Position type:

Full time


£31,406 to £34,304

07 Oct 2021
10 Nov 2021

Full details:

Reference number: SOU-1537221FP

You will work on an exciting new project on citizen-centric AI systems. This project is funded via a prestigious £1.4M UKRI Turing AI Acceleration Fellowship that supports world-leading AI research.

The vision of this project is to develop AI systems with people at their heart. These citizen-centric AI systems learn the preferences of individual users to provide personalised services and advice in important application areas such as smart transportation, energy and disaster response. To ensure trustworthiness, these systems safeguard privacy by learning and making decisions locally, for example on a user's smart device. They also offer clear explanations for their decisions and citizens are involved in their design and operation through a continuous feedback loop.

Your role in the project will be to design new algorithms and interaction mechanisms that will allow non-expert citizen users to understand and engage with such AI systems. This will involve adapting techniques from the field of explainable AI, as well as considering issues such as ethics, fairness and how to incorporate continuous feedback from citizens and other stakeholders. You will evaluate your approaches in trials with end-users and you will lead the design of a global citizen science experiment.

The project has the strong support of a unique consortium of industrial stakeholders, including companies such as IBM Research, Siemens Mobility, EA Technology, Dstl, UTU Technologies and Thales. These will interact with you regularly to ensure your work will help address real societal challenges. Such interactions will include regular meetings, workshops, as well as work on joint papers and potentially secondments.


About You

To be successful you will have (or be within 6 months of completing) a PhD* (or professional qualifications and experience) in a relevant discipline, including computer science or artificial intelligence or human-computer interaction. We particularly encourage applicants with a multidisciplinary background, including social scientists that have worked in the area of AI. You will have demonstrated your ability to publish and present your work at top international venues, and you are passionate about working with stakeholders and end-users to generate real impact from your research.

Ideally, your PhD is in an area closely aligned with citizen-centric AI systems, for example in human-AI interaction, or in explainable, fair and ethical AI. It is also desirable for you to have some experience evaluating AI systems with users. You are ideally available to work from late 2021 or early 2022, but the starting date is negotiable.

This role will be offered on a full time, fixed term basis for 36 months.

Interviews are tentatively scheduled to commence between 15-19 November 2021.


About Us

You will join the Agents, Interaction and Complexity research group within the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at Southampton. We are one of the world's leading groups in multi-agent systems research, and you will benefit from our significant research networks. For example, we lead the UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub, we are a member of the Alan Turing Institute, and we run the MINDS CDT. These centres will provide you with a valuable opportunity to work with stakeholders from a wide range of disciplines, as well as a large selection of training and development opportunities.

We highly value diversity in our teams, and we particularly encourage women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), LGBT+ and disabled applicants to apply for this position. ECS is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award. We give full consideration to applicants who wish to work flexibly and those who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy (subject to qualifying criteria) and onsite childcare facilities.

For informal enquiries about this position, please contact Dr Sebastian Stein (

*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.

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

Remember to mention Global Academy Jobs when you apply