Postdoctoral researcher, KU Leuven

Postdoctoral researcher, KU Leuven

Postdoctoral researcher – Bioethics

Closing date: 31 March 2021

A successful candidate will be selected to work on a research project coordinated by the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law (an interdisciplinary centre that performs research on ethical and societal issues with regard to innovations in biomedical research and health care, Staff members of this center publish their work in international peer reviewed journals, participate in national and international research projects, and provide advice to academic and professional organizations.

Responsibilities: A postdoctoral researcher will be hired on a bilateral Flanders (Belgium) – Canada project funded through the Research Foundation Flanders on the ethical aspects related to the research use of crowdsourced medical data for biomedical research. Smartphone applications for health are being increasingly used as a platform for collecting and sharing large volumes of crowdsourced personal health data for biomedical research and algorithm training. Consumer genetics products are similarly allowing individuals to have direct access to their own genetic data and to share such data with researchers. Using smartphone and genetic data in these ways presents numerous opportunities to expand biomedical knowledge, though it also raises certain risks. Some of these include risks to personal privacy and risks associated with unclear ethical and legal obligations on the part of app developers and researchers. In this project, we aim to mitigate these risks by determining how smartphone applications and other mobile tools that collect health data work in practice and by addressing legal, ethical, and regulatory uncertainty, comparing the situation as it exists in Canada and Belgium. We will use this evidence to develop health policy guidelines that will enable smartphone data to be used safely, in a manner that protects users and the public. In doing so, we will assure that such data will contribute to improved health outcomes by expanding biomedical knowledge and making health more effective and efficient.

Offer: We are offering a full time appointment (100%) as a postdoctoral researcher for a period of 2 years, within the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law (Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, KU Leuven). The starting date can be negotiated.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Pascal Borry, tel.: +32 16 37 95 17, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than March 31, 2021 via the online application tool (ref. BAP-2021-185).

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