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Postdoc needed to do research on new technologies and the future of humanity

The Institute for Futures Studies (IF) is looking for a researcher within the framework "New Technologies and the Future of Humanity" within the IF research program.
Read a detailed description of the program here

New technologies can produce huge gains for humanity in terms of prosperity, but they are also associated with risks. Examples of such future technologies that can greatly impact society are robotization, artificial intelligence (AI), advanced surveillance technology and technologies for enhancing human physical, cognitive and affective abilities. The research will be about how these technologies can have societal impact, on both an individual and social level.

Examples of research issues within the theme are:

  • Is human enhancement desirable? If so, what kind of 'enhancement'?
  • What are the opportunities and risks associated with robotization?
  • What opportunities and risks do advanced surveillance technology entail?
  • How can we best understand and analyze technological risk?
  • How should we weigh potential risks against potential opportunities?
  • How can we apply existing tools from other research areas, such as risk management and scenario planning, to increase our understanding of how we should weigh potential risks against potential opportunities?

Work description

The work will explore future scenarios which will be evaluated using available research and theoretical tools from philosophy, economics and social sciences. You probably have (or are close to attaining) a doctoral degree in any of these or adjacent subjects. The goal is for this novel research to be relevant for decision makers. The applicant needs to be able to write research articles and reports in English. It is a merit to speak Swedish but not a requirement.

The candidate is expected to work at the institute full-time and the working language is English.

This is a two-year employment with a possible extension for another year. Start date January 1, 2019 (or as soon thereafter). Entrance salary is 37 000-40 000 SEK per month.

70 % of the employment will be devoted to conducting own research. Therefore, special emphasis is attached to scientific skill. 30 % of the employment will be devoted to more administrative tasks, such as planning and organizing conferences and workshops, editing of anthologies and designing research applications to external financiers in the field. Weight is therefore also attributed to administrative skills and cooperation. Weight will also be given the ability to interact with the surrounding community.

As an applicant we expect you to be attracted to joining an international and dynamic environment at the research front. Short decision-making processes and a positive working culture in a small and flexible organization create the conditions for job satisfaction and well-being. The IF office is located in central Stockholm and offers competitive salaries and generous employment benefits.


We need a letter of application, a research program of up to two pages describing what research you intend to carry out in your role and how it will contribute to IF's research program, a current CV, two research articles (not necessarily published yet), and names and contact details of three people who are confident in your work. All documents must be written in English. We look forward to applications from all sexes and birth backgrounds, functionalities and life experiences.

Please send your application to jobs@iffs.se by December 9, 2018. Interviews are scheduled to take place in December, either in Stockholm or via Skype.

More information about this employment can be obtained from Pontus Strimling, pontus.strimling@iffs.se and Krister Bykvist krister.bykvist@iffs.se.

For this employment, we have already hired the recruitment aid we need and we therefore want to avoid contacts of such kind.


IF carries out interdisciplinary research on important future issues and participates in the public discussion with its seminar and publication activities. Under the management of Director Gustaf Arrhenius (Professor of Moral and Political Philosophy), eighty-eight researchers from various disciplines work with future studies and long-term analysis.