Research Assistant - 24 months

Updated: 22 days ago
Location: Birmingham, ENGLAND
Deadline: 27 Sep 2021

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School of Computing and Digital Technology
Location:  Birmingham, City Centre Campus
Salary:  £30,831 to £33,512
Posted On:  Tuesday 31 August 2021
Closing Date:  Monday 27 September 2021
Reference:  082021-385

The Digital Media Technology Lab at Birmingham City University have an opportunity for a research assistant to join the team, and work with our research staff and PhD students on an EPSRC funded project, studying musical timing. The role is perfect for an early career researcher, with experience in the analysis of musical signals.

The successful candidate will be working on the Augmented Reality Music Ensemble (ARME) project, in which the team will build multisensory training tools for musicians. The project aims to analyse the characteristics of group synchronisation in the context of music, and to design systems which allow musicians to learn, practice and perform using augmented reality systems.  The candidate will be responsible for applying Music Information Retrieval techniques to string ensemble recordings, and then using the results to develop real-time audio systems, which musicians can use during performance.

We invite applicants with a strong background in music information retrieval and machine learning. The candidate will be expected to apply theoretical approaches to information retrieval using a high-level programming language such as Python or Matlab. 

The core responsibilities of the candidate will be to: 

  • Conduct data collection activities in the form of string ensemble recordings, including the organisation of studio sessions.
  • Analyse acoustic data using a number of signal processing and machine learning methods.
  • Build systems for high-resolution onset detection and real-time beat tracking. 
  • Propose new solutions for the acoustic analysis of string instruments. 
  • Develop prototype software tools for real time analysis and synthesis of musical signals. 
  • Publish your findings in high quality journals and conferences. 

The key requirements for the role are:

  • Experience working with music information retrieval systems. 
  • Knowledge of musical feature extraction, signal processing, and machine learning. 
  • The ability to meet deadlines and prioritise workload. 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • The ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary team.

The following are also desirable, but not necessarily essential: 

  • Software development experience, specifically working with C++ and the JUCE framework.
  • Completion or near-completion of an MSc or PhD in a relevant area.
  • Audio engineering or recording skills.

Birmingham City University has the drive and ambition to be a leading seat of teaching and research excellence. We are passionate about providing our learners with a transformational journey, enabled by an exceptional and supportive academic community.

With around 26,900 students from 100 countries, Birmingham City University is a large and diverse learning community. We put students at the heart of everything we do, giving them the best opportunities for future success. The University has an enviable reputation for providing quality, student-focused education in a professional and friendly environment. Our superb courses, state-of-the-art facilities, first-rate academics, and focus on practical skills and professional relevance all support our graduates’ future employability.

We're investing £340 million in our estate, including a major expansion of our City Centre Campus at Eastside, providing students with an enviable range of facilities

Our staff and student community is defined by our core values, which outline who we are as a University and how we will work with each other. Our core values are Excellence, People focused, Partnership working and Fairness and integrity.


Further details:

The University is committed to internationalism and diversity and welcomes applications from all countries, faiths and backgrounds.

It is each individual successful applicants responsibility to ensure that they have permission to work in the UK. Some applicants may require sponsorship from the University and a visa from UKVI to take up the role if successful. More information on this can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa

Some roles are not capable of sponsorship because they do not meet the UKVI criteria relating to skill and salary level. If you are unsure as to whether you would require sponsorship if successful, or whether the role is capable of sponsorship, please contact us: RTinbox@bcu.ac.uk


Please note on occasions where we receive a large number of applications, we may close the advert ahead of the publicised closing date. If this does happen, we will contact all candidates via email who have started but not yet completed their application, giving 48 hours’ notice.  We would therefore advise that you submit your completed application as soon as possible.

At Birmingham City University we are proud to be an equal opportunities employer.  All staff are expected to understand and enact the University’s commitment to ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion in our employment practice and in all that we do . This commitment is enshrined in our Core Values and is detailed in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Employment Policy. The University values and celebrates the diversity of our staff and students; we welcome people from the many  different backgrounds and life experiences that reflect the students and the citizens we serve.  We are committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and actively encourage unique contributions, in particular from under-represented groups in respect of age, disability, sex, gender or gender identity, ethnicity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status

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