Research Assistant in Understanding Medical Black Boxes Project

University of Cambridge Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence

The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) at the University of Cambridge invites applications for a 0.2 FT (7.4 hours per week) Research Assistant to the Wellcome Trust funded project Understanding Medical Black Boxes: A Philosophical Analysis of AI Explainability. This is an exciting opportunity for a talented individual to support and maintain the national and international reputation for excellence in research of the CFI.

CFI is a highly interdisciplinary research centre addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by artificial intelligence (AI). Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, CFI is based at the University of Cambridge, with partners in the University of Oxford, Imperial College, and UC Berkeley. The Centre also has close links with industry, policymakers, and many academic disciplines

This Research Assistant post is within the Centre's Philosophy and the Ethics of AI Programme, based in central Cambridge. The Understanding Medical Black Boxes project, led by Dr Rune Nyrup, examines the notions of explanation and understanding in the context of AI decision making in the medical domain. The project will run until September 2021, with the aim of developing and securing funding for a larger, multi-year project.

The role will involve carrying out research tasks including assisting with literature reviews, online workshop organisation, and development of funding applications. The assistant may fit their own research and publication interests around these tasks. The post is open to applicants based outside of Cambridge as long as they are able to meet and co-ordinate regularly with the PI, using online meetings in the first instance. In-person meetings in Cambridge may become relevant if/when travel to Cambridge becomes feasible

Applicants should have, or be studying for, a postgraduate qualification in philosophy, ethics, or a related discipline. Experience in literature reviewing in philosophy is essential, as is prior experience with at least one of the following fields: philosophy of science, philosophy of medicine/healthcare, medical ethics, ethics of AI. Experience at organising and running workshops, especially using online platforms, is desirable, and website and social media skills would be an advantage.

The funds for this post are available for 9 months in the first instance

Please upload in the Upload section of the online application

  • your Curriculum Vitae (CV);
  • a Covering Letter of no more than 1,000 words, outlining a proposed approach to reviewing relevant philosophical literatures and to locating relevant case studies of medical AI, and explaining how this proposal and your skills would contribute to the project;
  • a Sample of Writing of no more than 5,000 words that demonstrates your suitability for this project.

The closing date for applications is 4 December 2020. If you have any questions about this vacancy or the application process, please contact Molly Carrick on, or for any questions about this project, please contact Dr Rune Nyrup on

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please quote reference GO24692 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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