Post Doctoral Research Fellow

University of Massachusetts Boston
UMass Boston

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Job Details

Job no: 510165
Position Type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Boston
Department: Philosophy
Date opened: 15 Sep 2021 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: 01 Dec 2021 Eastern Standard Time

General Summary:

The Applied Ethics Center (AEC) and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) are excited to invite applications for a full-time Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in the Future of Work at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The post is fixed-term for 24 months from the date of appointment.

Some forecasters believe automation and other emerging technologies will cause a rapid loss of traditional employment in the coming decades. Other forecasters argue that there will not be a net loss of jobs, but foresee instead a rapid innovation of new jobs, and transformation of existing jobs. Policies to address the rapidly changing labor market include reforming higher education and job re-training, shortening the work week, a federal jobs guarantee, and a universal basic income. Whether work is threatened or not, some see a post-work future as a desirable goal of public policy, while others believe work is essential to meaning and social engagement. How can higher education focus more on non-automatable skills like creativity and social-emotional intelligence? What are the impacts of employment versus guaranteed income? Many of us find the primary locus of meaning in our work. Would living in a world with less, or transformed, work be less meaningful? The Future of Work Fellow will help AEC and IEET research the academic and policy work being done on these questions.

About the Applied Ethics Center at UMass Boston

The Applied Ethics Center (AEC) is located in the Philosophy Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston (, and promotes research, teaching, and awareness of ethics in public life. Through public conversations, specialized courses, and research projects, the center creates a forum for exploring topics ranging from the meaning of artificial Intelligence to the ethics of fighting terrorism to the status of controversial public monuments.

The AEC is directed by associate professor of philosophy Nir Eisikovits. Before coming to UMass Boston Professor Eisikovits was associate professor of legal and political philosophy at Suffolk University, where he co-founded and directed the Graduate Program in Ethics and Public Policy. He writes on the ethics of war, transitional justice and on how societies come to terms with their past.

About the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) is a technoprogressive thinktank founded in 2005 by Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom and sociologist James Hughes. The IEET (, a 501c3 nonprofit registered in Connecticut, promotes ideas about how technological progress can increase freedom, happiness, and human flourishing in democratic societies. The IEET seeks to cultivate academic, professional, and popular understanding of the social implications of emerging technologies, both positive and negative, and to encourage responsible public policies for their safe and equitable use.

The IEET Executive Director James Hughes is a bioethicist and sociologist who has taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Connecticut, Trinity College and the University of Massachusetts Boston. He now serves as an Associate Provost at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future, co-editor of Surviving the Machine Age: Intelligent Technology and the Transformation of Work, and many articles and chapters.

Examples of Duties:

The Future of Work Fellow will be expected to teach between one and two courses per year, write academic articles for publication and present at relevant conferences in consultation with the AEC and IEET. Fellows will be expected to help raise awareness of these issues as a guest classroom lecturer, through writing popular essays, and being a press contact for interviews and podcasts. The Fellow will help organize lectures on these topics by emerging and established scholars. The Fellowship will be capped by a conference on The Future of Work. The Fellow will work with the AEC and IEET to plan the conference and related publications.


The ideal candidate will have a PhD (by September 1, 2022) and a publication record in philosophy, law, computer science, a social scientific discipline, or related fields, and a demonstrated interest in the social, ethical, legal and/or economic implications of artificial intelligence, employment, social welfare and/or technological change. Experience conducting interdisciplinary research is a plus.

This two-year appointment has a Boston residency requirement.

Application Instructions:

Candidates please apply online with your CV, a cover letter, an article-length writing sample, and a short research proposal (no more than 800 words). Please ask three recommenders to send their letters directly to Nir Eisikovits, Director of the UMB Applied Ethics Center, at [email protected]. Applications received through any other channel will not be considered.

The closing date for applications is December 1, 2021. Interviews will take place virtually in June and December of 2021 and January of 2022. The position starts on the first day of the fall semester in 2022. Please contact [email protected] or nir[email protected] with questions about the role or application process.

Deadline to apply: December 1, 2021 Start Date: Fall 2022

Review of candidates will begin following the application closing date.

Salary Range: $50,000

This is a non-union exempt position.

All official salary offers must be approved by Human Resources.

UMass Boston requires all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to confirm proof of their vaccination status. Exemptions from the vaccine requirement will be permitted only for qualifying religious or medical reasons. Regardless of vaccination status, you must wear a face covering in public indoor spaces on campus.

Applications close: 01 Dec 2021 Eastern Standard Time


Working at University of Massachusetts Boston

The University of Massachusetts Boston is nationally recognized as a model of excellence for urban public universities. The scenic waterfront campus is located next to the John F. Kennedy Library, with easy access to downtown Boston. 

The second-largest campus in the UMass system, UMass Boston combines a small-college experience with the vast resources of a major research university. With a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio, students easily interact with professors because most teaching occurs in small class sizes. Ninety-three percent of full-time faculty hold the highest degree in their fields.

UMass Boston’s academic excellence is reflected by a growing student body of nearly 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university’s eight colleges offer more than 100 undergraduate programs and 50 graduate programs. The University Honors Program serves 300 students who thrive on intellectual challenge. Enriched courses probe more deeply into theory or venture further into application.

UMass Boston’s diverse student body provides a global context for student learning, and its location in a major U.S. city provides connections to employers in industries such as finance, health care, technology, service, and education, offering students opportunities to gain valuable in-school experience via internships, clinicals, and other career-related placements.

More than 100 student organizations — including clubs, literary magazines, newspaperradio stationart gallery, and 16 NCAA Division III sports teams — offer a rich campus life. Students live throughout Greater Boston and in apartment communities just steps from the campus, and enjoy the rich amenities, cultural attractions, and educational opportunities that make the city the biggest and best college town in the nation.

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