Postdoctoral Research Fellow/Research Fellow, Law School

Sydney, Australia
30 Nov 2020
End of advertisement period
17 Jan 2021
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Law
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time
  • Exciting opportunity for a law scholar with an interest in technology to join the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society
  • Located on the Camperdown campus
  • Full-time, Academic Level A, 3 year fixed term with a base salary of $96K - $103K p.a., plus leave loading and a generous employer’s contribution to superannuation

About the opportunity 

The University of Sydney Law School is looking for an outstanding early career researcher with a strong background and/or interest in data science and artificial intelligence to join the Law School and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S). The successful candidate will be affiliated with the University of Sydney Law School and contribute to the ADM+S Institutions research program, working with leading researchers in law and data science/artificial intelligence on critical questions about:

  • how developments in artificial intelligence challenge the nature and mechanisms of law
  • how the laws that guarantee individual and collective rights and interests translate or intersect with the developing tools and conceptions within AI research and practice around core concepts like fairness, explainability, accountability, and transparency
  • how law can help ensure that automated systems operate in practice for the benefit of individuals and society.

This position is aligned to the ADM+S Institutions research program.

As the Postdoctoral Research Fellow/Research Fellow you will contribute to a number of projects within the Centre, with a particular focus on how to implement legal and ethical obligations into technical and sociotechnical systems involving automated decision-making.

You will be based at the Law School at the University of Sydney, and collaborate actively with the Gradient Institute (an independent data science research group dedicated to developing ethical artificial intelligence), and with the Centre of Excellence’s national and international network of participants. All Centre ECR research positions have access to the Centre of Excellence’s research training and professional development opportunities, international visiting fellowships and exchanges (travel arrangements permitting), and the Centre’s network of industry partners. For this position a background and experience/qualifications in data science and/or statistics will be an advantage.

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow/Research Fellow in Law who can demonstrate the following qualifications, experience and key attributes:

  • a degree in law (LLB/JD or equivalent)
  • completion or near completion of a PhD, or equivalent professional experience, in a relevant discipline area (e.g. law, data science, or moral philosophy) within the past 10 years at the time of appointment, not including periods of career interruption due to carer’s responsibilities, parental leave, illness, or disability, or equivalent professional experience
  • proven ability to conduct high quality research including in particular interdisciplinary research
  • proven scholarly writing skills and experience in preparing publications for a variety of audiences, including non-scholarly pieces and scholarly articles in high-quality refereed journals, book chapters, and/or books
  • proven ability to work independently to generate distinctive contributions to scholarly knowledge and/or create real world outcomes.
  • demonstrated ability to work effectively and collaboratively as part of a high-achieving and collegial research culture, with a particular focus on the ability to work on interdisciplinary projects with researchers in computer/data science
  • well-developed oral and interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders and research collaborators, including presentations at seminars, conferences and industry events.

About us

The University of Sydney Law School is one of the world’s leading law schools, ranked 13th in the QS World Universities Rankings for the discipline of law. Sydney Law School is an international leader in legal research, led by globally recognised legal educators, world renowned researchers and highly respected professional practitioners and adjunct faculty. Sydney Law School’s research, impact and engagement received a ranking of 5, ‘well above world standard’ by the Australian Research Council in the Excellence in Research for Australia 2018 (ERA) exercise. We have a reputation for excellence built over more than 150 years of teaching and research and community engagement.

The rapid expansion of automated decision-making enabled by technologies from machine learning to the blockchain has great potential benefits, while it also creates serious new risks to human rights and welfare. Potential harms range from data discrimination against disadvantaged communities to the spread of disinformation for political and commercial ends. Increasing inequality, lower productivity and diminished economic security have been highlighted as risks in the coming decade. 

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S) is a cross-disciplinary national research centre, which aims to create the knowledge and strategies necessary for responsible, ethical, and inclusive automated decision-making. Funded by the Australian Research Council from 2020 to 2026, ADM+S is hosted at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia, with nodes in eight other Australian universities including the University of Sydney. The Centre brings together leading researchers in the humanities, social and technological sciences in an international industry, research and civil society network Its research is structured into four programs—Institutions, Data, People and Technology—and four priority domains for public engagement—news and media, transport, social services and health.

How to apply

For more information on the position and University, please view the position description available from the job’s listing on the University of Sydney careers website.

All applications must be submitted via the University of Sydney careers website.  Visit and search by the reference number 1380/1120F to apply.

Closing date: 11:30pm, Sunday 17 January 2021 (Sydney time)

Please note: Visa sponsorship is only available for this position for candidates who are currently located within Australia.

The University of Sydney is committed to diversity and social inclusion. Applications from people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; equity target groups including women, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTIQ; and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, are encouraged.

© The University of Sydney

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.