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Professor of Computing and Social Responsibility

Employer
DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY
Location
Leicester, Leicestershire (GB)
Salary
£73,354 and £124,231.
Closing date
8 Mar 2024

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We are seeking an effective leader to lead the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility within the School of Computer Science and Informatics at De Montfort University. We are seeking an ambitious individual, motivated by a desire to shape discourse in the wider academic field around socially responsible computing.

This is an opportunity to take on a substantial research leadership post, with a focus on developing impact within and beyond the university and the post will be well supported by a wider team. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to shape research in this area and lead the expansion of the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at DMU. We anticipate that this area will expand with further staff appointments at professorial, lecturer and PhD levels, which the post holder will lead on.

Faculty / Directorate

The School of Computer Science and Informatics (SCSI) is large (with some 100 staff and over 2,000 students) and has a very diverse make up (50% BAME, 30% female). Its research is highly relevant and topical, through the concentration on the three main areas where computing affects modern society: AI, Cyber, and Social impact.

Role

Technological and political developments make Cyber Security, including topics such as privacy and surveillance capitalism, an issue of very high concern. The Cyber Technology Institute (CTI) at DMU has existed for over 15 years, has strong industry connections, and holds the highest recognition awarded by the UK National Cyber Security Centre: Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education (Gold) – the only university in the East Midlands, and one of only twelve in the UK to hold this award.

The Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR) is directly focused on the social impact of computing, and was for most of its 27 years’ of existence the only such research group in the UK. Its work on social responsibility, ethics of computing and professionalism has had internationally leading impact on professional organisations, universities, UKRI research, 

industry and policy. It has attracted significant external income, in particular through a series of EU projects (over €7M in the last five years) including the ethics and data governance hub of the €1B Human Brain Project. This research is intrinsically interdisciplinary, working with researchers in the Business and Law faculty as well as many other disciplines. It also has significant overlaps with the other research topics, such as privacy with CTI, and ethics of AI and big data with AI. On the latter topic, the CCSR has influenced EU policy development through events at the European Parliament as part of the EU SHERPA project. A recent spin-out from CCSR research, ORBIT, provides training in responsible innovation including to UKRI projects and CDTs. The CCSR’s current size is some 10 academic staff, 10 RAs, and about 15 PhD students, with associate members across CSCI and DMU.

The research in CCSR is central to the university’s role as a Global Hub for UN

Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 16 “Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions”. The CCSR is also central to many of the cross-disciplinary research themes central to the new DMU Research Strategy, in particular “Living in a Digital Society”, but also the themes relating to sustainability and health.

Ideal Candidate

The appointment is for a proven academic leader as the Director of the CCSR and full time, permanent Professor in Computing and Social Responsibility. They will be able to appoint a team which will comprise of two new junior academics and two university-funded PhD positions. The new Professor will be expected to be an intellectual and academic leader within the CCSR from the start, but will be free from teaching and administrative duties for their first whole academic year in order to establish and develop their group including through recruitment and seeking external funding, with their workload focus in subsequent years on research leadership and research.

At interview we will expect the incoming research leader to present an area of focus within the broad interpretation of “Computing and Social Responsibility” which may be grounded within technology or within a related discipline, but which can demonstrate significant cohesion with existing research at DMU – in the CCSR, in the other research areas in SCSI, and/or in the wider university.

We look forward to receiving applications from dynamic and visionary leaders who are promising to play a major role in transforming research and its resulting impact within the CCSR, the SCSI, and DMU as a whole.

To discuss the post further please contact the Head of School, Professor Eerke Boiten (eerke.boiten@dmu.ac.uk)

This role offers a salary of between £73,354 and £124,231.

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