments around the world and articulates the conditions under which OS can leverage such diversity to promote good research practice. Hence the project has a specific emphasis on how the Open Science intersects with day-to-day research conditions in the biological and biomedical sciences, and particularly the diversity of research practices (‘epistemic diversity’) and the unequal resources available to scientists in different domains and locations (‘epistemic injustice’). Project members interface with the philosophy, history and social studies of science community, as well as research in metascience, science and internet governance, responsible innovation, digital cultures and justice/fairness. The project is also active in science policy and scientific debates, including on the development of research infrastructures, transformations in publishing and applications of open science principles within the crop and health sciences.

 

The OS movement is transforming research, with OS policies adopted around the globe and widespread agreement on implementing key OS principles like openness, transparency and reproducibility. However, the philosophy of science underpinning the OS movement has not been clearly articulated. Moreover, there are significant epistemic risks in implementing OS across widely different research settings, such as the marginalisation of contributions from low-resourced environments. This raises questions about the relation between open and good science. To address these concerns, this project combines a philosophical analysis of the epistemic significance of research environments with empirical research on how researchers working in different environments enact and conceptualise OS. This “philosophy of science in practice” [PSP] approach is ideally suited to investigating the meaning and implications of OS for the conduct of research. Building on the PI’s experience as OS advisor, this project extends PSP by grounding conceptual analysis of scientific practice on qualitative research as well as collaboration with scientists and policymakers. We aim to develop a novel conceptualisation of OS that reframes its key principles by outlining how exchanges across environments can boost research excellence (the foundations for this approach are described in Philosophy of Open Science, an Open Access Elements book authored by Leonelli in 2023: https://www.cambridge.org/core/elements/philosophy-of-open-science/0D049ECF635F3B676C03C6868873E406 ). This constitutes a novel contribution to the philosophy of science, where little attention has been given to how OS challenges existing accounts of knowledge production, and research on epistemic diversity has focused largely on disciplinary/theoretical perspectives. The project also supports OS governance, by developing a framework that fosters research quality as well as inclusivity and fairness.

For more details and examples of the research carried out so far, see the project website: www.opensciencestudies.eu. 


Requirements

The successful applicant will be responsible for Work Package 2: Epistemic injustice and impact of Open Science on diverse research environments and will collaborate with the PI towards articulating what forms of epistemic injustice may be associated with the implementation of OS, and how OS initiatives can mitigate such effects.

This study will rely on existing scholarship on epistemic injustice, innovation in low-resourced sites, and inequity related to digital transformations and epistemic diversity. It will also connect with ongoing research within the project, including the empirical research undertaken by the team to document aspects of epistemic injustice experienced by project collaborators around the world.

We are excited to collaborate with a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher who shares our deep interest in exploring conceptual, educational, social, and governance issues that emerge in the context of unevenly distributed scientific resources. The candidate also brings the following qualifications:

  • PhD or equivalent qualification/experience in social epistemology and/or the philosophy, history and/or social studies of science or a related field of study.
  • Demonstrated interest in Open Science and in the philosophical study of epistemic injustice
  • Demonstrated interest in the philosophy of science in practice
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Able to communicate complex and conceptual ideas to a range of groups.
  • Able to balance the pressures of research, administrative demands and competing deadlines.
  • An understanding of the importance of equality and diversity within an organisation and a commitment to helping create an inclusive culture.
  • Interest and ability to engage in organizational tasks supporting the PHIL_OS project, such as developing events to engage project members and associates
  • Interest and ability to develop funding applications both nationally and internationally in collaboration with the PHIL_OS team
  • Intellectual curiosity and an open mindset, and the ability and motivation to work both independently and as member of the team
  • Organizational skills and excitement to work in a fast-paced, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary environment
  • Very good English skills, with knowledge of the German language as a plus (but not necessary).


Tasks
  • Conduct research for PHIL_OS on research inequity and epistemic injustice, resulting in internationally leading publications
  • Participate in weekly project meetings and in conferences and events relating to the project, and present outputs as required
  • Support the project through administrative and organizational tasks as necessary
  • Contribute to the intellectual life and community at PHIL_OS and the Chair of Philosophy and History of Science and Technology, including by mentoring PhD students and collaborating with colleagues


Our offer

We offer exciting opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research, education, and outreach in a highly collaborative, interdisciplinary, and internationally networked environment, tackling some of the hardest problems in the field of science studies and philosophy/history of science with a commitment to the public good. We as well offer the opportunity to build your own research agenda around relevant topics. We invite you to join us on the inner-city campus of TUM.


What to expect
  • The possibility of carrying out research and develop high-level publications in this domain
  • Working in a cutting-edge research, training, policy and outreach effort funded by ERC, thereby acquiring skills in interdisciplinary research and teaching
  • Working in a highly collaborative team of researchers from science studies, philosophy and history of science, data studies, agricultural/health/data science
  • The opportunity to participate in collaborative academic publishing and engage with the broader scientific community through workshop and/or conference visits.
  • Mentorship and continuous support in building an independent academic and professional profile.
  • Remuneration according to the collective agreement for the public service of the federal states (TV-L) in the classification TV-L 13 to the extent of 100%.
  • The chosen candidate will be employed at the TUM Chair of Philosophy and History of Science and Technology. The employment contract is limited to 20 months.


Application

We look forward to receiving your informative documents until 06. May 2024 (cover letter, CV and references, summarized in a single PDF file). We are happy for cover letters to provide details of research plans and aspirations of the candidates. We will review applications on a continuous basis thus, they should be submitted as early as possible via e-mail to bewerbungen@sot.tum.de with the reference number “SOT 2024-6”.

 

We expect to invite selected candidates for interview by May 15, with interviews taking place online on May 21st. Shortlisted candidates will be informed of the outcome by June 15 at the latest. If you have any questions regarding the application process, please reach out to Sabina Leonelli via sabinaleonelli@gmail.com or bewerbungen@sot.tum.de.

 

TUM is an equal opportunity employer and explicitly encourages applications from women and gender-non-binary persons. The position is suitable for disabled persons. Disabled candidates with essentially the same qualifications and scientific performance as other candidates will be given preference. Find out more about us at www.tum.de.

 


Data Protection Information

When you apply for a position with TUM, you are submitting personal information. With regard to personal information, please take note of the data protection information on collecting and processing personal data contained in your application in accordance with Art. 13 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). By submitting your application, you confirm that you have acknowledged the above data protection information of TUM.

The position is suitable for disabled persons. Disabled applicants will be given preference in case of generally equivalent suitability, aptitude and professional performance.

Data Protection Information:
When you apply for a position with the Technical University of Munich (TUM), you are submitting personal information. With regard to personal information, please take note of the Datenschutzhinweise gemäß Art. 13 Datenschutz-Grundverordnung (DSGVO) zur Erhebung und Verarbeitung von personenbezogenen Daten im Rahmen Ihrer Bewerbung. (data protection information on collecting and processing personal data contained in your application in accordance with Art. 13 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)). By submitting your application, you confirm that you have acknowledged the above data protection information of TUM.

Kontakt: bewerbungen@sot.tum.de