PhD position (Neuroethics & law), Eastern Finland

PhD position (Neuroethics & law), Eastern Finland

Closing date: 31 October 2021

Neuro-ethics and law research team at the Institute of Law and Welfare, UEF Law School, focuses on the research related to patients’ rights in neurodegenerative diseases and other disabilities. In line with a holistic approach, our aim is to ensure, that patients and their families, despite of the illness, have the opportunity to live a good life with dignity and to be recognized as full members of society.  

Candidate profile

This research project needs the participation of researhers with passion for excellence in research, innovation, and societal impact. We are looking for candidates who seek to contribute to neuro-ethics and law research ie. research of legal rights and access to justice of people with neurodegenerative diseases. Ideal candidates want to open their minds to intersecting and complementary fields of science, seeking a multi/interdisciplinary approach in research.

The academic profile of the candidate should be in law, preferably in healthcare law, medical law, family law, disability law, elder law and/or discrimination and equality law, with the idea of complementing this background throughout PhD studies. We are looking for a motivated candidate interested in the concepts of capability, autonomy, relationality and vulnerability. It will also be beneficial if the candidate is able to use empirical research methods and has experience in multidisciplinary research. The candidate will be working in the multidisciplinary “Neuro-Ethics and Law” research team, focusing on legal rights and the wellbeing of people with neurodegenerative diseases.

Overall, the candidate must be willing to combine complementary areas of knowledge in clinical neurosciences, social sciences and/or neuro-impact and innovation to complete the thesis project. As far as soft skills are concerned, we welcome candidates with a proactive, collaborative attitude who are enthusiastic about building, creating and working in teams. Good knowledge of written and spoken English is essential. An ideal candidate must have a high degree of independent thought and initiative and should be willing to spend some time abroad with our international partners and outside the university at our partner institutions.

Neuro-innovation topic

As neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease become increasingly common and create enormous health and societal challenges, it is vital that patients and their families, despite the illness, have the opportunity to live a good life with dignity and to be recognised as full members of society. The goal in this research topic at the UEF Law School is to study patient rights in brain diseases, with specific focus on neuro- and bio-ethics and patient-oriented research practices. The philosophy of ‘nothing about us without us’ acknowledges the fact that many persons with neurodegenerative brain diseases are fully capable of representing themselves or speaking up for those who are no longer able to do so.

In this context, the legal and ethical issues concerning research ethics, human rights issues, patient guidance and counselling practices, privacy and data protection as well as data sharing policies can be key aspects of the research. Methodologically, mixed methods and materials allow us to obtain a comprehensive picture of the legal rights and access to justice for this vulnerable group. The study of this topic benefits from empirical knowledge that is combined with legal approaches. The candidate can also suggest their own topic or modify this topic in their motivation letter.

How to apply  

The application shall be submitted no later than 31 October 2021 by 24:00 hours Finnish time (11:00 pm CEST) by using the electronic application form. The objective is to offer the position to the most merited applicant by February-March 2022.

Find further details here and Avoin työpaikka (