CIS is offering a PhD Position in law on Open Data Licensing

European Commission, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

This fully funded PhD position is part of the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie ITN project entitled ODECO: Towards a Sustainable Open Data ECOsystem. ODECO is a four-year project involving 15 PhD projects covering each a specific part of the open data ecosystem. The central aim of the ODECO consortium network is to train the next generation of creative and innovative early stage open data researchers, to unlock their creative and innovative potential to address current and future challenges in the creation of user driven, circular and inclusive open data ecosystems.

Current developments in the field of open data are characterised as highly fragmented. Open data ecosystems are often developed in different domains in isolation of each other and with little involvement of potential users, resulting in approaches that significantly limit open data reusability for users. This reduces innovation and the ability to create new valued added goods and services. Isolated domains also undermine interoperability for users acting as a barrier to data sharing. Efforts are also uncoordinated in open data training and research, where multidisciplinary approaches are scant.

Bringing together different sectors (research, private sector, government, non-profit) and different perspectives (public administration, law, business, engineering), ODECO aims to address the central challenge of realizing a user driven, circular and inclusive open data ecosystem. Through its novel research and training programme, ODECO will provide early-stage researchers with relevant open data knowledge, skills and research experience.

The offered PhD position on “Open Licensing of Non-Government Data” is to design new legal instruments to include private actors as producers and sharers of (open) data and data generated by private companies and users on private platforms, by:

  • Investigating from a legal perspective novel value distribution and incentive mechanisms and design how a new sustainable distribution of value in the open data ecosystem may be implemented in licenses based on alternative values defined in collaboration with other PhDs and members of the ODECO project teams working in other disciplines.
  • Investigating whether commons-based approaches can be developed to openly license commercial data and data volunteered by citizens on public, commons, and private platforms, and ported from other environments (e.g., medical and microbial commons, data pools).
  • Exploring legal mechanisms that will facilitate and incentivise the release of non-government data as open data in open data commons, data pools or data collaboratives) as well as private and user-generated data contributed to public and private platforms (e.g., social media).
  • Ensuring compatibility between commercial, and individual (data protection, privacy and sharing) interests.

This is a joint appointment: the candidate will be enrolled at University Paris Nanterre doctoral law school which will deliver the PhD degree, and be part of the CIS team at CNRS which will provide a full-time employment contract.

More information and application details on