A PhD project related to fairness

The official advertisement for the PhD position can be found on [this page]. To learn more about the Fairness Project, please browse these webpages. Below you can find more specific information about what we are looking for in a candidate. 

An open invitation to contribute in a variety of ways 

The Fairness Project is well defined and focused. Both project leaders will continue to develop research articles in formal ethics, combining Aristotelian and Broomean fairness with frameworks of fair division from economics and mathematics. We are open to applications from candidates a great variety of backgrounds to complement these activities in different ways. We do have rather concretely developed ideas for PhD projects on fairness, which we are happy to discuss with you. But, first and foremost, we would like to hear from you, both in your motivation letter and in the interview, what your ideas are for pursuing a PhD on fairness.

Possible backgrounds and research interests of the candidate

  • Possible backgrounds: we are open for candidates with backgrounds in political and social philosophy, philosophy of economics, philosophy of science, formal ethics, logic, decision theory, game theory, and/or analytic philosophy.
  • Possible research interests: we are open for candidates who want to cultivate research interests in relation to any of the above subfields. PhD project ideas that we have developed, and that you are welcome to pick up, are on the theory of fairness as such, on fair political representation, on fairness and desert in distributive justice, on fair trade and on the fair distribution of health care resources. 

Prospects for applied topics and case studies

We are open to candidates with a highly theoretical interest in any of the fields named above. But we are also interested in candidates who are interested in applied topics and case studies, for instance by researching fairness in relation to topics such as fairness in algorithms and AI, financial fairplay in professional sports, fairness in responsibility sharing in migration, structural unfairness and social representation (such as fairness related to demographic characteristics, e.g. gender, ethnicity), amongst others. 

Questions and answers

Q: Do I need to be interested in fairness to apply? 

A: Yes. But we do not require that you be invested in fairness as a proportional satisfaction of claims. What will be helpful if you have research interests that relate crucially to a substantial notion or problem of fairness as discussed in the philosophical literature. We’d welcome applications that are creative in how they do so. 

Q: Your work looks formal. Do I need a background in formal philosophy or logic? 

A. No. Of course, if you are conversant in, or even master and enjoy formal methods: great. If you do not yet but you are keen to develop in this way: equally great. If you do not: well, then tell us how your other qualities and interests relate fruitfully to the Fairness Project – for instance, your affinity with a certain (non-formal) research strand in social or political philosophy, or your knowledge of a certain applied area in which a case study on fairness can be fruitfully conducted in (such as fair trade, political representation, etc).