Research Fellow - Computer Science / Data Science

United Kingdom
Jan 31, 2018
Mar 02, 2018
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
We are looking for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher to work on TheyBuyForYou, an EU Horizon 2020 project with 10 partners across Europe.  The project runs for 3 years from 1 January 2018.  

TheyBuyForYou will fundamentally change the procurement landscape throughout Europe by delivering technology and data that make it easier for companies, public buyers, data journalists, ransparency activists and regular citizens to truly understand, explore, and act upon opportunities for economic growth, efficiency gains, competitiveness, and accountability in government and the private sector.

Your main role will involve research and development in human factors of data science, with a particular focus on datasets and application scenarios related to the domain of procurement. You will be working in a team of researchers at Southampton and engage with our partners from industry and academia to deliver the projects. You will be publishing your work in top-rated conferences and journals, organise workshops and hackatons, and help promote the project to multiple audiences in the UK and internationally.

Our main contribution in TheyBuyForYou is in the area of data interaction and storytelling. We will develop interactive tools for procurement and purchasing managers, suppliers and bidders, as well as data journalists and help them understand the data space relevant for their decisions. Three features will be at the core of the design of these tools: encouraging exploration, as a means to master the high-dimensionality of the data; emphasizing provenance trails for data and making analytics insights more accountable; and contextualizing visualizations and analytics insights via data narratives. 

You should have a PhD* in Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, Data Science or Web Science, or equivalent work experience. Expertise in one or more of the following areas is essential to the post: data design and interaction, data visualisation, human factors in data science. In addition, the ideal candidate would bring in a general understanding of at least one of the following topics: applied machine learning and data mining, accountable algorithms, user experience design. The position requires excellent knowledge of the state of the art in data science and coding skills. The candidate will be expected to implement research concepts into prototypical tools and evaluate them with our project partners.

The candidate must have outstanding time management, organisation, and collaboration skills. The post includes joint work with industry partners and meetings with the project team (quarterly or similar) in locations across Europe. It also requires fluent English communication skills (oral and written) to engage with different organisations and roles, engage in outreach with the public, produce publications, and present the work in front of different audiences.

It is critical that the application shows clear evidence of both the technical and non-technical aspects relevant to the job.


About the research environment

The post is based in the Web and Internet Science (WAIS) research group (, which undertakes interdisciplinary research focusing on the science and technology of the Web and the Internet.  WAIS is one of six research groups within Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton.  Ranked in the top one per cent of universities globally and among the UK’s top 20 for research, the University of Southampton has an international reputation for its research, teaching and enterprise activities.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, ECS was first in the UK for the volume and quality of research in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.  The volume and quality of ECS Computer Science research is in the top 10 in the UK, with 100% of Computer Science research impact rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Electronics and Computer Science holds an Athena Swan Bronze Award, demonstrating their commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.  Due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. University of Southampton holds an Athena Swan Silver Award.

The University has a generous maternity policy and onsite childcare facilities; employees are able to participate in the childcare vouchers scheme.  Other benefits include state-of-the-art on-campus sports, arts and culture facilities, a full programme of events and a range of staff discounts.

*Applications for Research Fellow positions 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 successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

The post is initially available for two years.

For further information please contact Professor Elena Simperl tel. +44 23 8059 7692, email:


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 Rosie McPhail (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 4043. Please quote reference 967318FP on all correspondence.

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.

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