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Implanted connected objects, data and co-design of ethical protocols

Characteristics of the position:


post-doctoral contract

Emploi type (referens III)







12 months / 100%


Chair “Ethics and AI”, MIAI and IPhiG, UGA

Context and work environment:

  • IPhiG

The Institute of Philosophy of Grenoble (IPhiG) is one of the research units of the University of Grenoble Alpes. It is composed of 11 statutory members, from various components of the UGA, more than 20 doctoral students, and several post-doctoral students. It is a member of the regional doctoral school ED 487 “Philosophy: history, representation, creation”. Its activities are organized along three axes: “Practices: values, norms, institutions”, “Mind and cognition” & “History of philosophy”.

  • Chair “Ethics and AI”, MIAI

The “Ethics & AI” Chair is one of the chairs of the multidisciplinary Grenoble Institute of Artificial Intelligence (MIAI). It aims to develop over a period of 4 years (2019-2023) a philosophical understanding of Artificial Intelligence both through a conceptual and normative approach and by reference to various “terrains” of observation. It reflects the activities of the Institute of Philosophy of Grenoble (IPhiG), a research unit of the University of Grenoble Alpes. Its activities include meta-ethics, normative ethics, applied ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of law. This variety of points of view gives the Chair a potential for in-depth research on topics to which the relationship between ethics and AI is giving rise today. The scientific director of the chair, specialized in political philosophy, public ethics and philosophy of innovation, ensures the productive interaction of this variety of perspectives. The Chair contributes with 3 others to the “AI and Society” axis of MIAI, and maintains a close relationship with the research conducted on the other axes of the institute. Through the initiatives and projects it develops, the chair currently brings together 4 PhD students in philosophy and information and communication sciences; it also brings together 8 contributors, researchers from other disciplines, such as robotics and among the humanities and social sciences, clinical psychology, information and communication sciences, management sciences and marketing.

Team description (N+1 and colleagues) :  under the authority of …. Team composed of X agents (X A, X B, X C…)

The position offered is directly related to the research activity of the chairholder, as well as to that of his contributors and the 4 current PhD students.

Position’s mission and main activities  

Scientific argument:

Today, connected health is developing simultaneously, in particular through the implantation of so-called smart objects in the body, and new methods to build ethical protocols with patients. The purpose of this postdoctoral contract (12 months duration) is to bring together these two trends, in order to contribute to research in the field of ethics of connected health and AI-assisted medicine and care.

The implementation of co-design approaches in a health innovation project allows to meet pragmatic needs: it is about developing efficient devices accepted and acceptable in the daily life of patients, based on their expectations and experience of the disease. Moreover, this type of approach, which is one of the possible approaches in the very broad field of co-design in health or participatory design (Grosjean, Bonneville, Redpath, 2019), can be the guarantor of an ethics of health innovations, concerned with promoting patients’ rights and thinking about the societal transformations generated by new connected health devices (Béranger, 2012). It is then necessary to go beyond an approach to the notion of acceptability of technologies that would only be defined by forms of design polarized by marketing, in order to redefine it in an ethical sense and in the context of health devices (Sekhonet 2017).

The submitted research project may, for example: propose a definition of core values for an ethics of AI in health regarding implanted connected objects; work to redefine the notion of AI-assisted patient autonomy, to make it an operative notion both descriptively and normatively; imagine relevant ethical protocols.


Béranger J., 2012, « Modélisation éthique de la recherche collaborative d’information. Cas de la relation médecin-patient-système d’information », Les Cahiers du numérique, vol. 8, no. 1-2, p. 39-62. DOI:10.3166/LCN.8.1-2.39-62

Grosjean S., Bonneville L., Redpath C., 2019, « The Design Process of an mHealth Technology: The Communicative Constitution of Patient Engagement Through a Participatory Design Workshop », ESSACHESS – Journal for Communication Studies, vol. 12, 1(23), p. 5‑26.

Sekhonet Mandeep, Cartwright, Martin, Francis Jill J., 2017, « Acceptability of healthcare interventions:an overview of reviews and developmentof a theoretical framework », BMC Health Services Research (2017) 17:88, p. 2-13. DOI: 10.1186/s12913-017-2031-8

Scientific disciplines: philosophy, computer science, medical studies

Sub-disciplines/research areas (in no order of priority): ethics of care/health and bioethics, political philosophy, philosophy of techniques, ethics of AI (computer ethics/algorithmic ethics, artificial ethics (Chauvier 2016), ethics of robotics, ethics of AI uses), environmental humanities.

Keywords: ethics, AI, robotics, digital, health and care, patients, patient-experts, health institutions and care structures, medicine-patient-environment relations, body, innovation, autonomy, trust, compliance, public and private liberties, vulnerability, co-design.

Terms of the competition: Candidates are invited to propose to the Jury a personal research project (10 pages maximum), including a description of their future activity within the “Ethics & AI” Chair that falls within the strategic orientations of the latter. If the position concerns AI ethics, the multidisciplinary aspects of the candidate’s profile and the multidisciplinary perspectives of his/her project will be highlighted, in dialogue with the disciplines of the contributors of the Chair.

Important point: The proposed project must be able to fit into the “AI for Humans and the Environment” axis of MIAI, and more particularly be able to make a sustained dialogue between axes 4 (“AI and Society”), 5 (“Health”).

Fluency in French and English (oral and written) is a prerequisite for applying, as the admission interview will be conducted in both languages.

Start date: January 1, 2022.

End of contract: December 31, 2022.

Missions / duties performed:

The purpose of the postdoctoral contract offered to the competition is:

– To contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge in the field of AI ethics (as defined above) in health and care, including new experimental, conceptual and normative approaches, which are grounded in fields of study.

– To maintain the dialogue between philosophy, the SHS disciplines developed in the chair (social and clinical psychology, management sciences, information and communication sciences) and the scientific and technical disciplines developed within the MIAI institute (computer science, robotics, cognition), as well as with the world of health and care, whether academic (medical and pharmaceutical research laboratories), hospital (CHUGA) or other (patients, caregivers, associations, start-ups and other companies in the health and care sector).

– To feed the IPhiG’s axis 1 while possibly interacting with the two other axes.

Main activities (in order of importance):

  1. Publication in academic journals, especially in English language.
  2. Contribution to the scientific animation of the “Ethics & AI” chair: organization and intervention for conferences, seminars.
  3. Setting up scientific projects (ANR, European programs, etc.).
  4. Contribution to the outreach of the “Ethics & AI” Chair: oral intervention in front of non-academic audiences (health care personnel, patients, students, etc.).
  5. Invitation to participate occasionally in training sessions (doctoral training on the Grenoble site, MIAI continuing education).

Event – Objective result(s) by the end of the contract:

– At least 2 research articles in English (published or submitted) over the duration of the contract,

– Contribution to the organization and animation of the program “Etats généraux de l’éthique de l’AI”.

Evaluation and control of the achievement of the result(s):

Publication of the offer: October 31, 2021

Deadline for sending applications: November 26, midnight (Paris time)

Examination of applications and Eligibility Jury: around November 29: Results and invitation to the oral exam for eligible candidates

Admission interviews (15-minute interview): during the week of December 6

Results of the competition: December 15

Start date: January 1, 2022

End of contract: December 31, 2022

Restriction or constraints related to the position :

Physical presence at the University of Grenoble Alpes for the duration of the contract is a necessary condition, as the position to be filled includes the coordination of a scientific team as well as scientific animation functions on the campus and in the Grenoble area, and in the Auvergne-Rhône Alpes region. An explicit commitment from the candidates will be required during the recruitment interview.

Desired profile :

Expected skills (priority) :

Academic excellence

– Relevance of the research project to the strategic orientations of the “Ethics & AI” Chair

– International research experience: publications, participation in seminars and colloquia, stay in research units

– Ability to engage in multidisciplinary dialogue as demonstrated by previous activity

  • Trade skills/ expertise

Expression in French and English language, written and oral.

  • Personal skills

– Autonomy,

– Ability to lead a small scientific team,

– Ability to mobilize the right interlocutors in an academic and peri-academic environment (health and care fields, scientific, technical and industrial mediation fields).

Supervisory mission: ☐ Yes ☒ No
Number of agents supervised per category:      ….. A, ….. B,  …… C

Desired professional experience: ☐ beginner ☐ 2 to 5 years

Experience in setting up research projects (national and European) is a plus in the file.

Previous formation, diplomas:

PhD required in discipline developing AI ethics (philosophy, computer science, medical studies.

General information

The level of remuneration will be determined according to the seniority and skills of the candidate, and within the framework of the remuneration scale in force at the University Grenoble Alpes. Indication: between HS 01 and HS 03.

Contact for the questions related to the position:

First name, LAST NAME, position:

Prof. Thierry Ménissier

Head of the Chair « ethics & AI », MIAI/IPhiG

Mail : thierry.menissier@univ-grenoble-alpes.fr