PhD Researcher - Bridging Deep Learning AI Algorithms and Legal Frameworks



Working Enviroment

You will work in the Healthy-AI lab, directly linked to the UMCG (University Medical Center Groningen). The place of employment for the appointment is UMCG Groningen. The UMCG is one of the largest hospitals in the Netherlands and the largest employer in the Northern Netherlands. In addition to providing clinical care, there is much focus on the core research, training, and education. It has well-established structural international research collaborations with academic partners. Research groups that are closely linked to this project are fastMRI (UMCG), STEPS (RUG), and DIAG (Radboudumc).

At least as important as a pleasant working environment is a pleasant living environment. Groningen is a thriving university city set in quiet, spacious surroundings.

Job description

The ROBUST AI programme, a new initiative by the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (ICAI), aims to strengthen the Dutch artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystem by boosting fundamental AI research. The programme is supported by the University of Amsterdam and 51 government, industry and knowledge-sector partners. ROBUST focuses primarily on the development of trustworthy AI technology for the resolution of socially relevant issues, such as those in healthcare, logistics, media, food and energy.
Seventeen new public-private ICAI labs will be set up under the ROBUST umbrella and form part of the Innovation Center for Artificial Intelligence (ICAI), thus bringing its lab total to 46. ICAI focuses on AI talent and knowledge development in the Netherlands.
UMCG is one of the 17 knowledge institutes participating in ROBUST and will co-host a new healthcare ICAI lab: HEALTHY-AI Lab

Healthy AI Lab
HEALTHY-AI is a collaboration between University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), Radboudumc, University of Twente and Siemens Healthineers. HEALTHY-AI develops reliable and robust artificial intelligence (AI) technology with a specific focus on MRI-guided prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment. A team of five PhDs will be working on projects related to annotation efficiency, pathway risk predictors, AI quality control, follow-up comparison, and MRI automation. In the next five years, HEALTHY-AI aims to improve AI by optimizing data annotation processes, improving the ability to predict treatment outcomes, and continuously learning under quality control. This will result in improved cancer detection and follow-up, and the automation of MRI will enhance image quality and dynamic protocols for prostate cancer.

Job description

We are seeking a highly motivated and talented PhD candidate to join our team. As a member of the HealthyAI lab, one of the 17 new ICAI labs, you will collaborate with a team of five PhD students to explore AI solutions in the field of prostate oncology. Are you ready to be part of our ambitious research endeavor?

HealthyAI represents a unique, multidisciplinary collaboration between UMCG, Radboudumc, Technical University Twente, and Siemens Healthineers. Our goal is to pioneer AI applications in healthcare, and venture into continuous multi-center data collection and quality-managed AI. Our focus is on creating an ever-improving learning healthcare solution with a primary focus on prostate cancer diagnosis.

Currently, we have an exciting opportunity available at UMCG:

To make AI more akin to human intelligence, it must be dynamic and adaptable, akin to a "living" system. Our hypothesis is that AI can be integrated into a continuous feedback framework, overseen by experts, to enhance its performance and trustworthiness. Some key areas of investigation include:
1. Legal Implications: This new framework deviates from the conventional CE/FDA certification process that regulates clinical validity. We need to explore the legal consequences of this approach.
2. Framework Development: How can we establish such a framework? This involves pioneering techniques for continuous data collection, AI predictions, and outcome data.
3.Defining AI Deficiency: What constitutes an AI deficiency? We need to determine what AI should report to help identify deficiencies and foster trust.
4. Technological Advancements: We are also at the forefront of technological advancements in AI, including predicting uncertainty, calibrating probability, assessing image quality, and gauging the rarity of cases. These novel AI outcome features can provide direct clinical feedback on AI validity, but they also introduce fresh challenges in detecting deficiencies and assessing the validity of these new outcomes.

The supervising team for this position is truly multidisciplinary, comprising radiologists, AI- experts, and legal experts. As a member of this team, you will have a unique opportunity to work in a highly innovative and novel field that pioneers cross-sectional, interdisciplinary collaboration.

While this field is at the cutting edge of innovation, we understand the importance of providing candidates with the necessary education and support. You will have the opportunity to gain insight into the existing legal frameworks and stay up-to-date with ongoing developments. The Faculty of Law at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, renowned for its expertise in this domain, will be your academic partner.

By joining our team, you'll be among the first to explore this emerging area of research, presenting a tremendous opportunity to be a trailblazer. However, it's important to note that this role requires the right set of skills and determination to thrive in this dynamic environment.

Tasks and Responsibilities
- Explore novel legal technology guidelines for monitoring Healthcare AI
- Manage AI algorithms and help develop a monitoring dashboard that implements a new form of CE/FDA certification process.
- Collaborate with a multidisciplinary team to translate cutting-edge technology into sustainable, quality-managed clinical practice.
- Publish research findings in peer-reviewed journals and present at international conferences.
- Mentor junior team members, and students and assist in teaching.
- Support ongoing local, national, and international collaboration with clinicians, and clinical centers.
- Help set up and maintain the learning healthcare system on, which runs on AWS.


The ideal candidate should understand the development of deep-learning AI algorithms (extensive programming skills or in-depth AI knowledge are not required). Additionally, they should demonstrate a strong interest in the legal aspects associated with integrating a 'living' AI algorithm that incorporates a continuous feedback loop within a legal framework. Having followed a minor in law or some law courses is desirable. Furthermore, this role demands robust academic writing and presentation skills as integral requirements.

Conditions of employment

Your salary will be a minimum of € 2.789,- gross per month in the first year and a maximum of € 3.536,- gross per month (scale PRO) in the final (4th) year, based on a full-time appointment. In addition, the UMCG will offer you 8% holiday pay, and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.

The conditions of employment comply with the Collective Labour Agreement for Medical Centres (CAO-UMC).

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy you may contact:

dr. Derya Yakar

Applying for a job

Please use the the digital application form at the bottom of this page - only these will be processed. You can apply until 30 November 2023. Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.

Digital application form