Three PhD Positions in Interdisciplinary Project in Philosophy and Physics (f/md/d)

(part-time 65%, E 13 TV-L or comparable)

Reference number 2020/136. The start date is December 1st, 2020, or by agreement. Three positions are available for four years each. Two positions (PhD1, PhD3) will be filled at the University of Konstanz and one (PhD2) at the University of Innsbruck.

The University of Konstanz has been successful in the German Excellence Initiative and Excellence Strategy since 2007.

The project “The future of creativity in basic research: Can artificial agents be authors of scientific discoveries?“, funded by the VolkswagenStiftung programme “Off the Beaten Track“, studies the role that current and emerging technologies of Artificial Intelligence (AI) can play in basic research, focusing on agency, creativity, and authorship. The project is led by Prof. Thomas Müller at the Department of Philosophy, University of Konstanz, and by Prof. Hans J. Briegel at the Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of Innsbruck. The project connects methods and techniques from philosophy, physics, and AI in an integrated interdisciplinary approach to study the transformative role of new technologies in basic research. See the press release for details:

There are three work packages corresponding to the three PhD positions, two centered on philosophy and based at Konstanz and one centered more on applications in physics and based at Innsbruck: PhD1 (KN): The meaning of experiment in AI-driven research; PhD 2 (IBK): Implementation and case studies; PhD 3 (KN): Agency and attributability of automated research. Each work package will approach our topic from a different perspective: philosophy of science, actual science, and action theory. Methods will vary accordingly, but formal modeling will be used throughout. This includes, to varying degrees, the use of (multi-)agent simulations and the implementation and refinement of machine learning algorithms.

Your responsibilities

  • Conducting original research in the context of the project and in collaboration with the PIs and colleagues
  • Writing a PhD dissertation
  • Publishing research results
  • Presenting project results at work-shops and conferences
  • Assistance for visitors at the project
  • Organization of workshops

Your Competencies

  • A completed university degree in a relevant field (philosophy, physics, or computer science / AI)
  • Real research experience will be of advantage
  • Strong communication skills
  • Fluency in English
  • An interest in interdisciplinary research

We Offer

  • An open, motivated research group with interdisciplinary interests and with a strong international network
  • Opportunities for further collaboration and for a funded research stay abroad at a relevant group
  • A great environment

Inquiries can be directed to Prof. Dr. Thomas Müller • (PhD1, PhD3) or to Prof. Dr. Hans Briegel •

We look forward to receiving your application with the usual documents, including a short cover letter, a full CV, a writing sample, and the names of two potential referees, by August 25, 2020 via our Online Application Portal. Please specify in your cover letter for which PhD position you are applying. Applications for PhD2 will be shared with Innsbruck.

The University of Konstanz is committed to ensuring an environment that provides equal opportunities and promotes diversity as well as a good balance between university and family life. As an equal opportunity employer, we strive to increase the number of women working in the field advertised ( Persons with disabilities are explicitly encouraged to apply. They will be given preference if appropriately qualified (contact + 49 7531 88–4016).



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