Lecturer/Senior Lecturer/Reader in Robotics University of Edinburgh, School of Informatics

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer/Reader in Robotics


Vacancy Ref: : 041725

Closing Date : 30-Nov-2017


Contact Person : Jenny Mallinson

Contact Number : 0131 650 2723


Contact Email : jenny.mallinson@ed.ac.uk


Applications are invited for a Lecturer or Senior Lecturer or Reader in Robotics to join the School of Informatics, at the University of Edinburgh. The post is based within the School’s Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour but potentially has links to other Institutes and Schools as detailed below.

 

We are seeking current and future leaders in the field. The successful candidate will have (or be close to completion of) a PhD, with the expectation that the PhD would be awarded prior to starting the post; an established research agenda and the enthusiasm and ability to undertake original research, to lead a research group; the ability to engage with undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and academic supervision; and the ability to be involved in enhancing eLearning and on-line teaching initiatives.

 

We currently have one position available however may wish to recruit additional positions in the case of exceptional applicants. Additionally, in the case of an exceptional applicant, an appointment may be available as a Senior Lecturer or Reader (Grade UE09). Job descriptions for each level are outlined below. The level of appointment would be determined by the selection panel following interview in Edinburgh in early 2018.

 

Appointment will be full-time and open-ended.

 

Informal enquiries should be directed to the Director of the Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour, Professor Barbara Webb: B.Webb@ed.ac.uk.

 

Lecturer: Grade UE08 (£39,992 - £47,722)
Senior Lecturer or Reader: Grade UE09 (£50,618 - £56,950)

 

Further Information

 

The School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh is one of the largest in Europe, with more than 100 academic staff and a total of over 500 post-doctoral researchers, research students and support staff. Informatics at Edinburgh rated highest on Research Power in the most recent Research Excellence Framework. The School has strong links with industry, with dedicated business incubator space and well-established enterprise and business development programmes.

 

The School of Informatics has recently established the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, in partnership with Heriot Watt University, and plays a leading role in the EPRSC Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems. This has produced very substantial infrastructure funding for robotic platforms and supporting facilities, including substantial lab space planned in the new Bayes Centre for Data Technology (complete in mid-2018). These facilities provide a locus for fruitful multi-disciplinary work, including a range of companies collocated in these new facilities.

 

The School is seeking to extend its teaching and research in robotics. Candidates with interest in human-robot interaction, medical applications of robotics, or vision for robotics are particularly encouraged to apply, but applications in other areas will be considered. Interest in communication between humans and robots, both verbal and non-verbal, using a range of modalities, would be supported by links to the Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation. Research on the use of robotics or vision in medical contexts is an area that the School hopes to expand, supported by excellent new facilities including ‘Living Lab’ set-ups to mimic realistic hospital and surgical situations, and connections to the Faculty of Medicine. Interest in robot vision would link to a range of current projects within the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics including work on humanoid and other mobile platforms and applications in field robotics. A post of Lecturer, Senior Lecturer or Reader has been created to help to take forward these opportunities and to undertake underpinning inter-disciplinary research, knowledge exchange and teaching.

 

The University of Edinburgh holds a Silver 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.

 

1) Job Details

 

Job title: Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, or Reader in Robotics.
School: School of Informatics
Line Manager: Head of School

 

Lecturer (Grade UE08)

 

2) Job Purpose

 

To undertake original interdisciplinary research in robotics, within the School of Informatics. To impart knowledge by teaching, by facilitating student learning (including undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels), and by publishing in peer-reviewed media/venues. To undertake a fair share of academic administration duties within the School.

 

3) Main Responsibilities

 

Plan and undertake original research in robotics, including securing external research funding and leading post-graduate and post-doctoral researchers within a research programme. 40%

 

Maintain a demonstrably high level of high quality research activity by disseminating research findings by producing first author and co-authored papers for publication, presentation at conferences etc. 20%

 

Teach undergraduate, masters and doctoral level courses. Make significant contribution to the School’s teaching (course/module offerings and methods). Be involved in enhancing eLearning and on-line teaching initiatives. 30%

 

Contribute to academic administration roles within the School. 10%

 

4) Planning and Organising

 

The postholder will need to undertake a significant amount of project management and implementation. This will include:


• The definition and planning of a programme of work to deliver the anticipated research outputs.
• Maintain a portfolio of research activity and publications/outputs of high quality and impact.
• Lead funding bids and research activity in the specialist area.
• Appropriate planning and organising of staff and resources.
• Plan, prepare and deliver effective teaching, supervision and assessment of undergraduate and postgraduate students
• Participate in development of the curriculum and of teaching methods within the School.

 

5) Problem Solving

 

Examples of problems that the post-holder has to solve include:


• To ensure the progress of projects, the postholder will analyse and solve research problems.
• Develop appropriate theories, methodologies and techniques, with an emphasis on quality and innovation.
• Resolution of resource management issues within the scope of the postholder’s research and teaching responsibilities.
• Participate in the development of research strategy at Institute and School level.

 

6) Decision Making

 

The postholder will prioritise own workload and set operational targets for the researchers he/she is responsible for. The postholder will provide assistance to other researchers, students and staff.

 

7) Key Contacts/Relationships

 

• Within the School: Head of School, Head of Institute and, potentially, many other academic colleagues.
• Within the University: Collaborators within other Schools in interdisciplinary projects, contribution within College and University working parties/committees etc. as required.
• Outwith the University: Academic colleagues within specialist area (as collaborator, reviewer, expert witness, etc.), research grant funders, international conference organising committees (in particular serving as a Chair/committee member).

 

8) Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job

 

• PhD (or be close to completion of, with the expectation that the PhD would be awarded prior to starting the post), and experience as an established academic in robotics.
• Ability to undertake original research, including leading a research group spanning multiple disciplinary areas of research.
• Ability to attract research funding as an independent researcher.
• A track record of first author and/or collaborative publications in high quality journals and international conferences.
• Strong relevant research and teaching skills.
• Effective written and oral communication skills in a range of contexts (e.g. teaching, research presentations and publications).
• The ability to engage with a range of teaching mediums including online and distance learning.

 

9) Dimensions

 

• Manage and co-manage external research funding over the relevant period of grants and assume responsibility for delivery of relevant research outputs.
• Teach and supervise on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
• Produce peer-reviewed articles/publications in appropriate media in line with School/Institute research strategy and to enhance personal and School reputation as a leading informatics research organisation.

 

Senior Lecturer or Reader (Grade UE09)

 

2) Job Purpose

 

To undertake original interdisciplinary research in robotics, within the School of Informatics. To impart knowledge by teaching, by facilitating student learning (including undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels), and by publishing in peer-reviewed media/venues. To undertake a fair share of academic leadership and management duties within the School. The appointee will be expected to lead and secure funding bids and to lead a research team (including PhD students and postdoctoral research staff).

 

3) Main Responsibilities

 

Plan and undertake original research in robotics, including securing external research funding and leading research programmes/projects/teams. Further expectations for Reader level are provided below. 30%

 

Maintain a demonstrably high level of high quality research activity by disseminating research findings by producing first author and co-authored papers for publication, presentation at conferences etc. 20%

 

Lead by example in the supervision and guidance of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers, by embedding excellent practice and acting as a role model to early career staff. 10%

 

Teach undergraduate, masters and doctoral level courses. Provision of appropriate leadership for learning and teaching will be required in Senior Lecturer roles (see below). Take the lead in enhancing eLearning and on-line teaching initiatives. 30%

 

Leadership through academic administration or managerial duties within the School. 10%

 

Grade 9 Senior Lecturer expectations:


• Lead the development, application and maintenance of teaching standards, curriculum and policy.
• Lead development activity in relation to a specified area that enhances teaching quality, e.g. admissions, student welfare, peer assessment of teaching, new approaches to learning etc.

 

Grade 9 Reader expectations:


• Build national and international research collaborations as appropriate; extensive and effective contribution to the wider academic community.
• Develop and lead knowledge transfer activities including leading major funding bids, securing external grants, and/or undertaking commercialisation activities.
• Management & development of research team members.

 

4) Planning and Organising

 

The postholder will need to undertake a significant amount of project management and implementation. This will include:


• The definition and planning of a programme of work to deliver the anticipated research outputs.
• Maintain a portfolio of research activity and publications/outputs of high quality and impact.
• Lead funding bids and research activity in the specialist area.
• Appropriate planning and organising of staff and resources.
• Plan, prepare and deliver effective teaching, supervision and assessment of undergraduate and postgraduate students
• Participate in development of the curriculum and of teaching methods within the School.

 

5) Problem Solving

 

Examples of problems that the post-holder has to solve include:
• To ensure the progress of projects, the postholder will analyse and solve research problems.
• Develop appropriate theories, methodologies and techniques, with an emphasis on quality and innovation.
• Resolution of resource management issues within the scope of the postholder’s research and teaching responsibilities.
• Participate in the development of research strategy at Institute and School level.

 

6) Decision Making

 

The postholder will prioritise own workload and set operational targets for the researchers he/she is responsible for. The postholder will provide assistance to other researchers’ students and staff.

 

7) Key Contacts/Relationships

 

• Within the School: Head of School, Head of Institute and, potentially, many other academic colleagues.
• Within the University: Collaborators within other Schools in interdisciplinary projects, contribution within College and University working parties/committees etc. as required.
• Outwith the University: Academic colleagues within specialist area (as collaborator, reviewer, expert witness, etc.), research grant funders, international conference organising committees (in particular serving as a Chair/committee member).

 

8) Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job

 

• PhD and experience as an established academic in robotics.
• Ability to undertake original research, including leading a research group spanning multiple disciplinary areas of research.
• Ability to attract research funding as an independent researcher.
• A track record of first author and/or collaborative publications in high quality journals and international conferences.
• Strong relevant research and teaching skills.
• Effective written and oral communication skills in a range of contexts (e.g. teaching, research presentations and publications).
• The ability to engage with a range of teaching mediums including online and distance learning.
• Proven ability to provide leadership for activities in delivering the School’s objectives.

 

For appointment as Senior Lecturer:


• Extensive experience in research, postgraduate supervision and teaching is essential.
• Proven ability to foster and embed a strong student-focused culture.

 

Additionally for appointment as Reader:


• A significant track record of success in securing research grants and awards.
• Evidence of significant achievement in the relevant field through (e.g.) successful knowledge transfer from research; the receipt of prestigious prizes and awards; membership of national and international bodies relevant to the research field.
• Experience of managing, motivating and supporting research staff, students and projects.

 

9) Dimensions

 

• Manage and co-manage external research funding over the relevant period of grants and assume responsibility for delivery of relevant research outputs.
• Teach and supervise on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
• Produce peer-reviewed articles/publications in appropriate media in line with School/Institute research strategy and to enhance personal and School reputation as a leading informatics research organisation.

 

10) Job Context and any other relevant information

 

The University of Edinburgh has partnered with the Heriot Watt University to form the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics; and is one of the five joint venture partner universities in the UK's The Alan Turing Institute. The School of Informatics also hosts three EPSRC centres for doctoral training (CDTs), including the CDT in Robotics and Autonomous Systems. Together, these give rise to additional opportunities to interact with PhD students, research fellows and senior researchers within the Centre and CDTs. In addition, there are many opportunities to interact with other parts of the University and beyond in order to further the candidate's research agenda.

 

It is anticipated that the postholder will work in the School’s Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour. The Institute aims to study principles behind linking computational action, perception, representation and generation processes to real or virtual worlds. Research areas include robotics, computer vision, graphics and animation, statistical machine learning and human motor control.

 

Informal Enquiries

 

Informal enquiries should be directed to the Director of the Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour, Professor Barbara Webb: B.Webb@ed.ac.uk.

 

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.

 

We anticipate interviews will be held in early 2018 in Edinburgh. You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.

 

The closing date is 5pm GMT on Thursday 30 November 2017.

 

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, the University has the authority to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to successful candidates who meet the eligibility criteria. The CoS enables candidates to apply for a Tier 2 (general visa) in accordance with current UK Visas and Immigration rules.

 

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 Home Office Visa Immigration 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.

 

If you are an academic in the field of sciences; humanities; engineering; medicine; digital technology; or the arts and come from outside the EEA, it may be possible for you to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa.

 

The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa route offers a greater flexibility in your employment compared to other UK immigration routes, meaning you can, for example, move organisation, location and/or job role. By contrast with, a Tier 2 visa where you are ‘tied to a UK sponsor’. Tier 1 provides greater flexibility in undertaking additional engagements, such as collaborations and is intended as a route to settlement. Allowed absences from the UK are up to 180 days per year without losing the eligibility to qualify for settlement, with no restriction on the reason for absence (unlike Tier 2, where any absences from the UK must be for a purpose consistent with the person’s employment or economic activity, including paid annual leave, or for serious or compelling personal reasons).

 

You would initially need to apply to be endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or emerging leader in your particular field by a designated competent body (Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, Tech City UK).

 

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

 

Once successfully endorsed, you are able to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. More information on this entry route is available at UKVI Website.

 

Conditions of Employment

 

Pension Scheme

 

This role is grade UE08 or UE09 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.

 

Salary

 

The role is grade UE08 or UE09 and attracts an annual salary of £39,992 to £47,722 (UE08) or £50,615 to £56,950 (UE09) 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.

 

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 focused on understanding computation in 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

 

The various institutes in The School of Informatics are housed together under one roof in the modern purpose – built Forum Building on Crichton Street in central Edinburgh.

 

Informatics is one of seven schools in the College of Science and Engineering, at the University of Edinburgh. It is recognised for the employability of its graduates (demand exceeds supply), its contributions to entrepreneurship, and the excellence of its research. Since the first Research Assessment Exercise in 1986, Informatics at Edinburgh has consistently been assessed to have more internationally excellent and world-class research than any other submission in Computer Science and Informatics. The latest REF 2014 results have again confirmed that ours is the largest concentration of internationally excellent research in the UK.

 

Working within the School

 

We aim to ensure that our culture and systems support flexible and family-friendly working and recognise and value diversity across all our staff and students. The School has an active programme offering support and professional development for all staff; providing mentoring, training, and networking opportunities.

 

The School of Informatics holds a Silver Athena SWAN award, in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education and research.


http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/informatics



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 Dave Robertson, 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 3,000 academic and support staff, and educates some 6,000 undergraduates, over 1000 taught postgraduates and more than 2,000 research students. It is in the front rank of UK university science and engineering groupings for research quality and income, and is a key player in many European and international research collaborations.

 

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

 

In the 2014 REF over 95% of our staff were submitted. Of our seven submissions, four of which were as a joint research school in combination with a strategic research university partner through pooling, 3 were ranked top in the UK and all 7 were in the top 5 in their discipline in the Times Higher Power rankings.


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 Excellence Framework 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. The University is proud of its success with online teaching initiatives, with 2550 students currently studying its online distance learning postgraduate programmes, and a total to date of more than 2 million enrolments for Edinburgh MOOCs.

 

As a member of staff, you will be part of one of the world's leading universities, with 20 Schools spread over 3 Colleges that offer more than 1600 undergraduate and 600 postgraduate programmes to over 35,000 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 13,000 people spread across a wide range of academic and supporting roles.

 

As a world-changing, world-leading university, we offer 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. In addition, our employees benefit from a competitive reward package and a wide range of staff benefits, which include generous holiday entitlement, a defined benefits pension scheme, staff discounts and much more. Access our staff benefits page for further information and use our reward calculator to find out the total value of pay and benefits provided.

 

The University of Edinburgh holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. We are members of the Race Equality Charter and 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 for further information.


University Initiatives website


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


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