Postdoctoral Research Associate in Artificial Intelligence/Robotics, Autonomous Systems

Egham, United Kingdom
£36,438 to £38,516 per annum - including London Allowance
25 Oct 2021
End of advertisement period
26 Nov 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term

Department of Computer Science

Location:  Egham
Salary:  £36,438 to £38,516 per annum - including London Allowance
Post Type:  Full Time
Closing Date:  23.59 hours GMT on Friday 26 November 2021
Reference:  1021-419

Full time, Fixed Term (21 months)

Applications are invited for the post of Postdoctoral Research Associate in Artificial Intelligence/ Robotics – Autonomous Systems in the Computer Science Department.

The Department, established in 1968 (one of the oldest Computer Science departments in the world), is one of the top departments of Computer Science in the UK. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), it scored 11th for the quality of the research output, with a third of the publications recognised as world-leading and a further half internationally excellent (87% in total). The Department is home to outstanding researchers in algorithms and complexity, artificial intelligence, machine learning, bioinformatics, and distributed and global computing. Over the past five years, the department has undertaken an ambitious plan of expansion: fifteen new academic members of staff were appointed, new undergraduate and integrated-master programmes were created, and five new postgraduate-taught programmes were launched. The department is involved in multiple inter/multidisciplinary activities, from electrical engineering to psychology and social sciences.

The position is funded by the two-year Innovate UK  grant “Squads of Adaptive Robots (SoAR)”, held by Prof Sara Bernardini, in the context of the program “Subsea autonomous systems: next generation technologies”. The project will be carried out by a consortium including industry (Sonardyne, Planet Ocean, and HydroSurv Unmanned Survey), research institutes (National Oceanography Centre) and end users (Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult). SoAR is focused on delivering a fundamental shift in the use of marine robotics through the networking of heterogeneous fleets of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) and uncrewed surface vehicles overseen by a fleet level autonomy engine capable of adaptive mission planning. The project will develop and demonstrate adaptive, risk-aware mission planning and control for a heterogeneous fleet of robots underpinned by an ambitious autonomy engine providing adaptive decision-making. Innovation within this project will lead to a major shift in the ability of users to deploy multiple robots to rapidly complete tasks, greatly reducing the time, cost and risk of data collection. The project will deliver the next generation of subsea autonomous systems, able to collaborate and provide a persistent presence, completing tasks in dramatically shorter timeframes than standard approaches of today. Designed around the immediate requirements of the offshore wind sector, with end users like Orsted already engaged, the technology will be readily transferable to a wide range of applications, including defence, aquafarming and deep-sea mining.

The successful candidates will hold a PhD or equivalent, have a strong research record in Artificial Intelligence and/or Robotics and a strong interest in practice-driven research. Experts in Autonomous Systems, Agent/Multi-Agent Systems, AI Planning, Cognitive Robotics, Autonomous Navigation and Exploration are particularly encouraged to apply. Experience in engaging with industry or contributing to outreach activities would also be valuable. The duties and responsibilities of this post include conducting individual and collaborative research on the themes of the project, developing software based on the needs of the project, writing reports on the advancement of the project, and producing high-quality outputs for publication in high-profile journals or conference proceedings.

In return we offer a highly competitive rewards and benefits package including:

  • Generous annual leave entitlement 
  • Training and Development opportunities
  • Pension Scheme with generous employer contribution 
  • Various schemes including Cycle to Work, Season Ticket Loans and help with the cost of Eyesight testing. 
  • Free parking 

The post is based in Egham, Surrey where the College is situated in a beautiful, leafy campus near to Windsor Great Park and within commuting distance from London.

This is a Full Time and Fixed Term post (extensions are possible), available from December 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Prof Sara Bernardini on or +44-1784-276792.

To view further details of this post and to apply please visit For queries on the application process the Human Resources Department can be contacted by email at: 

Royal Holloway recognises the importance of helping its employees balance their work and home life by offering flexible working arrangements.   We are happy to consider a request for flexible working for this post including part time, job share or compressed working hours. 

Please quote the reference: 1021-419

Closing Date: Midnight, 26th November 2021 

Interview Date: W/C 29th November 2021 

Further details:    Job Description     Person Specification