UK: Open position for Research Associate

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Research Associate in Multi-modal Management of Collective Intelligence at the University of Sheffield
BRIEF OUTLINE: The postholder will work on projects within the Intelligent Web Tech Lab. The work will concern the definition of new and cutting edge methodologies and technologies for accessing, sharing and manipulating collective intelligence. The post is associated to the Integrated Project WeKnowIt ( funded by the European Union as part of Framework 7, (2008-2011).

DUTIES: participating in the WKI project, studying, designing, implementing and evaluating solutions for accessing and providing information in very large heterogeneous and distributed environments via media such as mobile phones and computers.
Applicants must have a good first degree (1st class or 2:1 or equivalent) in computer science (or related areas) and a relevant PhD in the area (or equivalent research experience).

This post is available full-time for two years, potentially renewable for the duration of the project (March 2011).

REPORT TO: Lab coordinator (prof. Fabio Ciravegna) and Dr Vita Lanfranchi., project manager for WeKnowIt.

Main Activities & Responsibilities:
•Design and implement modalities and interactions for accessing and sharing knowledge and information in a multimodal and multimedial environment;
•Design and implement modalities for enabling the use of social intelligence, including visualisation of communities;
•Carry out research in the area of multimodal management of collective intelligence.
•Design and implement modalities for organisational intelligence;
•Supervise and manage the use of the implemented prototype in real world conditions, i.e. in the emergency management use-case.
•Write project deliverables and scientific papers.
•Prepare and give presentations to disseminate research findings at national / international conferences.

•Plan and prioritise own daily work.
•Deal on a daily basis with reactive requests emerging from communication with team members
•Continuously monitor and check results. The unpredictability of research means that daily planning needs to accommodate new developments.
PERSON SPECIFICATION (E: Essential, D: Desirable)

Applicants should demonstrate evidence of the following:

Qualifications and Experience
•A good first degree in Computer Science/Web Technology (or equivalent)   and a PhD in a relevant field or equivalent research experience (E)
•Proven research experience (E)
•Excellent programming skills in Java (E).
•Experience with web-related languages and standards (e.g. any of the following: PHP, P2P, JSP, Servlets, AJAX, JavaScript, XML, XHTML, CSS, XSLT, RDF, SVG, Xforms, HTTP, WSDL, SOAP) (E)
•Experience in web design and user interface development (D – a portfolio of examples would be appreciated).
•Good Knowledge of Semantic Web Methodologies (D)
•Knowledge of database systems and RDF query languages (D)
•Experience in mobile application design and development (D)
•Experience of designing and developing research (D)
•Sound understanding of Human-Computer Interaction, including experience in user studies and/or user evaluations (a plus)
•Experience in undertaking research as part of large collaborative projects involving international partners (a plus)

Communication skills
•Excellent interpersonal communication skills, including the ability to work in a group and participating in project meetings actively (E)
•Proven ability to produce independent research (E)


INFORMAL ENQUIRIES:  For an informal discussion of these positions please contact Professor Fabio Ciravegna, tel: 0114 222 1940, email:

FURTHER INFORMATION: The post is available full-time and is tenable for an initial period of 2 years, potentially renewable until the end of the project (April 2011).

SALARY: according to experience, but expected in the range of £26,666- 31,840

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT:  Will be those for grade 7 staff, a summary version is attached for information only.

Please note that the terms and conditions for all appointments are currently being reviewed as part of the implementation of the University of Sheffield Grading Scheme.  New appointees will be provided with the final version on appointment.

In addition to competitive pay and generous holiday entitlements, our staff enjoy access to:

•final salary pension scheme
•corporate Childcare Vouchers scheme
•Home Computing Initiative scheme:
•special staff rates for S10 Health membership:
•outstanding sports and recreational facilities.

CLOSING DATE: 15th of September 2008.

INTERVIEW DATE: 29th of September 2008

STARING DATE: as soon as possible thereafter, possibly by October 2008

How to Apply: see

Informal enquiries can be sent to

Prof. Fabio Ciravegna,
Professor of Language and Knowledge Technologies
Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield,
Regent Court, 211 Portobello, S1 4DP, Sheffield, UK
Tel:+44(0)114-22.21940, Fax:+44(0)114-22.21810

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