PhD studentship: Philosophy and Medicine, Nursing, or Midwifery

4 May 2021

Applications need to be received by 6 June 2021 (23:59 GMT)

Peter Sowerby Studentship 2021-22

Funded* PhD at King’s College London, in any area of Philosophy with impact, application and significance to Medicine, Nursing, or Midwifery

King’s College London invites applications for one funded*, three-year PhD in Philosophy, in association with Philosophy & Medicine Project, which is generously supported by the Peter Sowerby Foundation and chaired by Professor Elselijn Kingma. The studentship is open to students proposing a research project in any research area in philosophy with impact, application, and significance in relation to medicine, nursing or midwifery. Possible areas include but are not confined to the following, in any philosophical approach, both Western and non-Western:

  • ethics or epistemology with significance for medicine, nursing and midwifery
  • metaphysics in relation to medical conditions, birth and death
  • the philosophy of mind and psychiatry
  • the philosophy of science with applications in the area
  • the history of philosophy in relation to thought about medical practice and experience

The PhD candidate join a lively and collegiate research group headed by Sowerby Chair Elselijn Kingma, and will be expected to:

  • Carry out their own independent PhD-sized research project in an area of philosophy with impact, application and significance to medicine, nursing, or midwifery, subject to the normal criteria of the KCL MPhil/PhD degree.
  • Be a proactive and collegial member of the Philosophy & Medicine Project and actively participate in its activities.
  • Submit an annual report on their research progress, other relevant activities, and participation in the Sowerby Project for approval by the Sowerby Chair.

We especially encourage members of marginalized groups to apply in recognition of the underrepresentation in Philosophy and Medicine of members of certain marginalized groups, including ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and others, and the deficits this creates in philosophical and medical research and governance.

The Philosophy & Medicine Project, of which the PhD student will be a member, provides a happy, productive and welcoming research environment. The Project organises a range of initiatives, including the public-facing Annual Sowerby Lecture, interdisciplinary workshops, fortnightly research colloquia, reading groups and other events.

KCL’s Department of Philosophy is a large, lively, and highly integrated department that can support research projects in a wide variety of research areas, and that offers close personal supervision to students within the context of an active, friendly and supportive postgraduate community.

How to Apply:

Applications need to be received by 6 June 2021 (23:59 GMT). A Master’s in Philosophy is normally expected but we also particularly welcome students with relevant backgrounds in medicine, nursing, midwifery, and the health sciences. Please see here for full details of the award and how to apply, and further information about the Philosophy & Medicine Project and the Department of Philosophy at King’s College London.

For further questions, please contact Elselijn Kingma (elselijn.kingma[at]

*Stipend only, but it is hoped that the student can be offered enough hourly paid administrative, teaching and research assistance work to earn the amount of annual home fees.

Seminar: Pandemics and Inequality: International Health Regulations

17 March 2021

Friday March 19, 2021, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM GMT

Transnational Law Institute Seminar Series on Pandemics & Inequality, King’s College London.

Event Abstract

The International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) are supposed to provide an overarching international legal framework for countries’ rights and obligations in relation to public health risks and emergencies that have the potential to cross borders. Yet, by early 2020 it was clear that something has gone wrong with the IHR. 

How well have the IHR served their purpose during the pandemic? It is clear that most countries have failed to adequately follow the IHR in their responses to the coronavirus outbreak, but what are the reasons behind governments’ poor compliance with the requirements of the IHR? What are the particular issues that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought out? And what can we expect of the review of the IHR currently underway?

In this session we look at the legal meaning, obligations and adequacy of the IHR in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how the IHR can be strengthened to help improve the global response to future public health events. We will also look at countries’ failure to comply with the IHR with a particular focus on the inadequate effort to develop key prevention capacities.

Event Speakers

Dr. Cheluchi Onyemelukwe is a health lawyer with almost 20 years of experience. She is Associate Professor of Health Law at Babcock University, Nigeria where she teaches public health law, regulation and governance, and human rights courses at undergraduate and graduate levels. She is also Partner at Health Ethics and Law Consulting.

Her global health work has included work on IHR implementation, legal and policy aspects of the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) framework, development of assessment tools frameworks for assessment of national legislation compliance with IHR and WHO guidelines, the Integrated Disease Surveillance Response and its impacts on migrants etc., She has alo undertaken work in health systems analysis and health policy. Her ongoing analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic, legal preparedness, response and human rights impacts on resource-poor countries have appeared on Harvard’s Bill of Health Blog, the Global Health Law Blog at Groningen University, and is forthcoming in academic journals. She is particularly interested in the impacts of global health law on developing countries, particularly African countries. She is the author of Health Research Governance in Africa: Law, Regulation and Ethics (Routledge, 2018). She holds a doctorate degree in Law from Dalhousie University, Canada and a First Class degree in Law from the University of Nigeria.

Dr Clare Wenham is Assistant Professor of Global Health Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is the Director of the MSc in Global Health Policy and sits on the steering committee of the LSE Global Health Initiative. She previously worked at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, delivering a series of projects relating to surveillance and transmission of infectious disease. She has a PhD in International Relations at and has advised and/or consulted for UN Women, European Parliament, UNFPA, Asian Development Bank, and UK Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology. Clare’s research examines global health security and global health governance from a political and policy perspective. Her recent research has analysed COVID-19, Zika, Ebola, and more broadly, on the governance structures of the global health landscape and global disease control. Within this, she has a particular interest on the downstream effects of global health security policy on women.

Further information and registration here.

Online event: African Indigenous Values Guiding Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccines in Africa and Beyond

12 March 2021

Graduate Institute Geneva, Global Health Justice Event Series.

19 March 2021, 16:30 –  18:00 CET

In countries around the globe, a central challenge to access of Covid-19 vaccines remains the ethics of fair vaccine allocation under conditions of scarcity and evolving epidemiology. This is complicated by emerging variants that have been shown to decrease the efficacy of the vaccines. South Africa has been particularly effected with over 90% of infection currently being due to the variant strain. In the South African government’s Covid-19 Vaccine Strategy published on January 3rd, 2021, a framework for equitable allocation “guided by African indigenous values of interdependence, interrelatedness, mutually respectful discussion and dialogue”, has been discussed. As part of the Global Health Ethics and Justice series, we will be joined by Professor Ames Dhai, a prominent bioethicist and Vice-Chair on the South African Ministerial Advisory Committee for Covid-19 Vaccines, for an in-depth discussion about how this African ethics framework was developed, the ethical principles that underpin it, and what this might look like if these values were applied to the global situation.

  • Ames Dhai, Specialist Ethicist, South African Medical Research Council
  • Moderator: Sridhar Venkatapuram, Chair, Independent Resource Group for Global Health Justice

Further details here:

Online workshop: Metaphysics and Pregnancy II

11 March 2021

Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th of March 2020, starting at 13:00 GMT.

University of Southampton and the Better Understanding the Metaphysics of Pregnancy (BUMP) project.

All are welcome to attend. No registration required.

Wednesday March 24th, 2021

13:00 – 13:05: Welcome

13:05 – 14:50: Will Morgan (Sheffield) – ‘Biological Individuality and the Foetus Problem’

14:50 – 15:15: Screen Break

15:15 – 17:00: Paul Snowdon (UCL) – Title TBC

17:00 – 17:10: Screen Break

17:10 – 18:00: Social

Thursday March 25th, 2021

13:00 – 13:05: Welcome Back

13:05 – 14:50: Alexander Geddes (Southampton) – ‘Pregnancy, Parthood and Proper Overlap’

14:50 – 15:15: Screen Break

15:15 – 17:00: Alexandria Boyle (Cambridge/Bonn) – ‘What is a Foetus?’

17:00 – 17:10: Screen Break

17:10 – 18:00: Social

Further details and link to join the meeting here:

Lecture: What does it mean to be healthy?

11 March 2021

The Annual Sowerby Lecture from the Philosophy & Medicine project at King’s College London, was recorded on December 16th, 2020.

Speaker: Robyn Bluhm (Michigan State University)

Philosophers of medicine have written extensively about the nature of health, with different approaches to the question resulting in very different answers. Health has been defined as the absence of disease, as a state of effortlessness or transparency in one’s experience of one’s body in the world, and as the ability to achieve one’s goals in life. In this talk, I defend a slightly modified version of the World Health Organization’s controversial definition of health as “a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being.” Drawing on work in disability studies and in public health, I argue that the controversy over this definition arises from thinking of health primarily in medical terms.

Watch here:

Postdoc: Researcher in the Ethics of Prenatal Genetics and Genomics

29 July 2020


The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on 23 September 2020.

Ethox Centre and Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, Nuffield Department of Population Health, Old Road Campus, Headington, Oxford
Grade 7: £32,817 – £40,322 p.a.

The Nuffield Department of Population Health contains world renowned population health research groups and provides an excellent environment for multi-disciplinary research and teaching. Based within NDPH, The Ethox Centre is an internationally recognised multidisciplinary bioethics research centre and is a vibrant and intellectually exciting place to work.
As Researcher in the Ethics of Prenatal Genetics and Genomics you will work on a project that explores ethical issues arising from the implementation of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) in routine clinical care in England, France and Germany. This comparative project is situated at the interface between sociology, bioethics and law/social policy and seeks to gain in-depth understanding of the situations in which these questions emerge and are experienced by the key-stakeholders (health professionals, patients, scientists, policy-makers), and provide insight into the underlying value systems which promote them. Your responsibilities will include managing your own academic research and administrative activities, conducting qualitative research and analysing qualitative data from a variety of sources (including observations, interviews and focus-groups) and collaborating in the preparation of research publications and book chapters.
To be considered for this post you will hold a relevant PhD/DPhil, together with relevant experience, and have a strong record of scholarship in qualitative research, commensurate with the stage of your career. You will also have the ability to conduct literature review and empirical research in either German or French, in addition to English; demonstrated experience in conducting conceptual analysis; and excellent communication skills.

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Ruth Horn (

The position is full-time (although part-time considered) and fixed-term for 3 years.

Details here:

Job: AI and healthcare

5 July 2020
Application deadline: 29 July 2020.
University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law.
The University of Cambridge’s Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences seeks to appoint a highly motivated and independent Research Associate to work on a set of challenging legal and ethical questions posed by the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare.   The position requires expertise in tort law, along with familiarity in moral and political philosophy, the philosophy of science or public policy.  A graduate degree (PhD, Masters, etc.) or equivalent work experience is also required.
Further details:

PhD Scholarship: Theories of Autonomy in Reproductive Genetic Technologies

30 June 2020

Application deadline: Friday 3rd July, 2020.

Sydney Health Ethics is seeking applicants to a PhD research scholarship, as part of an ARC-funded project entitled, ‘TARGeT – Theories of Autonomy in Reproductive Genetic Technologies.’ This scholarship aims to financially assist a PhD student researching theoretical bioethics, applied ethics, or other sub-fields of philosophy, as it relates to reproductive autonomy.

Those who are interested are encouraged to read the information provided at the links below, and to contact Prof Ainsley Newson (ainsley.newson at or Dr. Kathryn MacKay (kathryn.mackay at

You can find information about the project and this PhD opportunity at the TARGeT blog:

For more information and to apply:

If a candidate wishes to discuss an extension on the application deadline we encourage them to contact us.

Funded PhD: The ethics and epistemology of explanatory AI

19 May 2020

Applications will be considered until June 15, 2020, or until the position is filled.

Artificial Intelligence is perveding every aspect of our life: it is present in decisions made in healthcare, transportation, finances, education, and governmental level, just to mention a few players. With it, explanation for high-stakes decision making (XAI) is at the center of current debates, receiving much (and deserved) attention from industry and academy alike. AI is essentially a sociotechnical system, where a decision maker interacts with various sources of information and decision-support tools, a process whose quality should be assessed in terms of the final, aggregated outcome —the quality of the decision— rather than assessing only the quality of the decision-support tool in isolation (e.g., in terms of its predictive accuracy and standalone precision). It is therefore important to develop tools that explain their predictions in meaningful terms, a property rarely matched by AI systems available in the market today. The explanation problem for a decision-support system can be understood as a trade-off between what algorithms can safely ignore and what meaningful information should absolutely be included to make an informed decision. Thus, the problem of XAI is intertwined with epistemic and normative problems, such as trustworthiness (what sort of knowledge we have and what can safely be ignored), comprehensibility (human meaningfulness of the explanations), and accountability (humans keeping the ultimate responsibility for the decision). In this context, several epistemological, ethical, and legal questions emerge, such as: what is the logic for a successful XAI? how can we ensure reliability and trust? which ethical concerns emerge in the context of (un)successful explanations? Is current XAI complying with regulations? The successful candidate will work in the intersections of epistemological and ethical issues, with a strong emphasis on the normative aspects of explanatory AI. Different ethical frameworks and principles will be studied to understand the implications of XAI and the role of different stakeholders in high-stake decision makings (developers, users, individuals affected by system’s actions, legal experts, etc.). Case studies will also be focus of this project, as they will engage relevant stakeholders to capture adherence to social, legal, ethical norms, and, ultimately, human responsibility.

This PhD project will be developed within the EU Horizon2020 SoBigData++. SoBigData++ strives to deliver a distributed, Pan-European, multi-disciplinary research infrastructure for big social data analytics, coupled with the consolidation of a cross-disciplinary European research community, aimed at using social mining and big data to understand the complexity of our contemporary, globally-interconnected society. SoBigData++ is set to advance on such ambitious tasks thanks to SoBigData, the predecessor project that started this construction in 2015. Becoming an advanced community, SoBigData++ will strengthen its tools and services to empower researchers and innovators through a platform for the design and execution of large-scale social mining experiments. It will be open to users with diverse background, accessible on project cloud (aligned with EOSC) and also exploiting supercomputing facilities. Pushing the FAIR principles further, SoBigData++ will render social mining experiments more easily designed, adjusted and repeatable by domain experts that are not data scientists. SoBigData++ will move forward from a starting community of pioneers to a wide and diverse scientific movement, capable of empowering the next generation of responsible social data scientists, engaged in the grand societal challenges laid out in its exploratories: Societal Debates and Online Misinformation, Sustainable Cities for Citizens, Demography, Economics & Finance 2.0, Migration Studies, Sport Data Science, Social Impact of Artificial Intelligence and Explainable Machine Learning. SoBigData++ will advance from the awareness of ethical and legal challenges to concrete tools that operationalise ethics with value-sensitive design, incorporating values and norms for privacy protection, fairness, transparency and pluralism. SoBigData++ will deliver an accelerator of data-driven innovation that facilitates the collaboration with industry to develop joint pilot projects, and will consolidate an RI ready for the ESFRI Roadmap and sustained by a SoBigData Association.

• Master’s degree or equivalent in philosophy or similar discipline.
• Candidates with interests in analytical philosophy (e.g. ethics of algorithms, ethics of AI, ethics of technology, philosophy of action) and strong affinity (or degree in) philosophy of science, epistemology, philosophy of technology, philosophy of engineering and computer science are strongly encouraged to apply.
• Strong interests in interdisciplnary research, principally with computer scientists.
• Excellent command of written and spoken English.
• Excellent communication skills and interested in translating research ideas and findings for the benefit of non-academic stakeholders (e.g. managers and policymakers).
• The ability to work independently and as a team player.

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2325 per month in the first year to € 2972 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.
The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Technische Universiteit Delft
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools.

Faculty Technology, Policy and Management
The Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management (TPM) makes an important contribution to solving the complex technical and social challenges that we face as a society. Challenges such as energy, climate, mobility, IT, water and cyber security. This requires a multidisciplinary approach that goes beyond technology. Our education and research are therefore at the intersection of technology, society and management. We combine insights from the engineering sciences with those from the humanities and social sciences. We develop robust models and designs, are internationally oriented, and have extensive networks in science and practice.

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Juan M. Durán, email: j.m.duran[at]
For information about the selection procedure, please contact Mrs. Anita van VIanen, HR Advisor, email: vacature-tbm[at]

When you are interested in this position, please include in your application: (a) CV, (b) motivation letter including names of two references, (c) list of publications in a single pdf entitled “TPM20.038_YourLastname.pdf”. Send your application to vacature-tbm[at] Applications will be considered until June 15, or until the position is filled. Due to the Covid 19 measurement a remotely start is possible.

Webinar: COVID-19 and policy making: the role of public engagement and deliberation

14 May 2020

Friday May 15th, 2020, 12.00 – 12.40 BST.

From the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

The fourth in our current series of COVID-19-related webinars will explore the importance of transparency, and of public involvement and deliberation in research and policy where public interests and values are at stake. We ask whether the Prime Minister’s commitment to ‘maximum transparency’ is at least a step in the right direction. This meeting will be of interest to those in policy roles as well as interested academics, public and third sector groups, industry and members of the public.

A recording and summary of the webinar will be available on our website shortly afterwards.

Further details and registration here.