Postdoctoral Research Associate

Updated: 4 months ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND

Postdoctoral Research Associate (
Job Number:
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Grade 7: - £36,333 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 3 Years
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date
: 07-Jun-2023, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable. 

The University

At Durham University we are proud of our people.  A globally outstanding centre of educational excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other. We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things professionally and personally.  

Across the University we have a huge variety of roles and career opportunities, which together make us a large and successful community, which is a key hub of activity within our region and nationally.  We would be thrilled if you would consider joining our thriving University. Further information about the University can be found here.

The Role and Department

The Department of Mathematical Sciences is one of the UK’s best Mathematics departments with an outstanding reputation in teaching, research and employability of our students. It has an active programme of internationally recognized research in Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Statistics and Probability. The research culture is vibrant, with many visitors, seminars, international conferences and workshops. We aim to provide a supportive and friendly environment with a strong sense of community. The Department, with currently over 110 permanent members of staff, has grown significantly over the past 5 years, in particular in Analysis, Probability and Applied Mathematics.

The Department holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award. Athena SWAN is a national initiative that recognises the advancement of gender equality, representation, progression and success for all in academia. The Department also supports the London Mathematical Society Good Practice Scheme, whose aim is to support mathematics departments to embed equal opportunities for women within their working practices.

Durham University is committed to the Concordat to support the career development of researchers.  For further information please visit the Research Staff web pages on

The Role

We invite applications for a three-year postdoctoral position within the Analysis Group, commencing in October 2023 or shortly thereafter. If you prefer a later starting date, please provide a detailed explanation in your cover letter.

This position is funded by the recently awarded EPSRC New Investigator Award “Mean Field Games and Master Equations” granted to Dr Alpár R. Mészáros. As such, the selected candidate will work under his guidance.

We encourage applications from individuals with a strong track record in topics related to Mean Field Games, including but not limited to the PDE or probabilistic aspects of Mean Field Games. Expertise in at least one of the following theories is preferred: optimal transportation, stochastic analysis, optimal/stochastic control theory, PDEs in infinite dimensional spaces, Hamiltonian dynamics or calculus of variations.

The successful candidate will join our esteemed Analysis group and will have the opportunity to interact with other groups such as Probability or Applied Mathematics within the department. They will have access to personal research funds from the same project for participation in conferences and other research related activities.

This position comes with no teaching load. As our department in Durham is always in need of tutors and markers, the selected candidate may apply for a small number of teaching related tasks, if approved by the PI. Such teaching related activities are paid extra and are optional.


  • To conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the Principal Investigator.
  • To present work at seminars, both internally and externally, and at international conferences.
  • To publish high quality outputs.
  • To prepare and deliver presentations on research outputs/activities to audiences which may include research sponsors, academic and non-academic audiences.
  • To assist with the development of research objectives and proposals.
  • To work with the Principal Investigator and other colleagues in the research group, as appropriate, to identify areas for research, develop new research methods and extend the research portfolio.
  • To liaise with research colleagues and make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding to form relationships for future research collaboration.
  • To plan and manage own research activity, research resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
  • To contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.

This post is fixed term for three years, the funding is available for this fixed period only. 

The post-holder is employed to work on a research project which will be led by the PI. Whilst this means that the post-holder will not be carrying out independent research, the expectation is that they will contribute to the advancement of the project, through the development of their own research ideas/adaptation and development of research protocols.

This post is fixed term from 1st October 23 for a 3 year period.

Working at Durham 

A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits:

  • 30 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 42 days per year.  
  • The University closes between Christmas and New Year – please include or delete if not applicable.
  • We offer a generous pension scheme, As a new member of staff you will be automatically enrolled  into the University Superannuation Scheme (USS).
  • No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered.  We have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies.
  • There is a genuine commitment to developing our colleagues professionally and personally.  There is a comprehensive range of development courses, apprenticeships and access to qualifications and routes to develop your career in the University.  All staff have dedicated annual time to concentrate on their personal development opportunities.
  • Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state of the art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme.
  • On site nursery is available and children’s clubs in the summer holidays.
  • Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers).
  • The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities to make a difference in the local community.
  • Discounts are available via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions.
  • A salary sacrifice scheme is also available to help you take advantage of tax savings on benefits.
  • If you are moving to Durham, we can help with removal costs and we have a dedicated team who can help you with the practicalities such as house hunting and schools.  If you need a visa, we cover most visa costs and offer an interest free loan scheme to pay for dependant visas.

Durham University is committed to equality diversity, inclusion and values

Our collective aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and we believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  As a University equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do.  We also live by our values and our Staff Code of Conduct.  At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.

We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.  If you have taken time out of your career, and you feel it relevant, let us know about it in your application.  If you are a candidate with a disability, we are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role.

Contact Information 

Department contact for academic-related enquiries 

For informal enquiries please contact directly Dr Alpár R. Mészáros via email at  All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence. All applicants are encouraged to get in touch.

Contact information for technical difficulties when submitting your application 

If you encounter technical difficulties when using the online application form, we prefer you send enquiries by email.  Please send your name along with a brief description of the problem you’re experiencing to  

Alternatively, you may call 0191 334 6801 from the UK, or +44 191 334 6801 from outside the UK. This number operates during the hours of 09.00 and 17.00 Monday to Friday, UK time.  We will normally respond within one working day (Monday to Friday, excluding UK public holidays).  

University contact for general queries about the recruitment process 

If you have any general queries about the recruitment process please do not hesitate to contact the recruitment team on 

How to Apply  

To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification below. It will be at the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether they will also consider any desirable criteria, but we would urge candidates to provide evidence for all criteria.  

While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview.  

Submitting your application 

We prefer to receive applications online.  We will update you about your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to make sure you have not missed any of our updates.

What to Submit 

All applicants are asked to submit:

  • A CV and covering letter which detail your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above.
  • Names and contact details of 3 academic referees.

Next Steps 

Short-listed candidates will be invited to attend an interview virtually via zoom, and we anticipate that these will take place in mid June.

In the event that you are unable to attend on the date offered, it may not be possible to offer you an interview on an alternative date. 

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.   

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria:


1.     A PhD (or be close to submission) in Mathematics obtained no more than 5 years before the starting date.


2.     Experience in conducting high quality academic research.

3.     Demonstrable ability to write material of a quality commensurate with publication in highly ranked journals.

4.     Demonstrable ability to present research papers at international conferences and communicate complex information to specialists and within the wider academic community.

5.     Experience in research areas relevant to the project described above.


6.     Demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team, including participating in research meetings.

7.     Ability to work independently on own initiative and to strict deadlines.

8.     Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. 

Desirable Criteria


9.     Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with stage of career.

10.  A track record of presenting research at conferences, symposia, or meetings, commensurate with stage of career.

11.  Demonstrable ability to develop research proposals and designs in collaboration with other academics.

12.  Experience in at least one of the following fields: optimal transportation, stochastic analysis, optimal/stochastic control theory, PDEs in infinite dimensional spaces, Hamiltonian dynamics or calculus of variations.


13.  Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research.

14.  Demonstrable experience of high-performance computing, particularly the MPI framework.

View or Apply

Similar Positions