10 October 2018

Get in touch!


For more information please contact Prof. Dr. Pascal Borry ( or Dr. Mahsa Shabani ( Interviews will likely be planned on 19 November.

You can apply for this job no later than November 12, 2018 via the online application tool
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

Apply before 12 November 2018

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.


A PhD researcher will be hired on a project funded through the E.U. call H2020-SC1-BHC-2018-2020 focused on developing an EU-Canada joint infrastructure for next-generation multi-Study Heart research, in which we are co-leading the Ethics Work Package.Through this project we aim to engage with participating cohorts in order to assess their motivations and barriers to data sharing and Open Science. In particular, we aim to evaluate innovative approaches based on blockchain and Smart Contracts to facilitate data access and sharing processes by partially or fully self-executing/self-enforcing access requirements and data use conditions, while ensuring explicit tracking of academic credits. In addition, we will analyze the relevant regulatory frameworks regarding processing personal data (such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)) through such data sharing platforms. The project will use a combination of methodologies, including systematic literature reviews, semi-structured interviews and normative ethical and legal analysis. The project will help to identify and analyze the associated ethical and legal issues in developing such biomedical data sharing platforms and lead to relevant policy recommendations.


A successful PhD candidate should preferably have:

  • Degree in law, bioethics, sociology, biomedical sciences, bioinformatics,or a relevant other discipline;
  • An outstanding record of undergraduate and master's degree work;
  • Highly motivated candidate with strong interest in the ethical and social aspects of biomedical innovations and a demonstrable affinity with the project;
  • Experience with empirical qualitative methods in the social and health sciences (e.g., document analysis, interviews);
  • Proven proficiency in English, both written and orally;
  • Strong writing and analytical skills;
  • Good communication and organization skills;
  • Ability to meet deadlines and complete a PhD thesis within the defined project time;
  • Capacity to work both as an independent researcher and as part of a team;
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary context.

We are offering one full time appointment (100%) as a PhD student for a period of 3 years, within the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law (Faculty of Medicine, KU Leuven). The starting date can be negotiated.