Postdoctoral Research Associate in Value Sensitive Design

The UW Tech Policy Lab seeks a Postdoctoral Researcher to bring a Value Sensitive Design (VSD) perspective to work on tech policy under the supervision of Lab co-director Professor Batya Friedman of the Information School. This position will be funded for two years, with the possibility of a third year of funding.

About the Tech Policy Lab

The postdoc will be joining a dynamic and interdisciplinary team of researchers who examine the policy implications of emerging technologies. The Tech Policy Lab is a unique, interdisciplinary collaboration at the University of Washington that aims to enhance technology policy through research, education, and thought leadership.  The Lab brings together experts from the University’s Information School, School of Law, and School of Computer Science and Engineering as well as other units on campus.

The Candidate

The applicant should have a Ph.D. or other relevant terminal degree and prior knowledge of and experience with value sensitive design.  Familiarlity with VSD’s tripartite methodology as well as experience with specific desgn research methods focused on stakeholders, values elicitation, resolving value tensions, and so forth are desired. The ideal candidate will also be interested in the policy and legal implications of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), brain-machine interfaces, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Excellent verbal, visual, and written communication skills are desired, as much of our work requires communicating technical concepts to non-experts.

Questions we may explore over the coming years, particulary with respect to AI and IoT include:

• How can we bridge the gap between technologists and policymakers around the legal, technical, and social considerations associated with emerging technologies? How can we stimulate moral and technical imaginations?
• What methods could be developed to help bring the perspectives of under-represented groups into the early-stage tech policy development processes?
• What mental models could help policymakers and the public better understand and make better decisions about emerging technologies such as AI and machine learning?
• How can we make AI and machine learning algorithms and software development practices more transparent to policymakers and the public?
• How do we characterize responsible innovation? Irresponsible innovation? And communicate about these constructs with policymakers and the general public?
• What new methods and toolkits are needed to do the above?
• What new theoretical constructs?
• What role could public art or other installations play in achieving some of the above?

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send their CV along with a cover letter to Hannah Almeter at

Review of applications will begin November 1, 2017.

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.