Research Associate - Multi-Agent Social Simulation
University of Glasgow, RI Neuroscience & Psychology
United Kingdom

Research Associate

Reference Number




Gilmorehill Campus / Main BuildingCollege / Service






Job Family

Research And Teaching


Position Type

Full Time


Salary Range

Job Purpose

To make a leading contribution to the project: Multi-Agent Social Simulation


Specifically, the postholder will conduct, manage and publish research in the area of multi-agent based social simulation research and applications, specifically working on developing and analysing large-scale social simulations of responses to natural disasters as well as assist in managing and directing this complex and challenging project.


Main Duties and Responsibilities

Perform the following activities in conjunction with the Principal Investigator (PI):

1. Take a leading role in the planning and conduct of assigned research individually or jointly in accordance with the project deliverables and Institute of Neuroscience & Psychology research strategy.

2. Document research output including analysis and interpretation of all data, maintaining records and databases, drafting technical/progress reports and papers as appropriate.

3. Establish and maintain your research profile and reputation and that of the Research Institute of Neuroscience & Psychology including establishing and sustaining a track record of independent and joint publications of international quality in high profile/quality refereed journals and conferences, enhancing the research impact in terms of economic/societal benefit, and gathering indicators of esteem.

4. Survey the research literature and environment, understand the research challenges associated with the project & subject area, & develop/implement a suitable research strategy.

5. Presentation of work at international and national conferences, at internal and external seminars, colloquia and workshops to develop and enhance our research profile.

6. Take a leading role in the identification of potential funding sources and to assist in the development of proposals to secure funding from internal and external bodies to support future research.

7. Take a leading role in developing and maintaining collaborations with colleagues across the Research Institute of Neuroscience & Psychology and wider community (eg academic and Industrial Partners).

8. Take a leading role in team/group meetings/seminars/workshops and Institute research group activities to enhance the wider knowledge, outputs and culture of the Institute.

9. Take the lead in the organisation, supervision, mentoring and training of undergraduate and/or postgraduate students and less experienced members of the project team to ensure their effective development.

10. Perform administrative tasks related to the activities of the research group and Institute, including budgets/expenditure.

11. Make a leading contribution to outreach and recruitment activities of the University of Glasgow.

12. Make a leading contribution to teaching activities (e.g. demonstrating etc) and associated administration as assigned by the Director of Institute and in consultation with the PI.

13. Be responsible for safety management related to the organisation and running of laboratory and/or experimental techniques, equipment and processes as appropriate.

14. Keep up to date with current knowledge and recent advances in the field/discipline.

15. Engage in personal, professional and career development, to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory.

16. Undertake any other duties of equivalent standing as assigned by the PI.


These key tasks are not intended to be exhaustive but simply highlight a number of major tasks which the staff member may be reasonably expected to perform.

Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience


A1. Normally Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 12 (PhD) in Computing Science or other relevant subject or alternatively possess the equivalent in professional qualifications and experience, with experience of personal development in a similar or related role.
A2. Understanding of relevant health and safety policies and procedures relative to the role.
A3. Postdoctoral training in research and development of autonomous agents and multi-agent systems as well as applications that use them.
A4. Extensive and current knowledge about the design and programming of POMDP agents and the analysis of agent-based simulations.
A5. Knowledge of computational models of human behaviour.


B1. Understanding of Intellectual Property protection.



C1. Expertise in programming autonomous agents, especially POMDP-based agents.
C2. Research creativity and strong cross-discipline collaborative ability as appropriate.
C3. Highly motivated, ability to use initiative and quick to learn new techniques.
C4. Excellent communication skills (oral and written), including public presentations and ability to communicate complex/specialist concepts clearly and concisely.
C5. Excellent interpersonal skills including team working and a collegiate approach.
C6. Willingness and aptitude to work in a multidisciplinary environment.
C7. Appropriate workload and time management skills.
C8. Extensive IT and data analysis/interpretation skills as appropriate.
C9. Problem solving skills including a flexible and pragmatic approach.
C10. Good team leadership skills including demonstrable supervisory skills.



E1. Sufficient breadth and/or depth of knowledge in specialist subject/discipline and of research methods and techniques relevant to project subject area, demonstrated through relevant post-doctoral experience.
E2. Experience in the development and testing of multi-agent systems, especially POMDP based agents.
E3. Experience in modelling human behaviour in autonomous agents.
E4. Experience of scientific writing.
E5. Proven ability to deliver quality outputs in a timely and efficient manner
E6. A track record of presentation and publication of research results in quality journals/conferences.
E7. Experience of making a leading contribution in academic activities.
E8. Ability to demonstrate a degree of independence as illustrated by identification of project objectives from assessment of the literature, design & analysis of experiments & drafting of papers.
E9. Experience in undertaking independent research.


F1. An emerging national or international reputation.

Job Features

To carry out a range of research activities and functions within academic environments of the highest national or international quality.

Publish and seek funding as appropriate to subject specialism within agreed timescales.
Informal supervision and support of less experienced members of the project team e.g. postgraduate and project students.

Undertake teaching or other duties in accordance with Institute policy.

Engage in personal, professional and career development to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory.

Leadership in the design and implementation in your specific research project(s) as appropriate.


The applicant will assist in running a research effort in extending the lab’s agent capabilities and designing multi-agent based simulations. This post has funding for 1.5 years initially, but it could be extended if additional funding is acquired.

The laboratory members will work closely with the applicant from whom they will take instructions and guidance.
He/she will contribute to the delivery, planning and organising of laboratory seminars and will be encouraged to participate in undergraduate and post-graduate teaching activities of the Institute.


Planning and Organising
Management of time and prioritisation of research, teaching and administrative duties.
Planning, organisation and implementation of research project on a weekly and monthly basis.
Plan research directions that are within the available budget.
React to varying project needs and deadlines.


Decision Making
Undertake decision making on all aspects of research project/activities.
Prioritise own, and where appropriate delegate to junior team members workload.
Decide on research directions and goals within remit of original project proposal.
Adjust research approaches to meet project outcomes.
Identify best journals for publication and meetings/conferences to attend.
Purchase of equipment and materials.
Safe and effective lab management.


Internal/External Relationships
University colleagues: to exchange information to ensure efficient working and to facilitate cross disciplinary working.
External bodies/collaborators: proactively maintain co-operation and links at all levels to enhance profile and reputation.
Dissemination: preparation and presentation of reports/results and participation in meetings and conference calls.


Problem Solving
Research including technical and theoretical aspects, problem solving and development of novel ideas.
Awareness of project and budgetary issues and equipment lead times.
Assistance of undergraduate/postgraduate students and junior team members with problems relating to research project.


Representation of the University/College/Institute through presentation at national and international events.
Attendance at training events to learn and implement new research technologies.
Prepared to travel to work in the UK/Europe and elsewhere as required by the University.
Standard Terms & Conditions
Salary will be on the University’s Research and Teaching Grade, level 7 £35,210 - £39,610 per annum.


This post has funding up to 31 August 2020.
New entrants to the University will be required to serve a probationary period of 6 months.


The successful applicant will be eligible to join the Universities' Superannuation Scheme. Further information regarding the scheme is available from the Superannuation Officer, who is also prepared to advise on questions relating to the transfer of Superannuation benefits.


All research and related activities, including grants, donations, clinical trials, contract research, consultancy and commercialisation are required to be managed through the University’s relevant processes (e.g. contractual and financial), in accordance with the University Court’s policies.


It is the University of Glasgow’s mission to foster an inclusive climate, which ensures equality in our working, learning, research and teaching environment.


We strongly endorse the principles of Athena SWAN, including a supportive and flexible working environment, with commitment from all levels of the organisation in promoting gender equality.


The University of Glasgow, charity number SC004401.

For informal enquiries please email Professor Stacy Marsella :

Vacancy Reference: 023805 Closing Date: 13 February 2019

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Psychoneuroxy


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