Uppsala University, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 45,000 students, more than 7,000 employees and a turnover of around SEK 7 billion.

Post doctoral fellow

At the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB), Uppsala University.

Project description: The Neuroethics and Philosophy group at CRB is part of The European Commission (EC) Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship, the Human Brain Project (HBP). The HBP aims to put in place a cutting-edge, ICT-based scientific research infrastructure for brain research, cognitive neuroscience and brain-inspired computing.

The Neuroethics group is in charge of analysing the conceptual underpinnings and implications of HBP research, and of identifying and articulating philosophical, ethical, notably neuroethical, issues raised by such research.

One of the Tasks focuses on philosophical and ethical challenges of modelling cognitive processes in silica:

Problem-oriented computer simulations of specific systems and functions of the brain are extensively used to test predictions, validate conclusions and models, and to guide hypothesis driven experiments and new models at various levels of analysis. Rapid advancements in neuroscience and in computing draw increasing attention to large-scale brain simulations, including the modelling of cognitive processes in silica.

These attempts raise numerous philosophical and ethical challenges that are explored in this task.

We are exploring those that revolve around the notions of consciousness, self, and identity. Regarding consciousness, we are exploring questions such as: how to understand the relationship between brain activity and consciousness; how useful the method of brain simulation can be for explaining consciousness; whether and how the prospective simulation of consciousness could be clinically relevant (e.g., for assessing and caring people unable to verbally communicate, like comatose patients and infants); and whether consciousness could be achieved via simulation. Regarding identity, some of the issues to be explored are whether and how brain knowledge can unpack our understanding of the human mind, the self and identity; what cerebral features specifically characterise human identity; whether the notion of identity itself is threatened by neuroscientific advances, and the extent to which clinical applications of neuroscientific advances (such as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), or Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI),) might change the identity of users. The examination of these issues is not only theoretically and ethically valuable; it is also clinically relevant.


(1) Collaborate in research as described above

(2) Write articles, reports / other academic texts

(3) Participate in HBP-meetings

(4) Give talks at conferences

Requirements: To qualify for an employment as a postdoctor you must have a PhD degree or a foreign degree equivalent to a PhD degree in philosophy. The PhD degree must have been obtained no more than three years prior to the application deadline. The three year period can be extended due to circumstances such as sick leave, parental leave, duties in labour unions, etc. 

  • Documented knowledge and interest in neuroscience
  • Publications in international peer reviewed journals
  • Experience in presenting results in academic meetings
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Experience from the HBP research is a determining factor.

Salary: Individual salary.

Starting date: 2020-04-01 or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position according to central collective agreement.

Scope of employment: 100 %

For further information about the position please contact: Kathinka Evers, kathinka.evers@crb.uu.se

Please submit your application by 26th of March 2020, UFV-PA 2020/922.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at www.uu.se/joinus. You are also welcome to contact International Faculty and Staff Services at ifss@uadm.uu.se.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment enligt överenskommelse
Salary Fixed salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Uppsala
County Uppsala län
Country Sweden
Reference number UFV-PA 2020/922
Union representative
  • Seko Universitetsklubben, seko@uadm.uu.se
  • ST/TCO, tco@fackorg.uu.se
  • Saco-rådet, saco@uadm.uu.se
Published 12.Mar.2020
Last application date 26.Mar.2020 11:59 PM CET

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