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Vice-Chancellor's Fellowship in Urban Futures and Citizen-Centred AI

Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear (GB)
£45,584 - £66,856
Closing date
8 Jan 2024

Job Details


We are seeking exceptional academic colleagues who have research plans which will have a remarkable impact on our disciplines and/or drive development of our Research Peaks, to join our Vice-Chancellor's Fellowship Scheme.

As a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow, you will have a permanent academic role, and for the first three years you will be supported to undertake independent and collaborative research, delivering an agreed research plan to make a significant contribution to the research profile of the University. Further information about the role is available in the Vice-Chancellor's role outline.


Urban Futures is one of Northumbria’s Interdisciplinary Research Themes bringing together expertise from across the University to address pressing regional, societal and global challenges. Urban Futures is working to improve quality of life and sustainability in urban areas, taking a fundamentally human-centred approach to challenges that include rapidly changing population demographics, housing, mobility, service provision, health and wellbeing, public order, community cohesion and inclusiveness, environmental footprint, uneven urban development, and climate change. 

We are seeking to appoint researchers with exceptional track records to help drive forward the work within this research theme. Appointed Fellows can be based in any discipline relevant to the challenges above, including the built environment, transport, environmental science, human geography, computer and data science, interaction design, policy development, health informatics, and politics and economics. The following (non-exhaustive) list of topics is intended to be illustrative of the inter-disciplinary nature of projects we hope to support: 

How AI and big data can positively impact upon democracy and governance. 

How participatory and co-design methods can be deployed to reimagine sustainable urban transport systems. 

How placemaking approaches to urban green spaces can improve health and wellbeing. 

How artistic and cultural practices may be used to develop sustainable policy and community resilience. 

How computational simulations and virtual reality can improve the experience of pedestrians in urban settings. 

For more information on Urban Futures, see 

The CDT for Citizen-Centred AI (CCAI) is one of twelve new UKRI Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) focused on the applications and implications of artificial intelligence (AI). The goal of CCAI is to make AI work for citizens, as well as government and businesses, by embedding citizen engagement in the design, evaluation, and governance of AI systems in ways that prioritise peoples’ thoughts, needs, rights, and aspirations. Our students’ research will span multiple disciplines including AI and data science, participatory and co-design, digital civics, human computer interaction, ethics and legal frameworks, politics and social science.

We are seeking to appoint researchers with exceptional track records to help drive forward our work within citizen-centred AI. Appointed Fellows can be based in any discipline relevant to the challenges above, and the following (non-exhaustive) list of topics is intended to be illustrative of the inter-disciplinary nature of research we hope to support:

How can generative AI be used to empower marginalised citizens to better access local government services and benefits.

How can AI-based content moderation be improved in order to both protect individuals from harmful content whilst preserving citizens’ rights to create and disseminate digital content? 

How can AI be used to improve health efficiencies, for e.g. by improving public awareness of alternative pathways to healthcare and options to self-refer?   

How can AI sensemaking be applied to complex digital data in order to help coastal communities improve resilience around e.g. transitory employment, preservation of heritage, tourism entrepreneurship and seafood management?

How can AI be used to facilitate response to disaster and unanticipated events that create disruptions to national infrastructure?

For more information on the recently announced UKRI AI CDTs, see


To be considered for this prestigious opportunity you must demonstrate academic excellence, evidenced through your role in the production of world-leading research outputs and have experience of winning grant funding (appropriate to discipline and career stage). In addition, you must demonstrate a clear research plan for the period of the Fellowship.    


To apply for this vacancy please click 'Apply Now'  Your application should include a covering letter, CV and a two page 'Research Plan' which outlines how you would use the Fellowship period and including details of anticipated outputs, income and impact. Please ensure your CV includes research / education statements, and grants and publications list, highlighting your highest quality research outputs up to a maximum of 4. For your most recent grants please include the grant title, funder reference, funder, amount and your role.  In addition, candidates are asked to provide copies of the top 3 research outputs (Journal / book chapter /practice-based portfolio).   

To support you in preparing your application below are the standard Job Descriptions and Person Specifications for Academic roles at Northumbria.  Appointments will be made to the Academic role and grade the selection panel believe are commensurate with individuals Academic experience and profile.  

Assistant Professor(£45,584 - £56,021)   
Associate Professor (£57,695 - £66,856) 

Some roles may  be exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 therefore successful candidates may be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service check.  

If you require any additional information about the application process or would like an informal discussion about the opportunities, please contact Kathryn Atton, HR Adviser on

We welcome applications from the UK and across the world. Visit our web pages for details about Relocation Assistance.   


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.   

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.    

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*Northumbria University recruitment portal is currently unavailable. If you wish to apply for a vacancy or if you have applied for a vacancy in the last six weeks but have not heard anything from us please e-mail your CV and Covering Letter to using the vacancy reference number as the subject. Thank you for your patience.*

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