Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Mathematical Sciences

Durham, United Kingdom
£34,304 per annum
23 May 2022
End of advertisement period
20 Aug 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Grade 7: - £34,304 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 12 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 20-Aug-2022, 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 is one of the UK’s best Mathematics departments, with an outstanding reputation in research, teaching, and student employability. Ranked 7th in terms of grade point average intensity in the Research Excellence Framework 2014, it has an active programme of internationally recognised research in Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics (including Applied and Computational Mathematics as well as Mathematical and Theoretical Particle Physics), and Statistics and Probability. The research culture is vibrant, with many visitors, seminars, international conferences and workshops. We aim to provide a supportive and friendly environment with a strong sense of community. The Department, which currently has 100 permanent members of staff, has recently grown significantly. In 2021, we moved to a newly constructed building, which we share with Computer Science, with the goal of fostering constructive interdisciplinary exchanges. Both the Department and the University run High Performance Computing services.

The Statistics Group within the Department of Mathematical Sciences has 23 academic staff, plus postdoctoral researchers and PhD students. Research spans a wide range. Current interests include: Bayesian statistics; modelling of structure, geometry, and shape; statistical machine learning; computational statistics; high-dimensional statistics; nonparametric statistics; foundations of statistics and decision theory; applied statistics, with specific attention to large-scale applications in a wide variety of contexts.

There are many active collaborations with other Durham University departments and research institutes, including the newly founded Institute for Data Science, as well as with companies and governmental bodies. The Department operates a Statistics and Mathematics Consultancy Unit, which provides a focus for external liaison with outside and commercial organisations. Clients include local companies, multi-nationals and national and international governmental organisations. The Group provided 6 impact case studies for REF 2014.

The Department holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award. Athena SWAN is a national initiative that recognises the advancement of gender equality, representation, progression and success for all in academia. The Department also supports the London Mathematical Society Good Practice Scheme, whose aim is to support mathematics departments to embed equal opportunities for women within their working practices.

Durham University is committed to the Concordat to support the career development of researchers. For further information please visit the Research Staff web pages at http://www.dur.ac.uk/hr/researchstaff/.

The Role

The Department of Mathematical Sciences invites applications for a one-year full-time Postdoctoral Research Associate position beginning in October 2022 or earlier.

The successful candidate will work on EPSRC New Horizons project ‘A New Foundation for Statistical Shape Analysis’ with PI Professor Ian Jermyn at Durham and Co-I Professor Karthik Bharath at University of Nottingham, as well as international Visiting Researchers. Candidates with a strong track record in statistical shape analysis, geometric computation, computer vision, or related areas are encouraged to apply.


  • To understand and convey material of a specialist or highly technical nature to the team or group of people through presentations and discussions that leads to the presentation of research papers in conferences 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 or Grant-holder.
  • 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 contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
  • 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.

This post is fixed term for one year and includes a generous travel allowance. The successful applicant should be in post at the latest by October 1, 2022

The post-holder is employed to work on a research project which will be led by another colleague. Whilst this means that the post-holder will not be carrying out independent research in his/her own right, the expectation is that they will contribute to the advancement of the project, through the development of their own research ideas/adaptation and development of research protocols.

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

Assessment for the post will be by interview. It is anticipated that short-listed candidates will be invited for interview via video conference in early September.

The Requirements


  1. Qualifications
    • A good first degree in Statistics, Computer Science, Mathematics, or a related subject.
    • A PhD (or be close to submission) in Statistics, Machine Learning, Computer Science, Mathematics, or a related subject.
  2. Experience
    • Experience in conducting high quality academic research.
    • Demonstrable ability to write material of a quality commensurate with publication in highly-ranked journals.
    • Demonstrable ability to present research papers at conferences and communicate complex information to specialists and within the wider academic community.
    • Experience in research areas relevant to the project: statistical shape analysis, geometric computation, surface modelling, or closely related areas.
  3. Skills
    • Demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team, including participating in research meetings.
    • Ability to work independently on own initiative and to strict deadlines.
    • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.


  1. Experience
    • Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with stage of career.
    • A track record of presenting research at conferences, symposia, or meetings, commensurate with stage of career.
    • Demonstrable ability to code effectively in areas relevant to the research project: statistical shape analysis, geometric computation, surface modelling, or closely related areas.
  2. Skills
    • Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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