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André Hoffmann Fellow (Security, Governance and Emerging Technologies for Precision Medicine): Stanford University – California

The World Economic Forum and Stanford University seek a Hoffmann Fellow for a two-year joint appointment for work at the intersection of society, science and technology. The Fellow will be jointly appointed between the Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (“C4IR”) in San Francisco, California which is dedicated to addressing the possibilities and challenges posed by the explosion of technological innovation – from AI to biotechnology – and the new Bio Policy & Leadership in Society (Bio.Polis) Initiative at Stanford University which aims to guide the development of biological science and technology to promote more peaceful, prosperous and just societies. As a Bio.Polis affiliate the Fellow will be appointed at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), part of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), and will also be affiliated with the Department of Bioengineering, part of both the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering.

The Fellow will work with Forum partners and Stanford University faculty, staff and students on initiatives to tackle governance and security challenges related to emerging technologies powering precision medicine.  Precision medicine supports a more tailored approach to diagnosing and treating disease, building on technological advances like increased computational capacity, large amounts of genetic and biological data, and sophisticated digital information platforms. Scientific and technological advances in genomic sequencing and gene editing tools allow for innovative exploration of biological pathways and mechanisms that underpin precision treatments. Advances in machine learning coupled with innovative biological engineering tools (e.g. for collecting large amounts of diverse clinical and biological data about individuals) can transform and accelerate the discovery and testing of promising treatments. Yet these advances also open new vulnerabilities regarding the theft, misuse, or abuse of personal health data. The translation of these advances into health and healthcare systems requires innovative policies and governance frameworks on issues of data collection, protection, and utilization that span geographies, cultures, and industries.

André Hoffmann Fellowship Program

This Fellowship program is unique in that it offers an opportunity for a mix of research and applied policy work leveraging Stanford University’s rich academic environment and the World Economic Forum’s global network.  Over the course of the two-year term, the Fellow will help build and drive intensive collaborations among Forum and Stanford partners. This will include leaders from the private sector, governments, international organizations, and civil society, and faculty from diverse disciplines at Stanford. The Forum and Stanford are committed to providing each Fellow with appropriate training and mentorship, including participation in select Forum events, and access to workshops, events, and training through the Fellowship program at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC).


  • Received a PhD, MD or other terminal degree in a related field within the last five years. The degree must be received before the Fellowship start date.
  • Demonstrated interest and experience in a relevant emerging technology area powering advances in precision or personalized medicine.
  • Demonstrated interest and familiarity with policy and governance issues, including around managing sensitive data and security either domestic or internationally.
  • Ability to produce a variety of written materials and communicate complex topics to a variety of audiences.
  • Superlative interpersonal skills; self-starter, with the ability to work independently and as a member of a team, and to participate in or manage multiple projects simultaneously.

Key Opportunities and Responsibilities:

  • Draw from relevant expertise to help identify high priority opportunities for policy and governance experimentation and scholarship.;
  • Participate in funded grants as a research collaborator and/or co-author;
  • Participate in career-development activities such as training, grantsmanship and publication of the fellow’s individual research;
  • Identify and help build a global community of partners and stakeholders around the governance of emerging technologies powering precision medicine;
  • Provide methodological and subject matter guidance to inform the development of policy pilot project(s) around policy protocols and governance methods;
  • Identify and address key research questions to deepen and strengthen projects’ technical and/or methodological underpinnings and outcomes;
  • Help organize conferences and workshops on topics relevant to the project and research questions and/or attend conferences in order to present research findings;
  • Be part of project teams that engage business, government, civil society, and academic institutions in building selected initiatives, developing solutions, and taking those solutions into implementation.

About the World Economic Forum and Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network

The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network brings together policy leaders and strategists of international, national and sub-national bodies with technology pioneers, business leaders, academic experts from leading universities, and civil society representatives to study emerging technologies, address the resulting transformations and test protocols and policies that could harness and accelerate the benefits of these technologies while minimizing their potential disruptive impacts. This multi-stakeholder hub provides policy leaders with the unique opportunity to anticipate and shape the trajectory of emerging technologies.

The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the international organization for public-private cooperation. It engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. The Forum believes that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life that have the drive and the influence to make positive change happen. That begins with the Forum’s own people representing the character, values and spirit of the Forum mission.

About Stanford University and the Bio.Polis Initiative

Bio Policy & Leadership in Society (Bio.Polis) is a new initiative at Stanford University dedicated to advancing scholarship and strategic programs that explore how societies are shaped through biological science and technology, and that guide innovation to serve public interests. Spearheaded by the Department of Bioengineering (BioE), part of the School of Engineering and the School of Medicine, the initiative is supported by a growing number of programs, centers, departments and institutes at Stanford and partners beyond the university. Bio.Polis programs focused on technology policy and international security are advanced in partnership with the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), part of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI).

The Department of Bioengineering (BioE) at Stanford University is dedicated to advancing bioengineering as a fundamental engineering discipline grounded in basic sciences, powered by a unique set of engineering concepts and principles, and capable of realizing many diverse applications.

The Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) is Stanford University’s hub for researchers tackling some of the world’s most pressing security and international cooperation issues. Founded 30 years ago, it is guided by a longstanding belief that a commitment to rigorous scholarship, openness to new ideas, and lively intellectual exchange can spur the creation and spread of knowledge to help build a safer world.

Term Period: 24 months

Location: San Francisco, CA and Stanford, CA. Recognizing the current dynamic global situation, temporary adjustments can be made within reason.

Start date: TBD, as early as Spring 2021

To Apply: Please submit an application through the online portal here*

  • Personal statement (maximum 2 pages) addressing:
  1. Your past academic research and relevant work experience;
  2. Any involvement in broader impact activities relevant to the scope of the Hoffmann Fellowship (precision or personalized medicine, policy related to emerging technologies, healthcare, and security, international research or professional engagements);
  3. Why you are interested in the Hoffmann Fellowship and how you envision it furthering your career
  4. How your skills, expertise and networks can help drive forward projects exploring the governance challenges at the intersection of technologies powering precision medicine and security, and any ideas for projects you would seek to lead.
  • CV
  • A writing sample (up to 50 pages)
  • Contact information for three references, with at least one reference who can speak to your broader impact activities. Letters of recommendation submitted in advance are not required, but are strongly recommended.

Deadline for applications is January 30 2021.




Lio Tariman

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