Research Fellow in Connected Mobility, AutoTrust

Southampton, United Kingdom
£30,942 to £34,804 per annum
Tuesday, 8 June 2021
End of advertisement period
Monday, 5 July 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Agents, Interactions & Complexity

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £30,942 to £34,804 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term for 12 months
Closing Date:  Monday 05 July 2021
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1386421FP

In the not-too-distant future, we will have systems that offer new kinds of transport services with new kinds of semi-autonomous or fully-autonomous shared vehicles. How can we better understand the present issues in transport to plan for our future within these systems? How can we make sure that these technologies are human-centred, driven by the needs of our real and rapidly evolving lives?  

We are looking for creative and innovative problem solvers to help us build better, more sustainable ways for all of us to get to work, to school, to home, in ways that keep us healthier and happier in the time we spend in transit. This could mean the flexible integration of several modes of transport, whether this is cycling, walking, a ride sharing service, or a flexible shuttle bus service, taking account of personal preferences and constraints.   

If your PhD is in Computer Science, particularly Human-Computer Interaction, Simulation/Modelling, Transportation, or a combination of those disciplines, we'd love to hear from you. 

This research into sustainable transport solutions is part of the AutoTrust project – a collaboration between the University of Southampton and the University of Warwick – which is researching how to design, build, and sustain trustworthy human-centric smart transport systems that leverage advances in technologies such as connected and autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things. 

Based in Southampton, you will assist with a research project into transport patterns and preferences among University staff and students, as a precursor to identifying and developing interventions that can enable and encourage more environmentally-friendly transport practices post-COVID. 

A key scenario we are looking to explore in this post is: building the best, sustainable, enjoyable transportation system, especially for people coming to and from work as we return to workplaces. An approach we wish to expand is to simultaneously capture people’s current transportation practices, their rationales for them and in particular, what has kept them using their own vehicles rather than alternative transportation. 

Imagine a mapping tool that helps us understand the routes and numbers of people who feel they cannot take public transportation because they have to take their children to school in the morning. If that is a real issue, how could emerging technologies be harnessed to support that scenario (in some countries a school bus manages that challenge)? You should also consider the work to date on the Time Travel project. 

You will contribute:  

  • Approaches to capture qualitative and quantitative transport and transport-attitudes data from the broadest set of participants;  
  • Mechanisms to map this data into a visualisation that can be shared with all stakeholders and participants.  We are also interested in approaches for using this data within simulations to understand and predict the impact of potential interventions; 
  • Interest in engaging with local authorities to share results and gain feedback to help them plan transportation strategies; 

There is flexibility in the proposed research plan, and so your input to inform and refine the research questions and study design would be welcomed based on your own research expertise and interests. We are particularly keen to combine agent-based modelling with Grounded Theory of the factors that affect the acceptability of public transport to all its stakeholders. Please take on board the scenario above when responding to this advert, look at the TimeTravel Project site, and share your vision with us. You will need to articulate your research plans and explain how that research will contribute to scientific knowledge.

To be successful you will have a PhD** or equivalent professional qualifications and experience in computer science, human-computer interaction, simulation/modelling, transportation, or a similar discipline. You will also need to demonstrate your ability to publish in scientific venues. 

The AutoTrust project also aims to help develop the skills and expertise of future “super researchers” and so you will be working in an interdisciplinary team, with other academics, industry, and policymakers. The project provides training and development opportunities to help you develop relevant skills and build your own research network. 

An outcome of AutoTrust is to have real impacts that help both industry and policymakers to see how they can support a human-centred future of effective transportation across the connected Internet of Vehicles. In an interview, we will be keen to hear what groups you would like to connect your project with, and your ideas for meetings/events to facilitate building those connections. 

We are particularly keen to encourage applicants from under-represented groups in Computer Science.  

 Equality, diversity and Inclusion is central to the ethos in the School of Electronics and Computer Science. We particularly encourage women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), LGBT and disabled applicants to apply for this position. We are committed to improving equality for women in science and have been successful in achieving an  Athena SWAN bronze award in April 2020.   We give full consideration to applicants that wish to work flexibly including part-time and due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy*, and onsite childcare facilities.

 The University of Southampton is in the top 1% of world universities and in the top 10 of the UK’s research-intensive universities. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and being a globally responsible university and has recently been awarded the Platinum EcoAward.  Our vision is to embed the principles of sustainability into all aspects of our individual and collective work, integrating sustainable development into our business planning, policy-making, and professional activities.  This commits all of our staff and students to take responsibility for managing their activities to minimise harm to the environment, whether this is through switching off non-essential electrical equipment or using the recycling facilities.

*subject to qualifying criteria

**Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD.  Prior to the qualification being awarded, the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given. 

We would be pleased to discuss potential research directions prior to application, and if you wish to do so, you should contact Dr Richard Gomer,  

More information about our research can be found on the project website at 

 Application Procedure 

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Hannah Farrance (Recruitment Team) on 02380 592750 or email  Please quote reference 1386421FP on all correspondence.

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