Post-Doctoral Researcher (Industry 4.0 Ethics) - CONFIRM / School of Business

Maynooth, Kildare (IE)
19 Apr 2018
End of advertisement period
19 May 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Maynooth University is committed to a strategy in which the primary University goals of excellent research and scholarship and outstanding education are interlinked and equally valued. We are seeking a Post-Doctoral Researcher (Industry 4.0 Ethics) for the Maynooth University School of Business / CONFIRM research centre.

Critics of contemporary applications of information technology have warned of the social, economic and ethical implications of data science, automation and/or AI. Others have demonstrated that these have provided opportunities for workers and exploited groups to liberate themselves from existing class and economic structures. Social and organisational research has long established that working in the field of data science or computing is not an ethically neutral or socially ‘innocent’ practice but the actual decisions, ethical practices and concerns of workers employed in ‘digital capitalism’ and how these manifest and are experienced in daily working life remains a significant research lacuna. This research project will map the existing literatures in this field and will conduct empirical social research in organisations and/or sectors to explore the ethical experiences of those working with data. In doing so, it will develop a practical model of how ethics are done (and might be understood or changed) in the field of data science, automation and/or AI. As well as contributing to theory, it is also hoped that practical knowledge can be developed to assist the field of data ethics, organisations, managers and digital workers and professionals.

Principal Duties

This role will involve working closely with the project supervisor (Dr. John Cullen) on designing a research project that aims to address the concerns outlined in the project description above. At the earliest stage of the project this will involve mapping and reviewing the existing literature in the field in order to ascertain current trends in theory and practice. It will then proceed to identifying research sites and appropriate methodologies for engaging with them.

The outputs of the project will be a range of papers which will be co-authored with the research supervisor and submitted to appropriate ABS 3 or 4 ranked journals as identified by the supervisor of the project. Depending on funding, industry presentations and conference presentations, a monograph publication may also be developed. The Post-Doctoral researcher will also lead the production of reports to funders and industry partners and any other project-related tasks as identified by the research partner.

The ideal candidate will have:


• The person will hold a PhD in any of the following disciplines (Business / Management (all sub-disciplines), Anthropology, Information or Library Science, MIS or IT, Moral Philosophy, Social Science or Sociology). Consideration will also be given to candidates who are close to completing their PhD.

• Strong writing, communications and analytical skills.


• Previous experience of designing and conducting large scale research projects with industry partners.

• Experience conducting systematic literature reviews.

• Knowledge of ethical theories and contemporary debates relevant to data ethics.

• Experience of publishing research in highly-ranked ABS peer-reviewed research publications.

• Knowledge of library databases such as the Social Sciences Citation Index and Business Source Complete.

• Familiarity with research software such as SPSS, MaxQDA or equivalents.

• Openness to conducting both qualitative and quantitative forms of research.