University College London

Ref Number
Professional Expertise
Research and Research Support
Working Pattern
Full time
£39,508 – £47,355
Contract Type
Working Type
On site (> 80% of working time)
Available for Secondment
Closing Date

UCL is one of the UK’s leading universities, a world-class multidisciplinary research and teaching institution, whose staff and former students have included 29 Nobel Prize winners. Founded in 1826, UCL was the first university in England to admit students regardless of race, religion or gender. It continues to thrive on the creativity and diversity of its community, which today comprises c.13,000 staff and c.40,000 students from 130 countries across the globe.

UCL is ranked 8th in the world and 4th in Europe in the QS World University Rankings 2023. Situated at the heart of one of the world’s greatest cities, UCL’s historic central campus in Bloomsbury is within easy reach of several rail and underground stations and Heathrow airport. The Faculty of Laws provides some of the finest, research-led thinking and education on law anywhere in the world. The Guardian’s University Guide 2021 and The Times Good University Guide 2021 both rank UCL Laws 2nd in the UK for studying Law. In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 by subject: law, UCL Laws is ranked 8th in the world.

The Faculty has achieved the highest ratings in the last four instances of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), including being the top ranked law school in the UK REF2021 for research quality (first for GPA, first for overall 4* ratings, and first for QI). We pride ourselves on the collaborative and welcoming atmosphere of UCL Laws and the commitment and talent of our community of students, teachers, and researchers.

As part of our work on the regulation of artificial intelligence, the Faculty of Laws invites applications for one (1) postdoctoral research position in law and technology associated with a Leverhulme Trust Research Project on “Liability for Autonomous Decision Systems”.

The research project addresses two issues: (1) It aims to develop new technical instruments to diagnose the quality of machine learning (ML) decisions; identify its failures; and identify root causes of such failures; and (2) it aims to build on these instruments to formulate robust legal principles attaching liability to different actors involved in the production/operation of faulty ML systems. The successful candidate will work within a research team consisting of Prof Carsten Gerner-Beuerle (UCL Laws), Prof Miguel Rodrigues (UCL Engineering), and one further postdoctoral research fellow in machine learning based in the Faculty of Engineering.

The successful candidate will further benefit from a vibrant research environment and close collaboration with established colleagues in both the Faculty of Laws and the Faculty of Engineering who work at the intersection of law and technology.

Appointment at Grade 7 is dependent upon having been awarded a PhD; if this is not the case, initial appointment will be at Grade 6B (salary £35,702 to £37,548 per annum) with payment at Grade 7 being backdated to the date of final submission of the PhD Thesis, including corrections, once the PhD has been awarded.

The post is available from September 2023 for 12 months in the first instance, option to extend further, up to 12 months subject to performance.

We are looking for a motivated, highly qualified individual with a PhD in law, preferably at the intersection of law and technology, who will join our interdisciplinary research team to participate in the development of a technologically informed regulatory framework and best practice standards that can be used to apportion responsibility for machine learning failures effectively and efficiently.

You will have good knowledge of relevant fields of law, including tort, contract, product liability, internet law, and digital regulation, and be familiar with regulatory initiatives on artificial intelligence. You will have a track record of publications in leading journals or participation in conferences. Some knowledge of statistical theory, machine learning theory, and/or information theory & processing is desirable.

As well as the exciting opportunities this role presents we also offer some great benefits some of which are below: 41 Days holiday (including 27 days annual leave 8 bank holiday and 6 closure days) Defined benefit career average revalued earnings pension scheme (CARE) Cycle to work scheme and season ticket loan On-Site nursery On-site gym Enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption pay Employee assistance programme: Staff Support Service Discounted medical insurance. Visit to find out more

As London’s Global University, we know diversity fosters creativity and innovation, and we want our community to represent the diversity of the world’s talent. We are committed to equality of opportunity, to being fair and inclusive, and to being a place where we all belong. We therefore particularly encourage applications from candidates who are likely to be underrepresented in UCL’s workforce. These include people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds; disabled people; LGBTQI+ people; and for our Grade 9 and 10 roles, women. You can read more about our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion here :

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