Research Fellow, Postdoctoral, Web and Internet Science job with UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON

Web and Internet Sciences

Location: Campus Highfield
Salary: £31,406 to £38,587 per year
Three-year full-time fixed-term contract
Closing Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Date of interview: See the announcement
Reference: 1809322FP

Web & Internet Science Group, Southampton University/Knowledge Lab, Birkbeck, University of London

Salary: £31,406 to £40,228 (salary at Birkbeck will include a built-in London weighting allowance)

All three positions are full-time for three years. The start date will be 1st July 2022, or as soon as possible thereafter.

We are looking for three postdoctoral researchers to work on the EPSRC-funded ESPRESSO project (“Efficient Search over Personal Repositories – Secure and Sovereign”).

The positions are based in the School of Electronics and Computing at the University of Southampton (A and C positions) and the Department of Computing and Information Systems at Birkbeck (B position). The project will research, develop and evaluate decentralized algorithms, meta-information data structures and indexing techniques to enable large-scale data search in online personal data stores (pods) hosted on servers of distributed pods, handling both keyword-based search and SPARQL querying. EPRESSO will build on and extend existing frameworks and systems such as SOLID, NSS, Dataswift/HAT, gtk-gnutella, Gaian DB. You will work with Dr Thanassis Tiropanis and Professors Adriane Chapman, Alexandra Poulovassilis and George Roussos, as well as with our partner organizations (Dataswift and the NExT++ Centre, Singapore), the wider research community and stakeholders in the industry.

You will be required to report to the project group at regular team meetings (which can be held virtually, in Southampton or London). You will be responsible for preparing refereed publications and presentations at conferences and project meetings. You will be required to travel within the UK and overseas several times a year, including spending 2-4 weeks each year in Singapore. Essential skills include hands-on experience with modern programming and data management tools, as well as software design, development, and performance evaluation.

For all three positions, it is essential to hold a doctorate in computer science or an equivalent professional qualification and experience; ideally your PhD or equivalent professional qualifications and experience will be in distributed database systems, information retrieval, computer networks or the Semantic Web.

For position A, you will have a background in peer-to-peer systems, distributed query processing, and information retrieval. You will be responsible for researching decentralized pod search and query algorithms. Experience in Linked Data and Semantic Web technologies is also highly desirable.

For position B, you will have training in distributed information management and information retrieval. You will be responsible for researching data structures and meta-information indexes to enable discovery of data stored in distributed pods under owner-specified access and caching rights. Knowledge of semantic technologies, metadata schemas, index design and data summarization will be expected.

For the C position, you will have a background in information retrieval, algorithm design, evaluation and optimization. You will be responsible for work on performance evaluation and optimization of ESPRESSO algorithms, data structures and indexing techniques, in generic and health-related application scenarios.

Knowledge of SOLID framework technologies will be required for position A and highly desirable for positions B and C. Knowledge of regulatory frameworks for data access and processing will be required for all three positions.

You can apply for more than one of these three positions. In this case, please indicate your order of preference in the screening questions.

For more information, please contact Thanassis Tiropanis (email or Alexandra Poulovassilis (email

Interviews for all positions will likely take place (via video link) on 06/10/2022.

Applications from applicants who require sponsorship to work in the UK will be considered alongside other applications. Applicants who do not currently have the right to work in the UK will need to meet UK visa and immigration regulations before they can be appointed. Further information on sponsorship and eligibility to work in the UK can be found at:

Equality, diversity and inclusion are central to the philosophy of the School of Electronics and Computer Science. We particularly encourage female, black, Asian and minority ethnic, LGBT, and candidates with disabilities to apply for this position. We are committed to improving equality for women in science and were successful in securing an Athena SWAN Bronze Award in April 2020. We give special consideration to applicants who wish to work flexibly, including part-time, and a special consideration will be given to candidates who have taken a break in their career. The University has a generous maternity policy* and on-site childcare services. The University of Southampton is in the top 1% of global universities and in the top 10 research-intensive UK universities. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and is a globally responsible university and was recently awarded the Platinum EcoAward. Our vision is to integrate the principles of sustainability into all aspects of our individual and collective work, integrating sustainability into our business planning, policy development and professional activities. This commits all our staff and students to taking responsibility for managing their activities to minimize damage to the environment, whether by switching off non-essential electrical equipment or using recycling facilities.

*subject to eligibility criteria

Applications will be considered by candidates who are working or are about to obtain a relevant doctorate. The title of associate researcher will be applied at the end of the doctorate. Prior to the award of the qualification, the title of Senior Research Assistant will be awarded.

Birkbeck, University of London, welcomes applicants from all sections of the community; the College is committed to enhancing the cultural and gender diversity of its workforce, holding an Athena SWAN award, running Disability Confident & Mindful Employer programs.

Application procedure

You must submit your completed online application form to The deadline for applications will be midnight on the closing date listed above. If you need help, please call Hannah Farrance (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0)23 8059 2507 or email Please quote reference 1809322FP on all correspondence.

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