Research Fellow, Postdoctoral, Web and Internet Science

Southampton, United Kingdom
£31,406 to £38,587 per annum
04 Jul 2022
End of advertisement period
06 Jul 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Web & Internet Science

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £31,406 to £38,587 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term for three years
Closing Date:  Wednesday 06 July 2022
Interview Date:   See advert
Reference:  1809322FP

Web & Internet Science Group, Southampton University/Knowledge Lab, Birkbeck, University of London 

Salary:  £31,406- £40,228        (The salary at Birkbeck will include an integrated London Weighting allowance)

All three posts are full-time for three years. The starting date will be 1st July 2022, or as soon as possible thereafter. 

We are seeking three Postdoctoral researchers to work on the EPSRC-funded ESPRESSO project (“Efficient Search over Personal Repositories - Secure and Sovereign”).

The posts are based at the School of Electronics and Computer Science, Southampton University (Posts A and C) and the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, Birkbeck (Post B).  The project will be researching, developing and evaluating decentralised algorithms, meta-information data structures and indexing techniques to enable large-scale data search across Personal Online Datastores (pods) hosted on distributed pod servers, addressing both keyword-based search and SPARQL querying. EPRESSO will build on and extend existing frameworks and systems such as SOLID, NSS, Dataswift/HAT, gtk-gnutella, Gaian DB. You will be working with Dr Thanassis Tiropanis and Professors Adriane Chapman, Alexandra Poulovassilis and George Roussos, as well as our partner organisations (Dataswift and the NExT++ Centre, Singapore), the broader research community, and industry stakeholders. 

You will be required to report to the project group at regular team meetings (which may be held virtually, in Southampton or in London). You will be responsible for preparation of refereed publications and presentations at conferences and project meetings. You will be required to travel within the UK and abroad several times a year, including spending 2-4 weeks each year in Singapore. Essential skills include hands-on experience of modern programming and data management tools, and software design, development and performance evaluation. 

For all three posts, it is essential that you have a PhD in computer science, or equivalent professional qualifications and experience; ideally your PhD or equivalent professional qualifications and experience will be in distributed database systems, information retrieval, computer networking or semantic web.  

For Post A you will have a background in peer-to-peer systems, distributed query processing and information retrieval. You will be responsible for the research on decentralised search and querying algorithms over pods. Experience in Linked Data and Semantic Web technologies is also highly desirable. 

For Post B you will have a background in distributed information management and information retrieval. You will be responsible for the research on meta-information data structures and indexes to enable discovery of data stored in distributed pods under owner-specified access and caching rights. Familiarity with semantic technologies, metadata schemas, index design and data summarisation will be expected.

For Post C you will have a background in information retrieval, algorithm design, evaluation and optimisation. You will be responsible for the work on performance evaluation and optimisation of the ESPRESSO algorithms, data structures and indexing techniques, in both generic and health-related application scenarios.

Familiarity with the technologies of the SOLID framework will be required for Post A and highly desirable for Posts B and C. Familiarity with regulatory frameworks for data access and processing will be required for all three Posts. 

You may apply to more than one of these three posts – in which case please state your order of preference within the shortlisting questions.

For further information please contact Thanassis Tiropanis (email or Alexandra Poulovassilis (email

Interviews for all posts are likely to be held (through video link) on 10/06/2022. 

Applications from candidates who require sponsorship to work in the UK will be considered alongside other applications. Applicants who do not currently have the right to work in the UK will have to satisfy UK Visa & Immigration regulations before they can be appointed. Further information about Sponsorship and eligibility to work in the UK, can be found at:

Equality, diversity and Inclusion is central to the ethos in the School of Electronics and Computer Science. We particularly encourage women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic, LGBT and disabled applicants to apply for this position. We are committed to improving equality for women in science and have been successful in achieving an  Athena SWAN bronze award in April 2020.   We give full consideration to applicants that wish to work flexibly including part-time and due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy*, and onsite childcare facilities. The University of Southampton is in the top 1% of world universities and in the top 10 of the UK’s research-intensive universities. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and being a globally responsible university and has recently been awarded the Platinum EcoAward. Our vision is to embed the principles of sustainability into all aspects of our individual and collective work, integrating sustainable development into our business planning, policy-making, and professional activities.  This commits all of our staff and students to take responsibility for managing their activities to minimise harm to the environment, whether this is through switching off non-essential electrical equipment or using the recycling facilities.

 *subject to qualifying criteria

Applications will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon completion of PhD.  Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

Birkbeck, University of London, welcomes applicants from all sections of the community; the College is committed to improving the gender and cultural diversity of its workforce, holding an Athena SWAN award, operating Disability Confident & Mindful Employer schemes. 

Application Procedure

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Hannah Farrance (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 2507, or email Please quote reference 1809322FP on all correspondence. 

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