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Research Associate in AI Futures

Computer Science
Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
32,236 a year
Posted Date
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Job Reference

Role Description

You are an enthusiastic and motivated researcher with experience in working across science, social science and humanities, using qualitative techniques; particularly, (1) interviews and (2) reviews/syntheses of research, grey and other literature bibliometric analysis. You have a passion for understanding the impact of AI and other technologies on the future of humanity and you recognise that positive stories have immense power in motivating human progress. During this project, you will identify, recruit and interview a wide range of experts and synthesise these interviews with published literature to understand the visions of experts for positive AI futures, and the research, outreach and policy steps that are most likely to lead to positive outcomes.

The project is for 2 years with the possibility to apply for a full RA position when this is advertised. You will be based in Digital Creativity Labs (DC Labs) at the University of York, a world centre of excellence for impact-driven research in digital creativity, with more than 30 interdisciplinary researchers and 100 external industry and third sector partners bringing together games and media; decisions and stories; sciences, arts and humanities.

You are a self-starter who will take a leading role, working alongside the project lead, Professor Peter Cowling (a leading AI researcher and Director of DC Labs). Though the majority of your time will be focussed on this project, you will also assist other researchers in DC Labs across multiple projects. In this role, you will conduct individual and collaborative research projects; write up research results for dissemination through publications, seminar and conference presentations and public engagement and outreach activities; and contribute to the identification of possible new areas of research. You will also have the opportunity (if desired) to contribute to research grant writing and to gain teaching experience.

You have a PhD (or equivalent experience) in a subject related to using interviews, literature surveys and other approaches so as to investigate and write insightful reports on the direction and impact (and ideally, the future) of research and technology. You have a record of high-quality research publications (at a level commensurate with your experience), and a desire to develop your career through participating in interdisciplinary research.

You have excellent communication skills for both academic and non-academic audiences, as well as understanding of the importance of communication in motivating teams. Ideally you will have experience working with industry and other stakeholders to deliver impact from research. DC Labs has over 100 external partners, and you will work with some of these partners to ensure relevance of the research. You will be willing to travel and undertake short placements in these partner organisations, as well as present results at conferences and other meetings.

Informal enquiries about this post may be directed to

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status or disability status.

For further information and to apply on-line, please click on the ‘Apply’ button above.

The University is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community  – a place where we can all be ourselves and succeed on merit. We offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements, staff engagement forums, campus facilities and services to support staff from different backgrounds.

      Athena Swan Bronze               

A place where we can ALL be ourselves #EqualityatYork



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