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Director, Institute for Safe Autonomy (ISA)

Faculty of the Sciences
Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
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Competitive Package
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Role Description


The University of York is a high-performing Russell Group institution with an environment in which enquiring minds, inspiring lecturers and world-class researchers thrive. As one of the world’s top institutions for inspirational and life-changing research, we are passionate about making a difference. Through the interdisciplinary themes of our research strategy, we align our academic strengths to best meet global scientific, social, cultural and environmental challenges.

The new Institute for Safe Autonomy draws together a number of the University’s academic research strengths across robotics and connected autonomous systems (RCAS) including safety analysis and secure communications. Not only will the Institute advance RCAS capability to ensure that society can realise the full benefits of these systems, but partnerships with industry and the community will enable York to establish a world-class facility that strengthens the UK’s position as a leader in the safe introduction of advanced technology.

The flagship £15.5 million new purpose-built building for the Institute will act as a catalyst for collaboration across academia and with industry, housing specialist laboratories and engagement space to develop leading research, enterprise and skills initiatives.

The new Director will develop and lead an ecosystem that is a home for thought leaders in research, industry, policy and standards for safe and secure connected autonomy. They will support the growth of interdisciplinary collaborations between world-leading researchers in a wide range of applications, and champion the Institute to a range of external and internal partners, working with government, industry and the wider research environment. Under the Director’s leadership, the Institute for Safe Autonomy will become a globally recognised research facility with a distinctive commercially sustainable stand-alone research offer and will be a progressive, engaging organisation which inspires excellence.

We are looking for an exceptional, collaborative leader to drive the development and growth of the Institute. The successful candidate will bring significant experience working across industry and academia, an ambitious vision for the Institute and demonstrable ability to foster partnerships at the highest level. They will be able to champion the Institute and its research, communicating its impact to a wide audience effectively, and position the Institute to respond to global challenges.

This appointment is being managed by our external consultants, Perrett Laver. Completed applications should be submitted via quoting reference number 4871. The closing date for applications is 12:00 midnight GMT on 17 January 2021.

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.

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A place where we can ALL be ourselves #EqualityatYork



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Why York?

York is one of the most successful universities in the UK.

With world-class activity across the spectrum from the physical sciences, life sciences, and social sciences to the humanities, we have been recognised as one of the top 100 universities in the world, gaining outstanding results in official assessments of our research and teaching.