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Message posted on 06/06/2023

2 PhD positions Ethics of Safe-and-Sustainable-by-design

Ethics of Safe-and-Sustainable-by-design

Job description Recently the EU introduced the concept of Safe and Sustainable by Design (SSbD), to stimulate the transition of EU’s industry to produce safe and sustainable products. Chemical pollution is an ever increasing persistent problem, the implications of which are becoming ever more manifest. A holistic approach for finding safe and sustainable alternatives to chemicals products is however still lacking. Such an approach requires technical measures and design choices but also specific societal conditions, such as mutual learning about uncertainties and ways to mitigate these uncertainties as well as a fair, complete and effective allocation of responsibilities along the entire value chain of products and materials. TU Delft offers two PhD positions focused on societal and ethical aspects of SSbD in the chemical industry and in the product industry. Both positions are situated in the Philosophy group, one is co-supervised by Leiden University, Center for Science and Technology Studies. Each position is part of a different but related programme. Both PhD-candidates are expected to collaborate and learn from each other. Please indicate your preference for one of these projects. Position one (supervised by Lotte Asveld, TU Delft and Laurens Hessels, Leiden University) focusses on the question of distribution of responsibilities within innovation ecosystems, with specific attention to the development of PFAS alternatives. Researchers developing chemical compounds typically operate within their own sphere of influence. They can only exercise choices that are within their reach and have little influence over decisions that were made upstream and/or at earlier points in time. This situation hints at the limits of what can be achieved via technical design choices and indicates the need for transdisciplinary collaboration and networked responsibility. Specifically the responsibility for identifying uncertainties may be challenging, as it may clash with other responsibilities such as the responsibility to offer innovative solutions for pressing, current challenges. The main question guiding this project is: how to allocate responsibilities for SSbD measures fairly and effectively within the chemical innovation ecosystem? This project is part of the TOSS research consortium which concerns the replacement of Persistent, Mobile and Toxic Chemicals, a collaboration with several universities, RIVM and VNCI. The candidate will conduct a literature review, case studies, and interviews. Based on the acquired insights, the candidate will also design and validate interventions to improve SSbD practices. Position two The second position (supervised by Ibo van de Poel, TU Delft) is part of the project ‘Safe-by-design Circular Products’, which aims at a method that enables the design of safe products that fit into a circular economy. When closing loops in a circular economy, the problems associated with potentially hazardous substances are aggravated. A product design approach is needed that combines demands for functionality, performance, economics, usability, circularity, sustainability, and health & safety. The overall project focuses on four representative cases: hospital mattress, colour monitors, silicone bakeware and biodegradable packaging. The PhD project is aimed at developing an ethical framework to stimulate value sensitive design in the early design stages by providing guidance to product designers in analyzing and balancing ethical dilemmas associated with substances of concern in product design. The PhD candidate will also develop a taxonomy of potential ethical dilemmas associated with safe-and-circular-by-design, and establish an overview of strategies for dealing with the identified dilemmas. The framework will be developed in close collaboration with product designers, industrial partners and other relevant stakeholders. Requirements Position 1

  • Masters degree in Science and Technology Studies, Applied Philosophy or Ethics, Political sciences, Innovation Studies, or a related field.
  • A keen interest in addressing the safety and sustainability issues in the chemical industry. Position 2

  • Masters degree in applied philosophy or ethics, moral philosophy, Science and Technology Studies, innovation studies or industrial design engineering.
  • A demonstrable interest in ethical issues in product design. Both Positions

  • You thrive in a collaborative and multi-disciplinary environment and look forward to interacting with researchers and experts on different domains.
  • You have an excellent command of spoken and written English and good communication skills. Dutch is a plus.
  • You have excellent study results, and academic writing skills are regarded as assets. Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements. Conditions of employment Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network. TU Delft (Delft University of Technology) Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration. Challenge. Change. Impact! Faculty Technology, Policy and Management The Faculty of TPM provides an important contribution to solving complex technical-social issues, such as energy transition, mobility, digitalisation, water management and (cyber) security. TPM does this with its excellent education and research at the intersection of technology, society and policy. We combine insights from both engineering and social sciences as well as the humanities. TPM develops robust models and designs, is internationally oriented and has an extensive network of knowledge institutions, companies, social organisations and governments. Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management. Additional information For more information about these vacancies please contact either Lotte Asveld, 015-2786691 or Ibo van de Poel For information about the application procedure, please contact Olivie Beek, HR advisor, For position 1 the first round of interviews will be held on 4 July 2023. For position 2 the first round of interviews will be held on 29 June 2023. Application procedure Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 22 June 2023 via the application button. Applicants should send their CV, a cover letter outlining motivations and qualifications, and an example of their writing.

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

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