Position opening: Ethics Advisor - Research on Indigenous Data Governance Protocols

Position opening: Ethics Advisor - Research on Indigenous Data Governance Protocols

on 2022-09-22
  • Project
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Indigenous and local knowledge

Current data governance trends increasingly emphasize the need to open access to data, despite growing
concerns over data privacy, control and surveillance. Indigenous peoples, with different epistemological
traditions for the use and sharing of culturally sensitive information, reinforce the growing concern of
people’s ability to exert data sovereignty, especially since they hold specific collective rights under the UN
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Thus, while interest continues to grow on the
documentation and use of Indigenous knowledge, current data governance trends do not align well with
Indigenous data rights and governance rules. This is the case of most data on Indigenous peoples
especially within EU open-data research.

Using the
 Local Indicators of Climate Change Impacts research project as a case study, the Research on
Indigenous Data Governance Protocols (RIDAGOP)
– a 18-month European Research Council (ERC) Proof-
of-Concept research project – aims to contribute to the field of Indigenous Data Sovereignty (IDS) by
developing a toolkit to guide research institutions in better understanding how to handle sensitive
Indigenous knowledge and cultural information in open research contexts in order to better adhere to IDS
principles (e.g. CARE Principles). The project aims to contribute to the work of leading organizations in this
field (e.g., Global Indigenous Data Alliance). The potential of this research is to help reframe how datasets
concerning Indigenous peoples are interpreted and managed in EU open research projects and
consequently how Indigenous peoples’ knowledge is represented.

Roles & Responsibilities

  1. Assess how RIDAGOP is meeting or making progress on ERC ethical requirements: The EA will be
    responsible for reviewing RIDAGOP documentation and activities, and subsequently developing (max)
    two reports of (max) three pages each, identifying how the project is or is not meeting ERC ethical
    requirements, and provide advice in case of the latter.
  2. Advise on Indigenous data governance and sovereignty practices beyond, yet compatible with, ERC
    ethical requirements: As a project dedicated to upholding Indigenous data sovereignty principles
    across European research institutions, the EA will participate in four 2-hour meetings with the core
    team in the span of 12 months, to better understand and provide feedback on the research. The EA is
    also expected to be available for ad-hoc questions via e-mail, for no more than two hours per month.
  3. For more information: European Commission’s Roles and Functions of Ethics Advisors/Ethics Advisory
    Boards in EC-funded projects (2021).

Background & skillset

  • A university degree in a research-related field
  • Demonstrated experience in policy and regulatory frameworks for research governance, research
    integrity and the ethics arena within the EU (including GDPR, ERC, FAIR principles).
  • Demonstrated experience working with Indigenous peoples’ ethical concerns, Indigenous data
    sovereignty principles (e.g. CARE principles), and/or Indigenous data governance practices.

Time commitments & deliverables:

  • Two reports of (max) three pages each (1 work day per report) 16 hrs.
  • Participation and feedback in four meetings (2 hours per meeting) 8 hrs.
  • Availability for ad-hoc feedback & discussion (2 hours per month) 24 hrs.

Details & Compensation
This is a 12-month advisory role starting 15 October 2022.
Compensation is EUR 3,000

To apply: please send your CV to and by September 28,

*Approval is dependent on ERC acceptance of the candidate

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