Post Doctoral Research Associate in Computer Vision Applications in Cultural Heritage

Durham, United Kingdom
10 Sep 2021
End of advertisement period
17 Sep 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Part Time

Department of Computer Science

Grade 7: - £40,927
Fixed Term - Annualised Hours
Contract Duration: This post is fixed term for four months, 50% part time. the funding is available from 18/10/2021 for this fixed period only; the project is time limited and will end on 17/01/22.
Contracted Hours per Week: 17.5
Closing Date: 17-Sep-2021, 6:59:00 AM

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Less than 3 hours north of London, and an hour and a half south of Edinburgh, County Durham is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breathtaking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of city, suburban and rural residential locations. The University provides a range of benefits including pension and childcare benefits and the University’s Relocation Manager can assist with potential schooling requirements.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

The Department

The department of Computer Science is one of the best in the UK with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research, and employability of our students. As a UK Top 10 Department (Complete University Guide 2022) we are committed to high quality teaching and research. We are located in the beautiful city of Durham and have recently moved into a brand new purpose built building along with the Department of Mathematical Sciences. We are proud of the emphasis we place on equality, diversity and inclusion and are working hard to make Computer Science a great place to work and study for everyone.

The Role

Applications are invited for a Research Associate in Computer Vision.

The project aims at helping fight against illicit trafficking by empowering international police forces with the ability to discover stolen artefacts with a content-based image retrieval system. The project focuses on applying existing computer vision techniques to build an artifacts validation and verification models. The models will be trained using data samples frommultiple high-risk regions to identify previously seen artifacts and from previously unsampled regions. The project is highly multidisciplinary between the Department of Archaeology and the department of Computer Science.

The successful applicant will be expected to select, adapt, develop and apply deep neural network architectures for object recognition and verification using divers artefacts data samples. The model will be tasked to identify the artifact’s characteristic such as origin and type and categorise it to the most similar artifacts group provided in the data. The successful candidate is expected to lead on and contribute to the production of academic research outputs and outcomes.


  • To understand and convey information which needs careful explanation to the team or group of people through presentations, discussions and meetings which contribute to the production of research reports and publications.
  • To prepare and deliver presentations on research outputs/activities to audiences which may include: research sponsors, academic and non-academic audiences.
  • To publish high quality outputs, including papers for submission to peer reviewed journals and papers for presentation at conferences and workshops under the direction of the Principal Investigator.
  • To assist with the development of research objectives and proposals.
  • To conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
  • To work with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and other colleagues in the research group, as appropriate, to identify areas for research, develop new research methods and extend the research portfolio.
  • To deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines by discussing with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and offering creative or innovative solutions.
  • To liaise with research colleagues and make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding to form relationships for future research collaboration.
  • To plan and manage own research activity, research resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
  • To deliver training in research techniques/approaches to peers, visitors and students as appropriate.
  • To be involved in student supervision, as appropriate, and assist with the assessment of the knowledge of students.
  • To engage in wider citizenship to support the department and wider discipline.
  • To engage in continuing professional development by participation in the undergraduate or postgraduate teaching programmes or by membership of departmental committees, etc. and by attending relevant training and development courses.   
  • To write up results of research work, present information on research progress and outcomes to bodies supervising research in a clear and accurate manner.
  • To analyse or undertake research by deciding how best to apply existing methodology according to overall context and objectives, or developing new methodologies where required with the oversight of the Principal Investigator.
  • To contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.

This post is fixed term for four months, 50% part time. the funding is available from 18/10/2021 for this fixed period only; the project is time limited and will end on 17/01/22.

Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by 18/10/21.

The Requirements



  1. A good first degree in Computer Science.
  2. A PhD (or be close to submission) in Machine Learning or a related subject.


  1. Experience in conducting high quality academic research.
  2. Demonstrable ability to write material of a quality commensurate with publication in highly-ranked journals.
  3. Demonstrable ability to present research papers at national and international conferences and communicate complex information to specialists and within the wider academic community.
  4. Experience in developing machine learning and computer vision solutions.
  5. Experience in using state-of-the-art libraries and tools.


  1. Demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team, including participating in research meetings.
  2. Ability to work independently on own initiative and to strict deadlines.
  3. Excellent Python programming skills.
  4. Excellent knowledge of Deep Learning libraries e.g., PyTorch.
  5. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  6. Ability to liaise with a range of stakeholders.



  1. Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with stage of career.
  2. A track record of presenting research at conferences, symposia, or meetings, commensurate with stage of career.
  3. Demonstrable ability to develop research proposals and designs in collaboration with other academics.
  4. Experience of overseeing students with respect to the development of their practical/research skills e.g. acting as a demonstrator; supervising student projects/practicals.


  1. Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research.

How to Apply

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Noura Al Moubayed.  All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University Vacancies Site. https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/. As part of the application process, you should provide details of 3 (preferably academic/research) referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference.

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University.

What to Submit

All applicants are asked to submit:

  • A CV and covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;

Next Steps

The assessment for the post will include a 30 minutes interview. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview and assessment.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.