DIGITAL SME, in partnership with the Technological University Dublin, is hiring an Early Stage Researcher to work on the topic of ethical and legal implications of AI.

The Early Stage Researcher will be employed at the European DIGITAL SME Alliance, while simultaneously enrolled in the PhD programme at the Technological University Dublin, at the Environmental Sustainability and Health Institute, under the supervision of Dr Aphra Kerr and Solicitor Marian Jennings.

Tasks of the researcher:

The Researcher will be working on the PhD project, assessing the legal and ethical implications of AI, specifically on the existing and anticipated wearable physiology measurement technology. Working towards this project, the Researcher will have to complete both practical and academic tasks in order to obtain hands-on and scientific insights into the research project.

Namely, while working at DIGITAL SME, the researcher will:

  • contribute to management and work of the SME Focus Group on AI (organising and animating workshops, meetings and other policy events);
  • have a lead role in addressing legal issues and policy recommendations related to the treatment of mixed data-sets (non-personal data vs personal data);
  • explore the standardisation approaches of data formats and APIs;
  • work with SMEs to analyse the practical implementation of ethical AI, e.g. via standards, quality criteria, certification and labelling, etc.

Meanwhile, the researcher’s scientific work will concentrate on:

  • research of legal and ethical requirements connected to collaborative AI, especially utilising wearable physiology measurement technology;
  • definition of a compliant strategy of deployment for sensory technology and an optimal GDPR-compliant way to use data coming from these sensors;
  • understanding the technical aspects of data acquisition and processing;
  • definition of the indicators for ethical and legal sustainability of field data;
  • validation and assessment of legal and ethical compliance of the real-life AI use cases.


  1. The candidates must hold a Master of Science Degree or equivalent, allowing access to PhD courses.
  2. The candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Belgium for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to June 2021. However, the candidates must have a valid work permit for the EU.
  3. The candidates must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and not been awarded a doctoral degree. The research experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the MSc degree.
  4. The candidates must be fluent in English.

Additional advantage is given to the candidates who:

  1. Have proven experience or strong interest in data protection legislation and more specifically issues related to the treatment of mixed data-sets;
  2. have interest in SMEs and policy making;
  3. have interest in intellectual property legislation;
  4. have demonstrated experience or interest in organising workshops and / or other events;
  5. have strong communication skills, experience with CRM and CMS systems.



The selected candidate will receive a contract of 36 months (“Contrat pour un travail nettement défini” under Belgian law).

The main placement of the assignment will be Brussels, Belgium; however, due to the pandemic, temporary remote working options can be considered. The candidate will work as part of the DIGITAL SME secretariat, a young, international, and dynamic team. DIGITAL SME’s office is in the heart of Brussels, easily accessible by public transportation. The salary for this position is competitive, and in line with the candidate’s skills and experience. Flexible working hours, remote working and a results-oriented organisational culture based on mutual trust and respect are part of the benefits.

The candidate must be willing to relocate as 18 months (out of 36) will be spent in the secondment places (Technological University Dublin and Politecnico of Torino).

Application process:

Interested candidates should apply by filling in the form. The deadline is 29 March:
Candidates should specify that they are applying for the “ESR 10: Legal and Ethical implications for the collection and use of data from physiology-recording wearables & AI algorithms for future workplace.”

For more information, the candidates can contact Mrs Irene Lanfranchi at the European DIGITAL SME Alliance, or Prof. Maria Chiara Leva at the Technological University Dublin.


Phone  +32 28930235


Rue Marie Thérèse 21, bte.5,
1000, Brussels, Belgium

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