Research Fellow in Business and Law

Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
£37,473 - £42,155
13 Mar 2023
End of advertisement period
27 Mar 2023
Contract Type
Full Time


We are seeking to recruit a Research Fellow with sufficient knowledge or understanding of Python and Java programming as essential skills and desirably have some knowledge, background or experience in digitalisation, Industry 4.0, database technologies, machine learning, statistical modelling and supply chain management to work in a Digital Catapult funded project. The project is led by a local SME in partnership with the Marketing, Operations and Systems (MOS) and Computer and Information Science departments at Northumbria University and some other external partners.

The University has a significant role in this project as the knowledge and technology domain providing different platforms to other partners in this project. This is incorporated into leading a number of different work packages and contributing in others. You will have an important contribution in all of these work packages and for some you have certain accountabilities and responsibilities.

This project involves preliminary research, supply chain ecosystem analysis, and development, assessment and launching of the digital supply chain test bed. Your role as the research fellow is to contribute to different stages of the project fulfilling major tasks. Whilst it is essential to have knowledge or understanding of programming platforms such as Java or Python, the knowledge around empirical data collection and analysis is desirable.

This project aims at developing a sector independent digital twin of an entire end-to-end spare parts supply chain available to any interested organisation globally to test their innovative supply chain solutions without disrupting the real-world supply chain. The objectives of this project are:

  • Develop a conceptual framework through preliminary literature review
  • Test the framework through empirical quantitative data collection and analysis
  • Collaboration development with strategic partners for digital testbed
  • Supply chain ecosystem analysis through qualitative data collection and analysis
  • Skelton model development using structural causal models
  • Internal hosted testbed launch using University cloud computing
  • External hosted testbed launch using cloud computing platform
  • Impact evaluation
  • Dissemination and publication

A digital innovation ecosystem will advance and accelerate the understanding and inclusion of digital technology in entire supply chains. Digital supply chain hubs will be the platform that enables stakeholders to co-convene their digitally transformed supply chain in a more transparent and sustainable way, using advanced technologies. The digital supply chain hubs will address contemporary supply chain challenges such as supply chain risk and resilience; supply chain sustainability and Net Zero; End-to-End supply chain visibility; circular economy; supply chain finance; and last mile logistics. Digital supply chain testbed is a significant way forward to establish these digital supply chain hubs providing opportunity to develop a trustworthy, transparent, effective and vibrant environment for different parties to get engaged in digital transformation of their supply chain and to develop a digital supply chain community.

During this project, we will model the spare parts supply chain through preliminary studies and empirical research and data analysis. Then, we will design, develop and launch a digital testbed using state-of-art programming and technologies. You will be an important part of these activities working in different work packages and leading on some necessary activities. Some of these activities involved analysis of existing mathematical models and machine learning algorithms in the literature and recommending suitable model and algorithm for the technological development through Python and Java programming platforms. Hence, you will be required to have existing knowledge and understanding of these platforms.

The final outcome of this project is an externally hosted digital testbed that can be scaled up and embedded into the planned digital supply chain innovation hub in the Northumbria University. The utilisation of this digital testbed will also be rolled out to different sectors including health, finance and construction although it will be piloted in the automotive sector due to close partnership in the project. The further sustained values added to the test bed is its connectivity to the existing digital supply chain testbeds and increased impactful research power and high-quality publications that you will be co-author of.


You as the Research Fellow will be supported throughout by the academic team and business managers of the partnered organisations, who will provide ongoing mentoring and guidance and will define project in consensus. It is expected that you will spend a majority of your time for critical literature review, skeleton modelling, technology development, initiating and leading collaborative research project including data collection and data analysis, and the remaining time supporting leaders of the work packages and the business partners in their project.

You will have a track-record of being taught for programming, advanced technologies and Industry 4.0 and preferably have track records of publishing in relevant leading conferences and journals in these fields and have a developing profile of academic community leadership and involvement commensurate. Since the project 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 mathematical modelling, design and developing Industry 4.0 digital technologies and platforms, are essential. As the potential outcome of this project, we aim to have a sustained impact on broader community beyond academic endeavours. 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 data collection, engagements and studies.

Further information about the requirements of the role is available in the person specification

If you would like an informal discussion about the role, please contact Alireza Shokri by email at

To apply for this vacancy please click 'Apply Now'.  Your application should include a covering letter and a CV, including research /education statements, and grants and publications list if applicable. Please highlight your greatest knowledge and discipline area strength and quality research outputs. 


At Northumbria, we embrace tomorrow. We pursue new thinking, forge new partnerships, create, and exchange new knowledge, and find new solutions. Our inspirational academics, partners and students work together to tackle tomorrow’s challenges head on. We are ready for the future whatever it may hold. 

Awarded the title of University of the Year in the 2022 Times Higher Education Awards, Northumbria University is a research-intensive modern university with a global reputation for academic excellence. 

Northumbria recorded the biggest rise of any UK university for research power in the Research Excellence Framework for the second time in 2021 and is now ranked top 25 for this measure. 

One of the largest universities in the UK with over 37,000 students from 137 countries, filled with world-leading research, award-winning partnerships, and students at the heart of an outstanding experience, Northumbria is a new kind of excellent university.  Discover more about us.  

Northumbria University is a great place to work.  We empower our exceptional people to achieve shared ambitions and promote a positive work life balance. To say thank you, we offer a wide range of benefits including excellent pension schemes, flexible working, a generous holiday entitlement, continued commitment to your learning and development and more

We are an on-campus organisation where colleagues work regular patterns of hours and on campus, with some flexibility on the timing of their hours and the location of their work in discussion with their manager. 

Northumbria University is committed to creating an inclusive culture where we take pride in, and value, the diversity of our staff.  We encourage and welcome applications from all members of the community.  The University holds a bronze Athena Swan award in recognition of our commitment to advancing gender equality, we are a Disability Confident Employer, a member of the Race Equality Charter and are participating in the Stonewall Diversity Champion Programme.  We also hold the HR Excellence in Research award for implementing the concordat supporting the career Development of Researchers and are members of the Euraxess initiative to deliver information and support to professional researchers.  

The University has implemented a range of flexible working arrangements, and we are happy to explore candidate requirements as part of the recruitment process.