SCDTP Studentship - Embedding ethical uncertainty in algorithmic decision-making University of Southampton, Southampton Business School United Kingdom

SCDTP Studentship - Embedding ethical uncertainty in algorithmic decision-making

Southampton Business School

Location: Highfield Campus

Salary: £14777

(18/19 UKRI rate)

Closing Date: Thursday 24 January 2019

Reference: 1079518TR

Embedding ethical uncertainty in algorithmic decision-making

A fully funded studentship awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP) commencing in 2019/20 Academic Year.


Supervisory Team:

Max Chipulu ( and Alasdair Marshall (FSS); Sebastian Stein (FEPS)


It is now common for decisions in a variety of areas to be made by algorithms. However, unlike humans, algorithm do not experience ethical uncertainty, which can help humans regulate their decision-making process. Consequently, algorithmic decisions may sometimes be egregious. For example, algorithmic decisions may discriminate against minority groups. It may be possible to reduce the risk of algorithms making egregious decisions by explicitly incorporating ethical uncertainty within the framework of algorithmic decision making. This research will investigate how ethical uncertainty can be embedded in algorithmic decision-making and the benefits of doing so.


Skills Required

Required Skills: Upper second-class or First-class degree in a numerate subject.

Desirable Skills: Master’s degree, Computer Programming experience; interest in prosocial behaviour; knowledge of predictive algorithms / artificial intelligence / machine learning.



South Coast DTP Funding provides an annual maintenance grant (tax free) of £14777 (2018/19 UKRI rate), plus payment of all programme fees. Other funding available for SCDTP funded students can be found on the SCDTP website (

Funding is provided for 3 years full-time PhD study (pro-rata for part-time students). Applications for 1+3 funding for students completing a Master's year prior to the commencement of PhD study are also welcome (details available at


Application Procedure

The closing date and time for applications is 11.59pm on 24th January 2019. The full application procedure, the funding application form, and more information on the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership can be found at:

For further information about this project, please contact the lead supervisor detailed above. For questions relating to the application procedure, or for more information about the SCDTP, please visit the SCDTP website or contact us at

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