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Research Associate

Computer Science
Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
32,817 - 34,804 a year
Posted Date
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Job Reference

Role Description

Responsible Data Science by Design

Today’s technology fails to uphold expectations on how public and private data should be managed and used. This is exemplified by the innumerable breaches of private consumer data. The immediate response has been to increase oversight and penalties regarding the collection and use of data (e.g. GDPR), but perhaps the fundamental issue lies in the way data is governed and shared for analysis; shouldn’t we be able to fully control the availability of our data with other partners? Achieving this in practice requires fundamental reconsideration of design principles for data intensive systems, as well as new data persistence and processing technologies to address privacy, governance, and accountability of what, how, when and why data is analysed.

The Universities of York (UK) and Maastricht (Netherlands) have embarked on a joint research and education programme in this area, focused on responsible data science by design. As part of this programme, in this position at the University of York, you will investigate the challenges and opportunities of moving, storing, and accessing personal (or otherwise sensitive) information, from centralised databases, which are vulnerable to large-scale data leaks, theft, and irresponsible data mining, to data vaults stored in end-user devices that comply to the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data principles. You will also participate in the development of the educational side of the programme by contributing to the design of relevant postgraduate courses, and to the development of proposals for additional projects in this area. The duration of this appointment is 12 months, with a possible extension of one more year conditional to the progress of the project.


  • To conduct research under the supervision of senior colleagues and to contribute to the production of research
  • To assist in the identification and development of potential areas of research and the development of proposals for independent or collaborative research projects

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

  • First degree in Computer Science or related discipline
  • PhD in Computer Science (or related discipline) or equivalent experience
  • Good knowledge of a major object-oriented language
  • Good knowledge of relational databases
  • Knowledge of version-control systems (e.g. Git/SVN)
  • Understanding of the key principles of data encryption
  • Knowledge of non-relational databases (desirable)
  • Highly developed communication skills to engage effectively with a wide ranging audience, both orally and in writing, using a range of media
  • Ability to write up research work for publication in high profile journals and engage in public dissemination
  • Ability to develop research objectives, projects and proposals for own and joint research
  • Competency to conduct individual and collaborative research projects
  • Ability to identify sources of funding and contribute to the process of securing funds, with collaborators if required
  • Competency to make presentations at conferences or exhibit work in other appropriate events
  • Experience of carrying out both independent and collaborative research
  • Experience of writing up research work for publication
  • Ability to work as part of a team and also to work independently using own initiative

This post is available on a fixed term basis for 12 months

Interview date: TBC - January 2020

For informal enquiries: please contact Professor Dimitris Kolovos on or +44 (0) 1904 325167

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