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Research Fellow Vacancy

Posted: Thursday, 12 May 2022 21:00

We are seeking three Postdoctoral researchers to work on the EPSRC-funded ESPRESSO project (“Efficient Search over Personal Repositories - Secure and Sovereign”).

Salary range: £39,173 to £40,228 per annum
Contract type: Fixed term
Mode: Full time
Department: Computer Science and Information Systems
Closing date for applications: 01-Jun-2022
Ref No: 1194
Documents: Recruitment pack - 1194 (1).pdf

All three posts are full-time for three years. The starting date will be 1st July 2022, or as soon as possible thereafter.

The posts are based at the School of Electronics and Computer Science, Southampton University (Posts A and C) and the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, Birkbeck (Post B). The project will be researching, developing and evaluating decentralised algorithms, meta-information data structures and indexing techniques to enable large-scale data search across Personal Online Datastores (pods) hosted on distributed pod servers, addressing both keyword-based search and SPARQL querying. EPRESSO will build on and extend existing frameworks and systems such as SOLID, NSS, Dataswift/HAT, gtk-gnutella, Gaian DB.

You will be working with Dr Thanassis Tiropanis and Professors Adriane Chapman, Alexandra Poulovassilis and George Roussos, as well as our partner organisations (Dataswift and the NExT++ Centre, Singapore), the broader research community, and industry stakeholders.

You will be required to report to the project group at regular team meetings (which may be held virtually, in Southampton or in London). You will be responsible for preparation of refereed publications and presentations at conferences and project meetings. You will be required to travel within the UK and abroad several times a year, including spending 2-4 weeks each year in Singapore. Essential skills include hands-on experience of modern programming and data management tools, and software design, development and performance evaluation.

For all three posts, it is essential that you have a PhD in computer science, or equivalent professional qualifications and experience; ideally your PhD or equivalent professional qualifications and experience will be in distributed database systems, information retrieval, computer networking or semantic web.

For Post A you will have a background in peer-to-peer systems, distributed query processing and information retrieval. You will be responsible for the research on decentralised search and querying algorithms over pods. Experience in Linked Data and Semantic Web technologies is also highly desirable.

For Post B you will have a background in distributed information management and information retrieval. You will be responsible for the research on meta-information data structures and indexes to enable discovery of data stored in distributed pods under owner-specified access and caching rights. Familiarity with semantic technologies, metadata schemas, index design and data summarisation will be expected.

For Post C you will have a background in information retrieval, algorithm design, evaluation and optimisation. You will be responsible for the work on performance evaluation and optimisation of the ESPRESSO algorithms, data structures and indexing techniques, in both generic and health-related application scenarios.

Familiarity with the technologies of the SOLID framework will be required for Post A and highly desirable for Posts B and C. Familiarity with regulatory frameworks for data access and processing will be required for all three Posts.

You may apply to more than one of these three posts – in which case please state your order of preference within the shortlisting questions.

For further information please contact Thanassis Tiropanis (email ) or Alexandra Poulovassilis (email )


Birkbeck: Grade 7 of the College's London pay scale which is £39,173 to £40,228 per annum. The salary quoted is on the College's London Pay Scale which includes a consolidated Weighting/Allowance which applies only to staff whose normal contractual place of work is in the London area.

Southampton: Grade 4 of the College's pay scale which is £31,406 to £38,587 per annum (which excludes the consolidated London allowance.)

Interviews for all posts are likely to be held (through video link) on 10/06/2022.

Applications from candidates who require sponsorship to work in the UK will be considered alongside other applications. Applicants who do not currently have the right to work in the UK will have to satisfy UK Visa & Immigration regulations before they can be appointed. Further information about Sponsorship and eligibility to work in the UK, can be found at:

Applications will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon completion of PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Research Assistant (Postdoctoral) will be given.

Application Procedure

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Hannah Farrance (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 2507, or email . Please quote reference 1809322FP on all correspondence.

The University of Southampton aims to be an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

Birkbeck, University of London, welcomes applicants from all sections of the community; the College is committed to improving the gender and cultural diversity of its workforce, holding an Athena SWAN award, operating Disability Confident & Mindful Employer schemes.