Research Associate

Updated: about 1 month ago
Location: Cardiff, WALES


Research Associate
Cardiff University School of Computer Science & Informatics

Applications are invited for one Research Associate position to work within Cardiff University's School of Computer Science & Informatics. This post is available from 1st April 2021 (or as soon as possible thereafter), full time, and fixed term for a period of three years.

This post is linked to the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship of Dr Jose Camacho Collados. The fellowship project is titled “Unsupervised background knowledge for multilingual language understanding” and you can find more details below.            

The project largely deals with language understanding, with a focus on improving Natural Language Processing (NLP) models as to be more interpretable, capture relational and commonsense knowledge, and enhance multilinguality. With these features, NLP can serve as a powerful tool to address important challenges such as tackling disinformation and improving mental health treatments, applications that will be explored as part of this project through the analysis of available information at scale (e.g. social media and clinical records) and collaboration with interdisciplinary teams.

The successful candidate will be integrated in the Cardiff NLP group of Cardiff University. This post also involves an optional research visit (depending on availability and expertise) to one of the international partners of the project in the University of Granada (Spain), University of Helsinki (Finland) or the University of Cambridge (UK).

For an informal discussion of the role please contact Dr Jose Camacho Collados by email at

For an informal discussion about flexible working, work-life balance or other HR matters - please contact Charlie Balcombe on +44(0)29 208 75490 , or by email at

The post is full time, available from 1st April 2021, fixed term for 3 years.

Salary: £33,797 - £40,322 per annum (Grade 6).

Date advert posted: Friday, 13 November 2020

Closing date: Monday, 14 December 2020

This post has previously been advertised to employees of Cardiff University only.  We now invite external applications.

Please be aware that Cardiff University reserves the right to close this vacancy early should sufficient applications be received.

Cardiff University is committed to supporting all its employees in achieving the necessary balance between their work and their personal lives. As part of this commitment, the University has developed a flexible and responsive framework of support for staff in managing their work and personal commitments wherever possible. [Applications for posts on a part-time or job-share arrangement would also be considered].

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity. Our inclusive environment welcomes applications from talented people from diverse backgrounds. Cardiff University positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.

Job Description

Main Function

To conduct research within the field of natural language processing and contribute to the overall research performance of the School and University, carrying out research leading to the publishing of work in high-quality conferences or journals. To pursue excellence in research and to inspire others to do the same.

Job Description


  • To conduct research within the field of natural language processing and contribute to the overall research performance of the School and University by the production of measurable outputs including bidding for funding, publishing in national academic journals and conferences, and the recruitment and supervision of postgraduate research students.  
  • To develop research objectives and proposals for own or joint research including research funding proposals
  • To attend and or present at conferences/seminars at a local and national level as required
  • To undertake administrative tasks associated with the research project, including the planning and organisation of the project and the implementation of procedures required to ensure accurate and timely reporting
  • To supervise the work of students including the supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • To review and synthesise existing research literature within the field
  • To participate in School research activities.
  • To build and create networks both internally and externally to the university, to influence decisions,   explore future research requirements, and share research ideas for the benefit of research projects

  • To engage effectively with industrial, commercial and public sector organisations, professional institutions, other academic institutions etc., regionally and nationally  to raise awareness of the School’s profile, to cultivate strategically valuable alliances, and to pursue opportunities for collaboration across a range of activities. These activities are expected to contribute to the School and the enhancement of its regional and national profile.
  • To undergo personal and professional development that is appropriate to and which will enhance performance.
  • To participate in School administration and activities to promote the School and its work to the wider University and the outside world
  • Any other duties not included above, but consistent with the role.

Person Specification

Important: evidencing you match the job criteria

It is Cardiff University's policy to use the person specification as a key tool for shortlisting. Candidates should evidence that they meet ALL of the Essential Criteria as well as, where relevant, the Desirable.
As part of the application process you are asked to provide this evidence via a Supporting Statement.  Please ensure that the evidence you are providing corresponds with the numbered criteria outlined below.  Your application will be considered based on the information you provide under each criteria.
When attaching the supporting statement to your application profile, please ensure that you name it with the vacancy reference number:  XXXXXBR_supporting_statement.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

Qualifications and Education

  • Postgraduate degree at PhD level (or nearing completion / submission) in a related subject area or relevant industrial experience
  • Knowledge, Skills and Experience
  • An established expertise and proven portfolio of research and/or relevant industrial experience within the field of natural language processing or related field relevant to the project
  • Knowledge of current status of research in specialist field
  • Excellent programming skills
  • Proven ability to publish in relevant journals or conferences in natural language processing or a related field relevant to the project
  • Knowledge and understanding of competitive research funding to be able to develop applications to funding bodies

  • Communication and Team Working
  • Proven ability in effective and persuasive communication
  • Ability to supervise the work of others to focus team efforts and motivate individuals
  • Other
  • Proven ability to demonstrate creativity, innovation and team-working within work
  • Proven ability to work without close supervision

  • Desirable Criteria
  • Experience with implementing neural network models using frameworks such as Tensorflow or PyTorch
  • Evidence of ability to participate in and develop both internal and external networks and utilise them to enhance the research activities of the School.
  • A strong background in linear algebra and statistics
  • Experience with an area related to one of the case studies related to the project (e.g. social media, mental health, misinformation)
  • Ability to speak and understand languages other than English

  • Additional Information

    Supporting Statement

    You need to demonstrate clearly how your experience, knowledge, skills and abilities match those required for the job, as detailed in the Person Specification. Where possible you should give examples of when you have used specific skills and abilities or needed to develop competencies in the relevant areas. You can draw on elements from any aspect of your life, such as education, work, home or community life, as long as you focus on its relevance to the needs of this job. If you do not demonstrate that you meet all of the ESSENTIAL criteria then you will not be invited to interview. You do not need to demonstrate that you meet all of the DESIRABLE criteria in order to be invited to interview. Meeting all of the Essential Criteria does not guarantee you an interview however, as there may be other applicants who have demonstrated that they meet some or all of the desirable criteria, or that they meet the criteria to a greater depth and/or relevance. Essential criteria may be tested at interview stage.

    The School

    Cardiff University has a successful School of Computer Science & Informatics with an international reputation for its teaching and research activities. The School delivers a stimulating portfolio of BSc and MSc degrees, and offers research degrees leading to MPhil and PhD qualification. We have a strong research track record recognised for its outstanding impact in terms of reach and significance, with 79% of its outputs deemed world-leading or internationally excellent in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Our multi-million pound annual research income is funded by a variety of sources, including the Royal Society, the Leverhulme Trust, the Welsh Assembly (including Higher Education Funding Council for Wales), the UK Research Councils, including Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the European Commission and industrial partners (mainly IBM UK Ltd and Airbus). For further information visit: .

    We particularly welcome applications from women who are under-represented within Cardiff University in this field.

    Job Category

    Academic - Research

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