Ph.D. or Postdoc in Applied Ethics (Germany) Deadline: March 22, 2019

RWTH Aachen University

Application Deadline

March 22, 2019


Program Commencement


Duration of the Program

2 to 3 Years

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Program Details

Located in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, with more than 42,000 students enrolled in 144 study programs, RWTH Aachen University or Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen is the largest technical university in Germany. The University offers competence, research, and practice-oriented training with the goal of developing highly qualified and responsible graduates for leading positions in science, society and business.

The interdisciplinary research group on Applied Ethics of the University explores how new human-technology-relations – as for example enabled by research in the fields of neuroscience, cognitive science, AI, or data science – influence human self-understanding, and the understanding of values. Recent projects investigate questions of autonomy, responsibility, and trust. The group combines research in applied ethics with philosophy of mind and philosophy and ethics of technology and involves studies on the public understanding of sciences and technological advances. With a background in Cognitive Science and Philosophy, Professor Nagel develops approaches to individual and societal challenges in a technological culture, with a focus on the ethical, anthropological, and social consequences of scientific and technological progress.
The current position is situated in the Cluster of Excellence “Internet of Production” funded by the German Research Foundation. The selected candidate will be involved with research tasks within the cluster. In this multidisciplinary research project at the core of research and innovation in industry 4.0 the position should contribute to the ethical reflection of the project with a focus on human-machine interaction and responsibilities in the Internet of Production.  The responsibilities are:

  • The ethical reflection of questions of artificial intelligence, automation, changes in working environments, and new areas of responsibility
  • Studies in cooperation with engineers, computer scientists, and psychologists on moral dilemmas in engineering research and application
  • Assistance in the preparation, implementation and follow-up of project workshops
  • Publication of project results in journals and/or presentation of results at international conferences
  • Communication in the Cluster of Excellence

The successful candidate will be employed as a regular employee. This is a part-time position (50% of the standard weekly hours for full-time employees). It is also available as full-time employment depending on qualification (with a PhD). The successful candidate has the opportunity to pursue a doctoral degree in this position. The salary corresponds to level EG 13 TV-L.

More details, here.

Eligibility/ Requirements

The requirements for this position are

  • a University degree (Master or equivalent) and/or dissertation in Philosophy and/or Applied Ethics and/or Interdisciplinary Studies, with a specialization in Philosophy/Ethics.
  • Pronounced knowledge in Applied Ethics and/or Practical Philosophy
  • Experience in interdisciplinary work
  • Good analytical skills 
  • Good IT-skills
  • Previous work has already been presented at conferences and accepted in international, competitive journals
  • Very good proficiency in English (oral and written)
  • Ability to independent scientific work
  • Responsibility, creativity, flexibility, team orientation 
  • Willingness to teach in various degree programs on issues of applied ethics

Competence in ethical theory, Experiences with reflection on current developments in the field of engineering, human-technology interaction, or autonomous systems, and Knowledge and practical experience in methods of empirical social research or empirical philosophy are desirable.

Application Process

The following application documents are required:

  • Letter of motivation
  • CV
  • Research project proposal up to 750 words
  • Certificates
  • Publication list
  • (if you have a PhD) Either a summary and table of contents of your dissertation or the entire dissertation
  • Names of two references.

Please send your applications with reference no. 26601, to 

RWTH Aachen University/ Humtec Centre, LuF Angewandte Ethik mit dem Schwerpunkt Technik- und Umweltethik, Theaterplatz 14, 52062 Aachen. Alternatively, email it to

If you have questions, please contact Prof. Saskia Nagel. Phone: +49 241 / 80 25486.


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