1-year Postdoctoral Research Associate position available

EdinburghUniLogoWe have an opening for a 1-year postdoctoral research associate in our SmartSociety EU-project at the University of Edinburgh. The closing date is the 4th of August for start in October. You can find the live vacancy at


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Vacancy Details
Research Associate
Vacancy Ref: : 030730 Closing Date : 04-Aug-2014
Contact Person : Jenny Chard Contact Number : 0131 650 9006
Contact Email : jenny.chard@ed.ac.uk
We have an opening for a post-doctoral researcher in adaptive coordination methods for large-scale, hybrid human-computer collectives. The post is part of Edinburgh’s contribution to the SmartSociety project (SmartSociety project website), a large-scale project funded by the EC Seventh Framework Programme that involves ten partner institutions from five countries.

The post is available from 1st October for 12 months.

Closing date: 4th August 2014

Grade: UE07 (£30,728 – £36,661)

(1) Job Details

Job title: Research Associate

School: School of Informatics

Line manager: Principal Investigator

(2) Job Purpose

The SmartSociety project conducts basic and applied research into collective adaptive systems, integrating machine and human intelligence to solve complex societal problems.

Your role in the project will be to generalise an existing lightweight orchestration architecture for Web-based collaboration among humans and artificial agents. You will be expected to work toward the definition of an executable specification language that can be used to build such systems, as well as on its implementation and evaluation. This task involves a strong element of collaboration with other project partners.

You will also contribute to dissemination aspects of the project, such as assisting in the planning and coordination of dissemination activities for the whole consortium, monitoring the production of publications, managing the project web site, and maintaining relationships with other project partners.

You will work closely together with a team of four senior academics and two junior researchers involved directly in the project within the Centre of Intelligent Systems and their Applications at the School of Informatics.

(3) Representative Work Activities

In general, the work activities associated with the post are to support the Principal Investigator of a specific project in achieving the goals of the project, under her direction.

• Undertaking a specific role in the research project under supervision
• Taking responsibility for some elements of the planned research
• Planning and carrying out a work programme appropriate to the research activity
• Developing own research portfolio in related areas
• Contributing to the writing of research grants
• Contributing to dissemination and publication of personal and/or research teams findings as appropriate.

(4) Planning and organising

The post holder will have to agree a general plan of research with the Principal Investigator and progress will be monitored at pre-scheduled meetings.

(5) Problem Solving

The problems to be faced are purely scientific and you will supply the detailed expertise for delivering a solution. You will be expected to achieve this under instruction by and with advice from the Principal Investigator and other academic and senior research staff.

(6) Decision making

The post holder will determine the specific techniques and approaches to be used in the course of the research, in agreement with the Principal Investigator.

(7) Key contacts/relationships

The post holder will principally interact with the Principal Investigator and other project staff and students. More generally, you will discuss the work, and other questions of scientific interest, with other members of the project at other sites and with other members of the School of Informatics. The post holder will be expected to represent the University externally, by presenting your work at specialist meeting or workshops in the relevant research area. They may also be required to provide advice and support to relevant students.

(8) Knowledge, skills and experience

The post holder should have:
• A PhD (or near completion) in Computer Science or a related discipline.
• Expertise in one or more of the following areas – service-orientated computing, declarative methods and languages, workflow systems, Semantic Web technologies, and open/linked data.
• Proven ability to develop formal models of computation and reasoning, using, for example, logic-based formalisms, probabilistic models, or process calculi.
• Solid programming skills, especially in the area of RESTful web-based applications.

It would be beneficial for the post holder to also have:
• Experience with AI problem solving techniques (search, planning, constraint satisfaction), human-based and social computation, crowdsourcing, linked/open data, and/or distributed workflow systems.
• Advanced software engineering skills (formal specification, testing and validation, documentation, maintenance and evolution).
• Excellent teamwork and communicative skills, and enthusiasm about collaborating with a diverse range of international partners, which will involve a significant amount of travel.

(9) Dimensions

There are no line management responsibilities associate with this post.

Informal enquiries

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Dr Michael Rovatsos (mrovatsos@inf.ed.ac.uk) for further information and to discuss their suitability for the post.

Application Procedure

All applicants should apply online by clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.

Please ensure you submit a full CV with a detailed publication record, a personal statement, and PDF copies of up to three recent publications together with the other application materials.

We anticipate interviews will be held in mid-August. If you have not been invited for interview by then, we regret that you have not been successful on this occasion.

The closing date is 5pm GMT on Monday 4 August.

Eligibility to Work

In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).

To do so, the University of Edinburgh requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

For further information on eligibility to work please visit our Eligibility to Work website

If you are not currently eligible to work in the UK, it may be possible for the University of Edinburgh to sponsor you to obtain a Tier 2 (General) visa to enable you to take up the appointment should you be successful at interview.

For applicants interested in sponsorship information is available on our Working in the UK website

However, if you have previously been sponsored by an employer within the UK but your leave has expired or lapsed and you are no longer in the UK, according to UK Border Agency rules you cannot apply for sponsorship under any category of Tier 2 for a period of 12 months after the date your visa expired and/or you left the UK.

Conditions of Employment

Pension Scheme

This role is grade UE07 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

For further information please visit our Pensions website.


The role is grade UE07 and attracts an annual salary of £30,728 to £36,661 for 35 hours each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.

Centre for Intelligent Systems and their Applications
CISA undertakes basic and applied research and development in knowledge representation, automated reasoning and computational logic. It has interests in agent systems, and in data-intensive research. Through its Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute (AIAI), it works with others to deploy the technologies associated with this research.


The School of Informatics
Informatics is the study of how natural and artificial systems store, process and communicate information. Research in Informatics promises to take information technology to a new level, and to place information at the heart of 21st century science, technology and society. The University has adopted our vision of the future of Informatics, as a discipline central to a new enlightenment in scholarship and learning, and critical to the future development of science, technology and society.

The School provides a fertile environment for a wide range of studies focussed on understanding computation on both artificial and natural systems. The research draws on concepts from computer science, artificial intelligence, linguistics, cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology and biology.

More details about these research activities can be found at http://www.informatics.ed.ac.uk/research

Informatics is one of seven schools in the College of Science and Engineering, at the University of Edinburgh. It was the only department in the UK awarded the top 5*A rating in Computer Science in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise. With 87.1 research active staff submitted for assessment, we are also the UK’s biggest research group in this area. We received a top excellent rating in the most recent SHEFC Teaching Quality Assessment exercise. Edinburgh came top in the last two Research Assessment Exercises (RAE). RAE 2008 results have confirmed Edinburgh’s position as the largest and best Informatics research centre in the UK. The various institutes in The School of Informatics have come together and are now housed under one roof in the new £40 million Informatics Forum Building on Crichton Street.

The School of Informatics holds a Silver Athena SWAN award, in recognition of our commitment to advance the representation of women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology.


College of Science and Engineering (http://www.ed.ac.uk/science-engineering)
The College of Science and Engineering (CSE) is one of the largest and highest-ranked science and engineering groupings in the UK. Headed by Professor Lesley Yellowlees, CSE comprises seven Schools (Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, GeoSciences, Informatics, Mathematics, and Physics and Astronomy). Informatics is located in the University’s Central Area near George Square, with the other six 2 miles further south at the King’s Buildings. The College has over 2,700 academic and support staff, and educates some 6,000 undergraduates, 800 taught postgraduates and 1,500 research students. It is in the front rank of UK university science and engineering groupings for research quality and income (£130M in 2001/12), and is a key player in many European and international research collaborations.

Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008
In the 2008 RAE over 600 research active staff were returned. 96% of the College submission was of international quality in its originality, significance and rigour with 66% of the submission being rated internationally excellent.

The University of Edinburgh
For more than four centuries, our people and their achievements have rewritten history time and again. They’ve explored space, revolutionised surgery, published era-defining books, paved the way for life-saving medical breakthroughs and introduced to the world many inventions, discoveries and ideas from penicillin to Dolly the sheep. We have believed that anything is possible.

We still do. The latest Research Assessment Exercise highlighted our place at the forefront of international research. This adds to our international reputation for the quality of our teaching and our student experience excellence.

As a member of staff you will be part of one of the world’s leading universities, with 22 Schools spread over 3 Colleges that offer more than 500 undergraduate and 160 postgraduate courses to over 30,000 students each year. Professional services are critical to this success as well as our world-class teaching, research and student facilities. In fact, we are one of the top employers in Edinburgh, with over 11,700 people spread across a wide range of academic and supporting roles.

The University is proud of its success with online teaching initiatives, with 1905 students currently studying its online distance learning postgraduate programmes, and a total to date of 471,695 enrolments for Edinburgh MOOCs.

As a world-changing, world-leading university we are an exciting, positive, creative, challenging and rewarding place to work. We give you support, nurture your talent, develop and reward success and integrate academic, professional and personal career goals, as well as give your career the benefit of a great and distinguished reputation.

The University of Edinburgh holds a Bronze Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance the representation of women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. We are also Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champions actively promoting LGBT equality.

The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment. See our

University Initiatives website

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

About P. Andreadis

Pre-Doctoral Research Assistant in AI and Social Computation @ University of Edinburgh.

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