Research Fellow (Policy) in Trustworthy Autonomous Systems

London (Greater) (GB)
Grade 7, £46,292 to £54,534, including London Weighting Allowance
Feb 25, 2021
End of advertisement period
Mar 10, 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

This is an exciting and important role, based at King's College London, contributing to the work of the UK Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub (TAS-UK Hub). The Research Fellow will help develop and implement a programme of policy research and also support the policy impact of the Hub's work, ensuring it addresses the needs of stakeholders and informs policymaking at all levels. The TAS-UK Hub, a joint project of King's College London with the University of Southampton and the University of Nottingham, aims to deliver world-leading best practices for the design, regulation and operation of socially beneficial autonomous systems. In practice, this means producing autonomous systems that improve physical and mental well-being, safeguard personal freedom and benefit our society and economy.
The Hub is being built around a diverse and multi-disciplinary team, with policy research, engagement and impact playing an important role and complementing the research being undertaken in disciplines ranging from engineering to medicine and law. The TAS-UK Hub is part of the UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Systems (TAS) programme, funded through the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund and delivered by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The TAS programme brings together research communities and key stakeholders to drive forward cross-disciplinary, fundamental research to ensure that autonomous systems are safe, reliable, resilient, ethical and trusted.

The Research Fellow will play a key role in the policy strand of the project, including developing a policy research programme, ensuring it is embedded within the Hub's wider research agenda and contributing to providing an effective bridge for communication with government and the wider policy community. The role will involve direct interaction with policy makers and wider stakeholders, producing briefings in response to UK, EU and international calls for evidence, and developing workshops, policy briefings and other forms of output.
The Research Fellow will be appointed to the Policy Institute at King's. The Policy Institute addresses complex policy and practice challenges with rigorous research, academic expertise and analysis focused on improving outcomes. The successful candidate will join three other researchers at King's - two based in Informatics and one in King's Business School, and will in time be co-located (Covid-19 restrictions allowing) with these other researchers in the Department of Informatics at King's. The Research Fellow will work with a wider inter-disciplinary team of academics and researchers across King's, Southampton and Nottingham.

This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 3 years
This is a full-time post


Key responsibilities

  • Take the lead on developing and implementing a programme of policy research which supports the aims of the TAS-UK Hub, working with colleagues at King's and across the TAS-UK Hub.
  • Pro-actively engage stakeholders and build and maintain policy and research networks. Develop and implement workshops and roundtables.
  • Write and contribute to policy briefings and provide evidence in response to policy calls and consultations from Government and other bodies.
  • Help to maintain a policy focus across all strands of the TAS-Hub work and engage constructively with colleagues from other disciplines.
  • Contribute to developing a programme of work across the TAS-UK Hub to maximise policy engagement, relevance and impact, working with colleagues across the TAS-Hub.
  • Contribute to creating a set of mechanisms for policy engagement and co-creation. These mechanisms will engage central government, the wider public sector, the third sector and industry to help define best practices and assurance processes for autonomous systems, and formulate policy.

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge, and experience Essential criteria

  • PhD in a relevant subject related to autonomous systems, or equivalent experience
  • Excellent writing and communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively with policymakers and with academic communities, both in person and in writing
  • Experience of policy as researcher or practitioner
  • Enthusiasm for working across disciplinary boundaries in a unique project
  • Experience of undertaking literature reviews, evidence assessments and data gathering in a research environment
  • Willingness to engage actively with team members and other potential collaborators in developing a programme of research, impact and engagement
  • Self-starter: ability to work on own initiative and develop and implement project plan

Desirable criteria

  • Experience of policy-relevant research on one or more autonomous systems (eg healthcare, autonomous vehicles)
  • Experience of undertaking policy analysis for policy clients

Further information
Interview dates are expected to be in the week commencing 5th April 2021