Research Assistant - Department of Computer Science and Information Systems

London (GB)
20 Mar 2017
End of advertisement period
30 Mar 2017
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department of Computer Science and Information Systems

Research Assistant (Ref: 12140)
Variable hours, fixed-term to 31 July 2017

The Department of Computer Science has a long-established international reputation for research in Computational Intelligence, Learning Technologies, Information Management, and Web Technologies. In recent years, our research base has expanded into areas including Pervasive Computing, Sensor Networks, and Computer Vision.

Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) have become universally adopted in HE and, from the student perspective, an expected part of learning. Despite the existence of sophisticated features, the majority of VLEs make limited use of social media or the possibility of users accessing information via smartphone. These omissions could help create a more engaging, personal, learning experience for large groups of students. Over the past 18 months, a small team at Birkbeck has developed a new Social Learning Smartphone App that introduces an interactive and social experience for students right from their phones. We have features to be used during lectures such as asking questions via text and voting on issues arising from the material. Out of lectures, the app delivers extended engagement with the fellow students and lecturers. This enables students to have all of their university communications in one place. The app is already in both Apple and Android app stores and is being used by over 1,500 of our students. The next stage for the project is to scale up to usage across the college – several thousand more users with more features and a smother interface.
We are looking for an enthusiastic individual to further develop the Social Learning App on iOS and Android. This person will have responsibility for the full lifecycle of the app, including its integration with Moodle, the current VLE used at Birkbeck.

You will have excellent computer programming skills, and a good understanding of mobile computing and VLEs. You will also have a passion for solving difficult problems using technology and implementing your solutions to achieve societal impact. Desirable skills include one or more of the following: agile and lean software development methodologies, Angular JS, Apache Cordoba, Ionic, PHP, gulp, Moodle web services APIs, and familiarity with IU design.

Salary: Grade 7 of the College's London Pay Scale which is £36,548 rising to £41,772 pro rata per annum.

This post is funded to July 31st with the possibility to extend. Work hours will be flexible around the requirements of the project and, as far as possible, the requirements of the successful candidate. We envisage it to be full time for the first two months followed by scaling back to about 3 days a week. You will be able to work virtually or on campus whichever suits – although if working virtually, you will need to be able to attend meetings in person at our campus in Bloomsbury. Start date to be confirmed.
The salary quoted above will be pro-rata for this part time post and is on the College's London Pay Scale and includes a consolidated Weighting/Allowance which applies only to staff whose normal contractual place of work is in the Greater London area. The initial salary will be dependent on the skills and experience of the successful applicant. The appointment is subject to a probationary period of 6 months. Birkbeck also provides a generous defined benefit pension scheme, 31 days paid leave, flexible working arrangements and other great benefits.
The closing date for completed applications is midnight on Thursday 30 March 2017

Interviews are due to be held shortly afterwards
To apply, please click the apply button.

Birkbeck 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 the Two Ticks scheme, is a Stonewall Diversity Champion and is working towards the Race Equality Charter Mark.