Research Associate

The University of Edinburgh

United Kingdom

Full time

Scientific Research

May 24

This job is no longer accepting applications.

About the job

Job Description

Grade 7, salary range: £33,797 - £40,322

College of Science and Engineering, School of Informatics

Fixed-term, Full time

Available for 9 months (fixed end date of 31/03/2022)

2 post available

The School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh invites applications for a full-time Postdoctoral Research Associate in Robotics, Control, and Machine Learning as part of our EPSRC funded Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (RAI): Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets: ORCA ( )

The Opportunity

The successful candidate will conduct research on whole body optimal control and motion planning The successful candidate will be expected to work closely with our university partners inside the hub and play a leading role in developing novel algorithms and proof of concept robotics and AI solutions in hazardous environments such as offshore energy platforms (ORCA). This post will also be affiliated to the Advanced Robotics Lab (AIR) Lab at Edinburgh directed by Dr Zhibin (Alex) Li.

There are 2 9 month fixed term posts available immediately until 31 March 2022.

Project Description

The research program aims to lead advancement in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) solutions that create innovations in the inspection, maintenance, repair and decommissioning for the offshore industries. Deployment platforms including wheeled/legged and metamorphic robots for sensor deployment, and dexterous manipulation and grasping in extreme and dynamically changing conditions.

The Vacancies For The Scientific Projects Are As Follows

Successful candidates will be responsible for carrying out research for one of the research projects described below; develop software to implement novel sensing and control algorithms in simulation and on real hardware; work as part of the research group looking at fundamental advances in autonomous manipulation and robot learning.

Control and planning of force controllable grasping and/or manipulation.

Telepresence for interactive robot inspection and intervention.

Dexterous manipulation for tool use and waste recycling.

Motion planning, optimization and control algorithms for high degree of freedom robots.

Teleoperation and shared autonomy implementations for bi-manual manipulation for asset inspection and maintenance.

Principal Duties

Candidates are expected to have a strong background, expertise and/or working experience in robotics, control, optimisation, motion planning, and/or machine learning. The candidate must demonstrate a strong track record of publications in the top robotics conferences and journals in the areas of robotics & control (e.g., Humanoids, ICRA, IROS, RA-L, TRO, IJRR).

The candidate is also expected to have good programming and system engineering skills. Candidates with direct experience in robot manipulation, computer vision, and/or machine learning will be preferred. The appointee will be responsible to carry out the research outlined above and also to contribute to the supervision of PhD students who are conducting research in the same scientific areas.

The Posts Will Involve

Deliverable-driven as well as fundamental research in a collaborative team environment

Leading the writing and submission process associated with papers at the leading international conferences and journals,

Attending international conferences to present results and regularly reporting progress to the funding agency.

Oversight and expert advice for other, more junior staff and research students (including as co-supervisor) as required.

The research will be carried out in the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh.


Knowledge, Skills And Experience Are

Knowledge, skills and experience

PhD degree (or near completion) in robotics, control, computer science or closely related field.

Research expertise in control, motion planning and optimisation.

Track record of excellent research: publications in high-quality conferences and journals in the robotics, control, and/or machine learning.

Excellent programming skills in Python, C++, and/or Matlab.

Working proficiency, skills and expertise in Linux and physics simulators.

Ability to work effectively as part of a team, to meet deadlines and to report on project progress.

Experience of providing analysis and technical advice to senior managers.

Excellence in written and oral communication, analytical, and time management skills

Feedback is only provided to interviewed candidates.

Further enquiries may be addressed to: Dr Alex Li, Edinburgh Centre for Robotics ([AT]

Please ensure a CV and supporting statement is provided in your application.

As a valued member of our team you can expect:

An exciting, positive, creative, challenging and rewarding place to work. We give you support, nurture your talent and reward success. You will benefit from a competitive reward package and a wide range of staff benefits, which includes a generous holiday entitlement, a defined benefits pension scheme , staff discounts, family friendly initiatives , flexible working and much more. Access our staff benefits page for further information and use our reward calculator to find out the total value of pay and benefits provided.

The University of Edinburgh holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. We are members of the Race Equality Charter and we are also Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champions, actively promoting LGBT equality.

If invited for interview you will be required to evidence your right to work in the UK. Further information is available on our Demonstrating your Right to Work | The University of Edinburgh webpages

The University is able to sponsor the employment of international workers in this role. If successful, an international applicant requiring sponsorship to work in the UK will need to satisfy the UK Home Office’s English Language requirements and apply for and secure a Tier 2/Skilled Worker Visa.

About Us

As a world-leading research-intensive University, we are here to address tomorrow’s greatest challenges. Between now and 2030 we will do that with a values-led approach to teaching, research and innovation, and through the strength of our relationships, both locally and globally.


Informatics is the study of how natural and artificial systems store, process and communicate information. Research in Informatics promises to take information technology to a new level, and to place information at the heart of 21st century science, technology and society. The School enjoys collaborations across many disciplines in the University, spanning all three College, and also participates as a strategic partner in the Alan Turing Institute and, with Heriot-Watt University, in the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics.

The School provides a fertile environment for a wide range of studies focused on understanding computation in both artificial and natural systems. It attracts students around the world to study in our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and currently has approximately 1000 undergraduate students, 320 MSc students and 350 PhD students. Informatics is one of seven schools in the College of Science and Engineering, at the University of Edinburgh. It is recognised for the employability of its graduates (demand exceeds supply), its contributions to entrepreneurship, and the excellence of its research. Since the first Research Assessment Exercise in 1986, Informatics at Edinburgh has consistently been assessed to have more internationally excellent and world-class research than any other submission in Computer Science and Informatics. The latest REF 2014 results have again confirmed that ours is the largest concentration of internationally excellent research in the UK. This contributes to our ranking in the top 15 CS departments world-wide according to the latest Times Higher Education ranking.

We aim to ensure that our culture and systems support flexible and family-friendly working and recognise and value diversity across all our staff and students. The School has an active programme offering support and professional development for all staff; providing mentoring, training, and networking opportunities.

The School of Informatics holds a Silver Athena SWAN award, in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education and research.

Seniority Level



Higher Education Research Hospital & Health Care

Employment Type


Job Functions

Research Analyst  

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