Duke Science & Society

Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Robotics, Autonomous Technology & Policy

The Duke Initiative for Science & Society invites applications for the 2016-2017 Science & Society Robotics, Autonomous Technology and Policy Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program. This fellowship is intended for individuals with a PhD in robotics or engineering related fields interested in an academic or policy career working on the intersection of robotics and society.

Science & Society
The Duke Initiative for Science & Society (“Science & Society”) examines the wide-ranging and integral role of science in social institutions and culture. Science & Society integrates and fosters innovation in related research, education, and engagement at Duke by adopting an interdisciplinary approach to understanding how science and human endeavors intersect with a specific focus on ethical, legal, and social implications for science. For more info: http://scienceandsociety.duke.edu/.

Humans and Autonomy Lab (HAL)
Research in the Humans and Autonomy Lab focuses on the multifaceted interactions of human and computer decision-making in complex sociotechnical systems with embedded autonomy. Autonomous systems today, and even more so in the future, require coordination and teamwork for mutual support between humans and machines for both improved system safety and performance. Employing human-systems engineering principles to autonomous system modeling, design, and evaluation, and identifying ways in which humans and computers can leverage the strengths of the other in an autonomous system to achieve superior decisions together is the central focus of HAL. For more info: http://hal.pratt.duke.edu

The Fellowship
The fellow will lead the Humans and Autonomy Lab section of a vertically-integrated, cutting-edged interdisciplinary project using innovative means to analyze, research, and communicate up-to-date information about new developments in science policy. Fellows engage in research and analysis, author and edit policy-related briefings on science-based laws and regulations, track news, events, and key players in the robotics and autonomous technology fields, and manage a team of undergraduate and graduate level research assistants and editors.

The Science & Society Fellowship is a residential one-year fellowship, with the possibility of renewal. Fellows are housed in the Humans and Autonomy Lab of Missy Cummings, Ph.D., and dedicate one half of their time to supporting the activities of Science & Society Science Policy Project, twenty five percent of their time to seeking and applying for grants to scale the Duke Science Policy project, and twenty-five percent of their time on independent and/or collaborative research projects. Fellows are provided with office space, a competitive stipend, and benefits.

Fellowship Responsibilities:  

  • Lead a topical team focused on robotics and society as part of the Science Policy Tracking Program, a program designed to provide an informational resource for scientists, policy makers, the public, students, and other stakeholders interested in science and technology policy developments and news.
  • Active participation in identifying funding opportunities and applying for funding for the Science Policy project
  • Participate in relevant conferences, workshops, and seminars
  • Pursue independent and/or collaborative research in robotics and autonomous technology and policy

The Application Process:

Applicants should submit a CV, contact information for three references, a writing sample, and a research proposal (in 2,000 words or less) to Mary Jo Smith (mary.jo.smith@duke.edu). The subject line of the email application should read “Application 2016 Robotics and Policy Fellowship Program” and must be received no later than 5 p.m. on June 30, 2016. Fellows will be chosen based on demonstrated academic merit, on likelihood of future success in academia or science policy, and on strength of their research proposals.


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