Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT)

TILT studies emerging technologies and their impact on the individual and society, recognizing the interplay between technology, regulation and fundamental values & human rights.

International PhD Colloquium - Call for Papers: Regulating new technologies in uncertain times

The Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society (“TILT”) is organizing a PhD Colloquium which will take place at Tilburg University on 14 June 2018. The organizers invite PhD researchers working on any of the themes covered by this Call for Papers (“CfP”) to submit an abstract of max. 300 words by 28 February 2018.


Technology has the ability to serve humans and to make our lives easier. Yet, in doing so, technology disrupts. It changes the status quo by enabling new forms of interaction, new types of medical treatment, or new forms of energy generation. These new applications of technologies are often accompanied with uncertainty as to their long-term (un)intended impacts. However, societies and the citizens that live in them, have different collective and individual preferences in terms of the amount of uncertainty and the type of risk that they are willing to accept. The way in which regulation can address these differing, and sometimes conflicting, societal objectives is therefore a crucial question of legal research. New technologies also raise questions about the boundaries of the law as the line between harmful and beneficial effects often becomes difficult to draw. Societal acceptance of new technologies is essential to making them a success.

The general theme of the PhD Colloquium is “Regulating new technologies in uncertain times”. The organizers invite applications from PhD researchers working on any of the following general topics:

  • The regulation of a specific new technology in the field of (public) health, data protection, cybersecurity, intellectual property, freedom of expression,  autonomous driving, energy and the environment (including climate change)
  • The regulation of technology from a more theoretical perspective; i.e. projects that deal with the broader underlying aspects of regulation such as legitimacy, trust, democracy, uncertainty, risk, precaution, competition and  innovation.
  • Learning by doing: past regulatory experiences and new challenges. For example, what can be learned from the regulatory debate on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) that is relevant for the regulatory challenges posed by “big data” and “the internet of things”? Are there commonalities or is the subject matter too different?

In particular, the organizers welcome contributions that seek to identify broader commonalities between the regulation of new technologies in different fields.

Submission of CfP

Interested PhD researchers are invited to submit an abstract of max. 300 words and 5 keywords by 28 February 2018 to l.s.reins@tilburguniversity.edu using the subject line format [“PhD-CfP: Abstract – NAME”]. Only one abstract per person will be considered. Abstracts should be accompanied by a CV, indicating the researcher’s affiliation and list of publications.

The result of the selection process will be announced on 10 March 2018. Selected participants are expected to submit a paper based on the abstract by 15 May 2018. The paper should be limited to 6.000 words max. Upon receipt, the paper will be reviewed by at least 1 TILT member.

The PhD Colloquium will be organized based on a Panel-format, with each speaker being requested to present for 15 minutes. The Panel sessions will be chaired by TILT experts. Alongside the Panel sessions, one or more plenary sessions will be organized.


Limited funds for travel and accommodation are available for PhD researchers from outside The Netherlands (up to 300 Euro for researchers within the EU and up to 800 Euro for researchers from outside the EU). PhD researchers wishing to apply for funding should indicate this alongside their abstract and CV in the accompanying cover e-mail.