Innovation Fellow in Civic Technology (Centre for Digital Citizens)

Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear (GB)
£35,844 - £43,322
12 Jan 2021
End of advertisement period
31 Jan 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Innovation Fellow in Civic Technology (Centre for Digital Citizens)

We are seeking to recruit a post-doctoral Innovation Fellow with expertise in civic technologies and community informatics to work in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences as part of the new UKRI funded Centre for Digital Citizens. 

The Centre for Digital Citizens is an exciting new initiative led by Newcastle and Northumbria Universities, which seeks to design, understand and build demonstrators of citizen-centred data-driven technologies. The Centre will conduct this work with a wide-range of partners, including BBC Research & Development, FutureGov, Google, Mozilla Foundation, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, along with many local authorities, healthcare providers, and small to medium sized businesses and charities.

The Innovation Fellowships are post-doctoral research positions funded by the Centre for Digital Citizens. The Fellows will be immersed in the cross-disciplinary environment of the Centre and work closely with each other, as well as the Centres academics and partners, to conduct collaborative research that addresses issues of citizenship in a data-driven age. The Fellows will be supported to establish their own independent programme of research aligned to the overall vision of the Centre and its four citizen challenge areas: the safe citizen, the connected citizen, the ageless citizen and the well citizen. They will also work closely with the Centre’s external partners, who will provide real-world contexts and settings for our research to be responsive to. The Centre has an emphasis on ensuring its projects, activities and technologies have longevity and continue to bring benefits beyond the lifetime of its funding. As such the Fellows will be supported to identify ways for their work to be sustained beyond the two years of their post through follow-on funding, translation to practice, or through creating start-ups and community interest companies with an emphasis on socially responsible technology.

The Fellows will be supported throughout by the Centre’s academic team, who will provide ongoing mentoring and guidance and will define projects with the Innovation Fellows and external partners. It is expected that the Fellows will spend approximately half of their time developing and leading collaborative research projects, and their remaining time supporting other Centre fellows and academics on their projects and contributing to wider Centre engagement and dissemination activities.

For this post, we are seeking a fellow with a background in civic technologies and community informatics to contribute to the Centre’s research on the next-generation of citizen-led digital public services and sustainable digital platforms. It is expected the successful candidate will have a PhD (or one that is close to completion) in Computer Science, Engineering or a related field, and will have a research track record or interest in civic technology; digital and data literacies; inclusive and participatory community engagement and action; and place-based policymaking processes.

You will have a track-record of publishing in relevant leading conferences and journals in these fields and have a developing profile of academic community leadership and involvement commensurate with a post-doctoral researcher. Since the research conducted across the Centre is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary, ideally the successful candidate will have experience of working within interdisciplinary teams or demonstrate a strong ambition to work in them. Excellent communication skills and ambition to collaborate across disciplines, as well as demonstrable experiences of design and developing novel digital technologies and platforms, are essential. Through the Centre we aim to have a sustained impact on our local communities beyond academic endeavors, as such you will be responsible for the technical implementation and deployment of novel digital technologies, requiring expertise in technologies such as modern web and mobile development; for instance, experience in microservice and container-based virtualization; competent in data analysis for big data and linked data sets.

It is also expected that there will be a need to travel around the UK and the North East of England for short periods in order to work with partners and to conduct engagements and studies, although this is highly dependent on the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Occasional weekend work may also be necessary but compensated for in time off elsewhere.

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Shaun Lawson ( and Kyle Montague ( 

To apply for this vacancy please click 'Apply Now', and submit a covering letter, CV including research /education statements, and grants and publications list. Please highlight your highest quality research outputs (please indicate a rank from 1 to 4) up to a maximum of 4, since 2017. In addition, candidates are asked to provide copies of the top 2 research outputs (Journal / book chapter /practice-based portfolio). Where possible candidates are asked to combine all of these documents into a single file.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Please note that if you do not have permission to work in the UK, Northumbria University may not be able to obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship for you to take up this position.

Currently, due to COVID-19, academic staff will normally be on campus for approximately two days per week when face to face teaching is scheduled, and as required to undertake research using specialist facilities.

Please note this vacancy will close on 31/01/2021