24 June 2021

Early Stage Researchers / Doctoral Students (PhD Candidates) in Artificial Intelligence and law

Early Stage Researchers / Doctoral Students (PhD Candidates) 

in Artificial Intelligence and law

 Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies – Pisa – Italy

LeADS Project (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2020 ETN) GA 956562


The LIDER-Lab (www.lider-lab.it/en) of Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies (SSSA) is looking to fill 4 research and training positions on Data Science and Law within the EU-funded Legality attentive data scientists (LeADS).

The Early Stage Researchers (ESR), young researchers (see below for job qualifications) can also be enrolled in the Ph.D. National Programme in Artificial Intelligence leading to a doctoral degree.

The positions are funded by the H2020-MSCA-ITN-2020 ETN GA 956562 (LeADS) coordinated by Professor Giovanni Comandé of LIDER-Lab. The LeADS Consortium is composed of 7 prominent European universities and research centres (Université Du Luxembourg, Université Toulouse III, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Jagiellonian University, The University of Piraeus, Italian National Research Council) along with 6 important industrial partners (Innovation Acts Ltd, Βυτε Computer S.A, Intel Corporation, Tellu, Indra, MMI SpA) and 2 Supervisory Authorities (Italian Data Protection Authority, Italian Competition Authority).

JOB DESCRIPTION: The ESR/doctoral researchers will be working under the supervision of Professor Giovanni Comandé in the framework of the above-described research project. The ESR/doctoral researcher’s main task will be to collaborate to the Research and Training program LeADS as envisaged in the Grant Agreement and to eventually prepare their doctoral thesis in the same framework. The PhD thesis work will be undertaken at SSSA (Pisa, Italy) in the national PhD program on Artificial Intelligence administered by the University of Pisa. As doctoral students, the ESRs will be jointly-supervised under the direction of the LeADS consortium and will spend also secondment(s) at Consortium members.

Each ESR/doctoral researcher will be assigned to one of the main general topics of the ETN LeADS listed below


Project Title: Reciprocal interplay between competition law and privacy in the digital revolution


 Objectives: Data are more and more important resources in the so-called Digital Revolution: the impact on competition law is increasingly relevant and so are the implications of data protection law on competition law. The researcher will address these implications, analysing some relevant topics: the impact of data portability and the requirements in terms of interoperability in the new GDPR compared to the barriers to entry and to market dominance; how customer data can be “assessed” as an index of market dominance for the big information providers (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon); and how SMEs can benefit from data protection law and competition law in order to increase their volume in the market.



Project Title: Unchaining data portability potentials in a lawful digital economy


 Objectives: Empirically test the potentials of the right to data portability. The research in the framework of LeADS will relate data portability not only to data protection law, but also to competition law and unfair business practices (e.g., offer or price discrimination between groups of consumers through profiling operations), setting the scene for their regulatory interplay in line with current and forthcoming technologies. In doing so specific attention will be offered to the possible technical solutions to guarantee effective portability. Additionally, the technical, statistical, and privacy implications of the new right will be evaluated, such as the need for standard formats for personal data, and the exception in Article 20.2 of the GDPR, according to which the personal data, upon request by the data subject, should be transmitted from one controller to another “where technically feasible”.



Project Title: Differential privacy and differential explainability in the data sphere: the use case of predictive jurisprudence


Objectives: Human life and economy are exponentially data driven. The switch from residential to cloud based data storage is making increasingly difficult to reap the maximum from data while minimizing the chances of identifying individuals in datasets. Researcher will explore the interplay between differential privacy technologies and the data protection regulatory framework in search of effective mixes.


ESR 14

Project Title: Neuromarketing and mental integrity between market and human rights


Objectives: ESR’s research question is whether and how neuromarketing can affect human rights of individuals, considering in particular recent interpretations of rights contained in the European Convention of Human Rights and in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, in particular “mental privacy”, “cognitive freedom”, and “psychological continuity”. Indeed, advanced data analytics provide a very high level of understanding of users’ behaviour, sometimes even beyond the conscious self-understanding of the users themselves exploiting all user’s idiosyncrasies, including user’s vulnerabilities harming the exercise of free decision making

The candidates are, however, welcome to suggest any other topic within the scope of the assigned research thematic for their doctoral thesis.

The ESR/doctoral researcher will benefit from being part of a large transnational and transdisciplinary research group comprising several PhDs and Postdoctoral Researchers working on related topics of AI, Technology and Law. Being part of the project will allow the ESR/ doctoral researcher to enhance his/her knowledge-base and experience; working on the various aspects of the project will not only strengthen his/her academic profile, but also give him/her access to (and the chance to critically engage with) some of the most renowned experts in the field and key industrial players.



We are looking for candidates with demonstrated interest in the Topics of the H2020 LeADS

In particular, the following requirements apply:
- Master of Science (MSc) degree or equivalent. A degree in law is particularly welcome although is not mandatory.
- Fluent written and spoken English.

- Excellent communication and writing skills.

- In order to fulfil the eligibility criteria of the Marie Curie ITN at the date of recruitment, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Italy for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not considered. Italian candidates can apply if they have resided in another country for more than 2 years of the last 3 years.

- At the time of recruitment, the candidates cannot have already obtained a doctoral degree and must be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of their research career.

- Full time Contract 36 Month
- Location: Pisa, Italy
- Employee and PhD student status

- Travel opportunities for training and learning
- Yearly gross salary:

Living allowance of € 40.966,56 (including income tax and retirement pension contributions),

Mobility allowance up to € 7.200

Family allowance (depending on family status at date of recruitment) € 3.000


APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Please apply ONLINE and include:

  1. A detailed Curriculum Vitae et studiorum (in English)
  2. A motivation letter (Max 1,000 words in English)
  3. A copy of your official academic degree(s)
  4. Proof of English proficiency (self-assessment)
  5. The names and contacts of two referees
  6. Scan of a valid identification document (e.g., passport)
  7. A non-binding research plan of a maximum of 3500 words which must include (in English): 1. the title of the research; 2. the scientific premises and relevant bibliography; 3. the aim and expected results of the research project; The non-binding research plan need to be aligned to one of the research descriptions for the LEADS project.



Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies (SSSA) is a public university institute - with special autonomy - working in the field of applied sciences. It is a research university whose mission is that of serving as a benchmark and quality public institution, attracting talents which are nurtured and educated, in order to take care of the world and to responsibly contribute to its cultural growth and sustainability.

The Sant'Anna School ranked in Times Higher Education World University Rankings  as follows:

  • 2nd at the national level on a census of 49 institutions
  • 170th at the international level on a census of 1.527 institutions
  • 4th at world level of best young universities (under 50 years old)

The Laboratorio Interdisciplinare Diritti e Regole (LIDER-Lab) at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA) has a long tradition of both theoretical and empirical legal research, training and consulting. It presently works especially on data governance through the lens of comparative law methodologies. Built upon a strong combination of academic and professional expertise, LIDER-Lab research activities also take advantage of the unique interdisciplinary milieu characterizing the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, which allows interactions that range from engineering to life sciences and economics. In the past 20 years, LIDER-Lab has focused its activities on a selected array of research areas, combined through a distinctive cross-field and policy-oriented approach. This makes LIDER-Lab of utmost interest both for policy and decision makers and for private actors and market players as well.





September 6th, 2021

Become Assistant Editor of an upcoming comparative public law journal

Become Assistant Editor of an upcoming 

comparative public law journal 

The Chair of French Public Law at Saarland University is recruiting an Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief for a comparative public law journal to be published in English. 

Your profile: 

 - You have the English level of a native speaker or equivalent (CECRL : C2 - Cambridge English Scale : 200-230). 

- You are preparing a doctorate in law or have a doctorate in law. 

- You have an excellent knowledge of either the legal system of a European country or European Law, or you have a high competence in comparative public law. Knowledge of the French legal system and fluency in the French language are a plus. 

- Advanced Microsoft Office skills. Digital publishing skills. 

Your tasks as Assistant Editor: 

 1. Ensure the follow-up of the publication program defined by the journal's scientific direction. 

2. Proofread and check accuracy of contributions in English to ensure the highest linguistic and scientific quality (approximately 700 pages per year). 

3. Organize the publication of the journal in its web and paper formats. 

4. In addition to your journal-related activities, you will assist the Chairholder in his or her comparative law research and publications in English. 

You will be supported by one secretary (two half-days per week) and editorial assistants (between six and twelve hours per week).

Conditions of employment : 

- You will have the status of "Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter" (Research associate of research fellow) 

- You will be recruited on a half-time basis but you can apply for a shorter working time. The tasks you will be assigned will be carried out in the order of priority indicated above. 

NB: The status of Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter implies a weekly teaching load of two hours (for a half-time position) which you can carry out remotely. 

For more information and application : 

Prof. Dr. Philippe Cossalter, French Public Law Chair, 

Geb. A 5.4, Campus, 66123 SAARBRÜCKEN, GERMANY.