PhD student Responsible implementation of AI in healthcare integrating ELSA in A


Working Environment

The position is housed within the Department of Movement Sciences within the UMCG (University Medical Center Groningen) Education and Research (E&R) sector. Movement Sciences is an educational and research department within the UMCG and the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of Groningen. In this doctoral trajectory, a close collaboration is established between DASH (Data Science Center in Health, UMCG) and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences professorship Digital Transformation. DASH is a knowledge hub, community, and facilitator in the field of health data science. The professorship Digital Transformation conducts practice-oriented research, aiming, among other things, to support the necessary digital transformation in healthcare. The focus is always on the patient's well-being and the quality of healthcare. The research often involves connecting technical knowledge and expertise to what truly adds value in practice for the patient, the healthcare provider, and healthcare as a whole.

Job description

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly prominent role in our society, and its applications are becoming more sophisticated. The use of AI involves ethical, legal, and societal aspects. The ELSA (Ethical, Legal, and Societal) AI Lab Northern Netherlands (ELSA AI lab Northern Netherlands (ELSA-NN)) is a consortium consisting of knowledge institutions, societal partners, companies, and patient and public organizations. It focuses on developing knowledge relevant to the responsible development and application of AI in the context of healthcare. ELSA-NN includes various work packages (such as participation, ethics, law, and psychology) and addresses various AI applications (use-cases) in the areas of healthy living, working, and ageing – including the monitoring data use-case.

For the work package ‘integration’ and the use-case 'monitoring data', we are looking for a PhD candidate. In recent years, many AI guidelines have been developed, but these mainly describe general ethical and legal principles. What is lacking are practical guidelines regarding how these principles can be applied during the process of developing and implementing AI applications. This process, in which AI applications are developed and operationalized, is also referred to as MLOps. Currently, MLOps ‘best practices’ are becoming increasingly common, but primarily focus on technical aspects of the developer’s workflow. On the other hand, there are the numerous guidelines and frameworks that address ELSA aspects. The goal of the research is to bring these two together. That is, we aim to integrate ELSA into the MLOps process. The main task of the PhD candidate will involve gathering and consolidating knowledge for the development and testing of workflows, tools, or a reference architecture that can be used in MLOps and incorporates ELSA principles and to test and evaluate its use in practice. With the ultimate goal to enable the development of 'ELSA by design' AI applications in the context of healthy living, working, and ageing.


- Collecting information on ELSA aspects relevant to AI applications in the domains of healthy living, working, and ageing, specifically related to the ELSA-NN use cases;
- Identifying, developing, and integrating solutions – whether technical or not – to ensure the ethical, legal, and social aspects are safeguarded in the AI development process (MLOps);
Focus specifically on the monitoring use-case and act as a bridge between ELSA-NN researchers and monitoring use-case researchers;Developing, testing and evaluating the integration of ELSA in AI development, in collaboration with end-users;
- Focus specifically on the monitoring use-case and act as a bridge between ELSA-NN researchers and monitoring use-case researchers;Writing and publishing articles in international scientific journals;
- Presenting on national and international conferences;
- Contribution to dissemination of knowledge on ELSA by Design AI development to (relevant non-scientific) stakeholders

The ideal candidate
- Holds a master's degree in a relevant field, such as biomedical sciences, technical medicine, data science, artificial intelligence, IT management / (technical) business administration, or a related field;
- Preferably has experience in the development process of AI applications and/or MLOps;
- Has an interest in or affinity with the societal challenges related to responsible development and implementation of healthcare technology applications, such as AI;
- Possesses knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods;
- Demonstrates a clear interest in interdisciplinary, impact-oriented, and participatory research;
- Can effectively collaborate in multidisciplinary teams, is open to different approaches, is flexible, and is simultaneously capable of independently and pro-actively carrying out tasks;
- Exhibits excellent organizational and communication skills;
- Demonstrates outstanding oral and written proficiency in English

Conditions of employment

- A challenging position within an enthusiastic and collegial network of partners in the ELSA-NN lab.
- To support your development as a researcher, you will be guided by an experienced team of supervisors and follow a personalized PhD training program (30 ECTS) within the Graduate School of Medical Sciences, including the Career Perspectives Series, which prepares PhD candidates for various careers after completing their research.
- PhD 4 year 0.8 fte

Relevant links
Research Institute SHARE
Graduate School of Medical Sciences
Digital Transformation

Your salary will be a minimum of € 2.901,- gross per month in the first year and a maximum of € 3.677,- 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:

Prof. dr. Claudine Lamoth dr. Mirjam Plantinga

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 10 March 2024. Within half an hour after sending the digital application form you will receive an email- confirmation with further information.

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