UCLouvain’s JURI (Institut pour la recherche interdisciplinaire en sciences juridiques) is looking for a PhD student (M/F) in Law to work with an interdisciplinary team on a research project relating to the sharing economy.
The PROSEco Project
The project funded by Action de Recherche Concertée programme (ARC) is entitled Platforms Operations and Regulation in the Sharing Economy (PROSEco). In recent years, many innovative sharing economy platforms (SEPs) had a strong impact on their stakeholders: service providers and consumers alike. Platforms change the economy: individuals renting out rooms or driving cars create competition for established hospitality and transport providers (as evidenced by the protests of taxi drivers in cities where Uber operates). SEPs also impact society as a whole: they prompt change in how people plan, travel, meet and eat. Their operation can modify social and economic environment in entire communities (think of Airbnb’s effects on cities’ housing markets and quality of life).
The sharing economy is not only a land of promises but also of great perils. Even fast-growing and global for-profit platforms like Uber are still struggling to make a profit, while the failure rate of startups is higher than in other sectors. Also, many non-profit SEPs fail to stay active. For both types of platforms, the road to success is paved with a number of operational, economic, and legal challenges, which directly stem from their innovative business model.
These multifaceted challenges call for an interdisciplinary approach to answer our overarching research question: How can platforms in the sharing economy deliver long-lasting value for their stakeholders and for society as a whole? Our objective with this research project is to conduct a fine-grained analysis of the implications of the sharing economy, combining researchers from operations research, economics, and law. A more detailed description of the research project can be found here.
For this project, we are hiring three PhD students (one in economics, one in law, and one in operations research) and two postdoctoral researchers (one in economics and one in law).
The postdoctoral researcher will be actively involved in achieving the objectives of the project in terms of legal research. S/he will also be asked to mentor the PhD in law hired on the project, and to interact closely with the researchers in economics and in operations who will part of the team. In particular, the researcher will contribute to the team’s development of a “Legal Design” approach to more transparent Rating and Review (R&R) systems and to the analysis of unfair pricing practices of platforms. In principle, the position does not come with any teaching duties (but teaching activities can be negotiated if the candidate requests it).
The researcher will be hired full-time for a period of two years starting, ideally, on October 1st, 2019. In case the researcher wants to stay for a longer period, we will help her / him find additional funding. The net salary is of an order of 2500 euros per month. The recruited person benefits from the complete Belgian social insurance scheme (health care, etc.) without additional expenses.
Candidates should :
Hold a PhD in law (with a focus on market regulation, competition law, data protection, IP/IT law or consumer law);
Be fluent in spoken and written English;
Be ready to collaborate with researchers from other disciplines (in particular economics and operations research);
A complete CV, with a copy of the undergraduate and graduate degrees;
A copy of the PhD dissertation and of any published work;
A short essay (maximum 1000 words) describing your views about the research project PROSEco (a description can be found here) and demonstrating your motivation and your fit for the position;
Two recommandation letters, to be sent directly bu the referees.
Interested candidates should send their application file by email to Prof. Anne-Lise Sibony (email@example.com) and to Prof. Alain Strowel (firstname.lastname@example.org). Applications should be received before July 31, 2019.
For additional information, please contact directly Prof. Strowel or Prof. Sibony by email.