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BIOUNCERTAINTY - ERC Starting Grant no. 805498

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[Expired] A postdoctoral position in the 'BIOUNCERTAINTY' project at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Ethics (deadline: 12th October 2019)

[Expired] A postdoctoral position in the 'BIOUNCERTAINTY' project at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Ethics (deadline: 12th October 2019)

The Jagiellonian University in Kraków welcomes applications for a postdoctoral position ("adiunkt") in the project "Deep uncertainties in bioethics: genetic research, preventive medicine, reproductive decisions" (BIOUNCERTAINTY), funded by the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant No. 805498. The Principal Investigator of this project is Dr. Tomasz Żuradzki (Philosophy, Jagiellonian University).

Job description

The person appointed will be expected to be engaged in high-level research relevant to the project goals, to publish in their specialist field, present papers at appropriate scholarly conferences and meetings, and assist with the administration of the project and its events. Ideal candidates should be familiar with current discussions in bioethics, value theory, moral psychology, philosophy of science (with respect to biomedicine). There is no obligation to teach (but the possibility exists if someone would like to do so). Fluency in Polish is not required. 

Salary: €30,000-45,000 gross per annum depending on experience (health and social insurance are included, we can also cover expenses for travel, conferences and research stays).

The successful candidate will initially appointed for a period of one year, which may be extended by two years. Starting date between: 1st December 2019 and 1st October 2020. The position is based at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Ethics and the Institute of Philosophy of the Jagiellonian University, in central Kraków (52 Grodzka Street). 

Applications deadline (soft): 12th October 2019 (applications received after the deadline may be considered if the position has not yet been filled and during the next job opening which is expected in the close future).


Project description

Uncertainty is everywhere, as the saying goes, but rarely considered in ethical reflections. This project aims to reinterpret ethical discussions on current advances in biomedicine: instead of understanding bioethical positions as extensions of classical normative views in ethics (consequentialism, deontologism, contractualism etc.), my project interprets them more accurately as involving various normative approaches to decision making under uncertainty. The following hard cases in bioethics provide the motivation for research:

1) Regulating scientific research under uncertainty about ontological/moral status (e.g. parthenogenetic stem cells derived from human parthenotes) in the context of meta-reasoning under normative uncertainty.

2) The value of preventive medicine in healthcare (e.g. vaccinations) in the context of decision-making under metaphysical indeterminacy.

3) Population or reproductive decisions (e.g. preimplantation genetic diagnosis) in the context of valuing mere existence.

The main drive behind this project is the rapid progress in biomedical research combined with new kinds of uncertainties. These new “deep” uncertainties trigger specific forms of emotions and cognitions that influence normative judgments and decisions. The main research questions that will be addressed by conceptual analysis, new psychological experiments, and case studies are the following: how do the heuristics and biases (H&B) documented by behavioral scientists influence the formation of normative judgments in bioethical contexts; how should we demarcate between distorted and undistorted value judgments; to what extent is it permissible for individuals or policy makers to yield to H&B? The hypothesis is that many existing bioethical rules, regulations, practices seem to have emerged from unreliable reactions, rather than by means of deliberation on the possible justifications for alternative ways to determine them under several layers and types of uncertainty.


About the workplace

The Jagiellonian University is one of the oldest universities in Europe (established in 1364) and now one of the best two universities in Poland (it has been rated as the best university in Poland by the new QS World University Rankings 2020). The Institute of Philosophy and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Ethics at the Jagiellonian University are located in the very heart of Kraków, on 52 Grodzka Street, and now are one of the best philosophy centres in Poland. In the past few years, our faculty members have published papers in the main international journals in philosophy, bioethics and cognitive science: American Journal of Bioethics; Journal of Medical Ethics; Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics; Ethics and Information Technology; Synthese; Erkenntnis; The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science; European Journal for Philosophy of Science; Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics; Biology & Philosophy; Intelligence; Memory and Cognition; Journal of Philosophical Logic... Here is the list of selected publications.


Formal requirements

Individuals may apply for the postdoctoral position who meet all the following requirements:

- hold at least a degree of doctor or PhD (or to be officially awarded with one before October 30, 2019),

- their doctoral (or habilitation) thesis was highly assessed,

- relevant academic achievements, apart from the doctoral thesis,

- active participation in academic life, particularly involving presentations at conferences and symposiums,

- positive opinion of the head of department/chair or academic tutor on candidate’s qualifications and suitability to conduct research,

- has at least one publication (published or accepted for publication) in an international peer-reviewed journal in the field,

- demonstrates an interest in the project topics (ethics, bioethics, philosophy of science, moral psychology etc.) and a readiness to engage in the realization of the project BIOUNCERTAINTY (no. 805498).

- good organizational skills, independence in research, reliability, ability to keep deadlines,

- proficiency in English (knowledge of Polish is not required).



Candidates who apply for the post are required to send the following documents (hard copies!) by 12th October 2019 to:

Magdalena Obłoza (BIOUNCERTAINTY)
Centrum Administracyjnego Wsparcia Projektów
Jagiellonian University
ul. Czapskich 4, room 118
31-110 Kraków, Poland

or by e-mail to: :

1) Application.
2) Curriculum vitae.
3) Personal questionnaire.
4) Copy of doctoral diploma or habilitation diploma.
5) Report concerning main research areas, scientific achievements of the candidate, as well as research plans related to the project BIOUNCERTAINTY (no more than 3 pages).
6) List of publications (including publishing house and number of pages).
7) Information regarding classes taught by a candidate, if applicable.
8) Reviews of doctoral or habilitation thesis.
9) Form of the latest interim evaluation, if a candidate was evaluated.
10) Opinion of the head of department or academic tutor on candidate’s suitability and qualifications for research and teaching classes – including results of students’ questionnaires, if a candidate was assessed in this manner.
11) Statement declaring that Jagiellonian University will be the main place of employment if employed following the completion of the competition procedure.
12) Statement – in accordance with Article 113 of the Act Law on higher education and science.
13) Statement regarding acquaintance and acceptance of intellectual property rules as well as legal protection of intellectual property.
14) Information regarding personal data processing.
15) A scientific text (an article, a book, a chapter), that a candidate regards as her/his best (published or accepted for publication – in this second case, please attach a letter of acceptance issued by an editor or a publisher).

Statement forms can be downloaded on the website: or by clicking at the links below.

More information at Euraxess.

Enquiries about the appointments procedure and related matters may be made to Magdalena Obłoza, the grant administrator, at or by telephone on +48 12 663 30 08. Enquiries about academic matters may be made to Dr. Tomasz Żuradzki, the Principal Investigator, at


Competition commencement date: 12th September 2019

Applications can be filed till: 12th October 2019

Decision regarding competition settlement shall be made till: 30th October 2019

Information about the project BIOUNCERTAINTY.

Download files
Information on the competition [PL]
Personal questionnaire
Statement declaring that Jagiellonian University will be the main place of employment
Statement in accordance with Article 113 of the Act Law on higher education and science
Statement regarding acquaintance and acceptance of intellectual property rules
Information regarding personal data processing
A postdoctoral position in the 'BIOUNCERTAINTY' project at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Ethics (new deadline: 31st May 2020)
[Expired] Assistant researchers