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Research Fellow

Web & Internet Science

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £32,348 to £39,745 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term until 31/01/2026
Closing Date:  Tuesday 20 December 2022
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  2069022FP

We are looking to hire three Postdoctoral Researchers to work on the Horizon EUROPE projects RAISE and UPCAST led by Dr George Konstantinidis (note that there is another vacancy for a PhD student on the same projects/topics). The posts will be based at the University of Southampton, UK. You will be working with Dr George Konstantinidis and Dr Luis-Daniel Ibáñez, a team of postdocs and students and more than 20 Research, Small to Medium Enterprises (SME), Government and Industry organisations from across Europe.

Horizon EUROPE projects RAISE and UPCAST aim at designing and deploying algorithms for data marketplaces and data sharing platforms, to collaboratively negotiate and enforce data sharing contracts automatically providing dynamic fair pricing mechanisms while implementing energy-efficient data integration & exchange, and ensuring privacy, confidentiality and legislation compliance. 

As part of the role you will design, implement, deploy, maintain and evaluate algorithms and software for (post A) data integration, exchange and sharing and data validation, (post B) data privacy, automating data agreements, and privacy-based data sharing, (post C) dataset search. You will write and submit academic papers, technical reports, and project deliverables, and travel to academic conferences or project meetings to present your work and represent the team.  

You need to have a PhD* in Computer Science or equivalent professional qualifications and experience, preferably with specialisation in one or more of the following fields: Databases, Semantic Web, Distributed Systems, Information Retrieval, Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning or Graphs. If you specialise in another area you will also be considered (including Algorithms and/or Theoretical Computer Science).

For post A: You will do research on data integration and exchange, on topics ranging from query answering in the face of constraints/ontologies to reasoning algorithms for knowledge graphs, depending on your interests and expertise. You will investigate, develop, and maintain (i) mapping languages to associate different resources and algorithms in a data marketplace to each other or to a global vocabulary,  (ii) a data-warehousing/data-exchange approach, that moves data within the data ecosystem while respecting all negotiated privacy and pricing conditions (iii) a virtual integration approach where queries are posed over a central vocabulary and the system needs to resolve them over the source schemas/endpoints/APIs, (iv) data validation techniques. All these tasks will build upon and extend existing implementations.

For post B: you will do research on data privacy for data sharing mechanisms (incl. potentially via the use of Blockchains) with a particular focus on expressing privacy preferences in a machine-processable way using knowledge graphs, and the algorithmic mechanisms to enforce them. You will lead the work on a middleware (extending existing algorithms and implementations) which streamlines and automates the negotiation, and convergence of large parts of data sharing agreements, currently written in human language. For example, the system will manage the negotiation of privacy preferences against different pricing schemes (in contrast to more traditional accept/reject approaches), model data processing purposes and support also privacy updates (e.g., withdrawal of consent).  

For post C: You will do research on dataset search and on the: (i) design of vocabularies/languages to express dataset properties and reason over data processing workflows, (ii) exploration of decentralised data catalogues and data processing resources repositories(iii) answering queries expressed as data processing workflows(iv) recommendation of datasets and resources for (i) and (ii) above. 

*Prior to the PhD being awarded applicants can get hired and the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon completion of PhD.  

Why us? University of Southampton is a top university (1% of world universities and in the top 10 of the UK) and the School of Electronics and Computer Science is one of the top CS departments in the UK. Southampton is a vibrant city by the water, and a hub for technology companies, and shipping industry.  We are very close to London and London airports. 

The team that you will be working with has a constant presence, publishing and getting engaged, in the top-tier conferences and journals of data management and/or semantic web every year. Previous postdocs of our team have found academic positions immediately after working with us. We have a positive environment and always like to work on things that are fun. We have a large network of collaborations and a formal relationship with the Alan Turing Institute in London where you can also spend part of your time.

We strongly encourage interested candidates to contact Dr George Konstantinidis (g.konstantinidis@soton.ac.uk) and Dr Luis-Daniel Ibáñez (l.d.ibanez@soton.ac.uk) to further discuss these roles.

Equality, diversity and Inclusion is central to the ethos in the School of Electronics and Computer Science. We particularly encourage women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic, LGBT and disabled applicants to apply for these positions. We are committed to improving equality for women in science and have been successful in achieving an Athena SWAN bronze award in April 2020.  We give full consideration to applicants that wish to work flexibly including part-time and due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy, and onsite childcare facilities. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and being a globally responsible university and has recently been awarded the Platinum EcoAward. Our vision is to embed the principles of sustainability into all aspects of our individual and collective work, integrating sustainable development into our business planning, policy-making, and professional activities.  This commits all of our staff and students to take responsibility for managing their activities to minimise harm to the environment, whether this is through switching off non-essential electrical equipment or using the recycling facilities.

Application Procedure 

You should submit your completed online application form at https://jobs.soton.ac.uk. The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please email Lauren (Recruitment) on recruitment@soton.ac.uk. Please quote reference 2069022FP on all correspondence.

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We believe equality, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to making the University of Southampton a welcoming, vibrant and successful organisation. Having a diverse workforce, inclusive of people of all ages and beliefs, from different racial, educational and social backgrounds opens up a wealth of possibilities, makes us more creative and accelerates our impact on society. We welcome applicants that value the diversity of our community and are willing to play their part in supporting the mission of inclusivity. 

Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.


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