Research Associate in Computer Science

University of York Department of Computer Science

United Kingdom

Research Associate

Department:Computer Science
Based at:University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work:Full-time
Contract status:Fixed term
Salary:32,817 - 40,322 a year
Posted Date:02/02/2021
Apply by:01/03/2021
Job Reference:9119

Role Description


The project ‘Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Node in Verifiability’, funded by the EPSRC as part of the UK Research and Innovation’s £34 million research programme on Trustworthy Autonomous Systems (TAS), offers a 30-month Research Associate position focused on model based design and formal verification.

The project is a highly interdisciplinary research effort to deliver a step change in the verifiability of autonomous systems, including robots and software systems. The project will develop a mathematical framework that enables a common understanding of the diverse practices and concepts involved in verification of autonomy. Our framework will provide the mathematical underpinning, required by any engineering effort, to accommodate the notations used by the various disciplines. With this common understanding, we will justify translations between languages, compositions of artefacts (engineering models, tests, simulations, and so on) defined in different languages, and system-level inferences from verifications of components. This ambitious vision will be delivered through the close collaboration of 20+ Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Robotics researchers at the University of Leeds, the University of Leicester, the University of Manchester, the University of Sheffield, and the University of York. The fundamental research advances generated by the project will be validated and adopted in domains ranging from autonomous vehicles to healthcare, with the support of 15 UK and international partners from industry, academia, government and third-party organisations.


We are seeking an enthusiastic researcher capable of making significant contributions to the development of verification notations that are useful for a variety of techniques and accessible to practitioners. You will develop metamodel and well-formedness restrictions, and a formal semantics for the notations. You will develop tools that demonstrate usability of the approach. You will work closely with researchers from the RoboStar group (  and build on the experience with RoboStar notations and tools. You will also work closely with researchers from the other project disciplines at all our universities to deliver, validate and disseminate the planned research advances, and you will collaborate with other UKRI TAS programme researchers to maximise the impact of these advances.

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

  • First degree in Computer Science
  • PhD in formal methods or equivalent  experience
  • Knowledge in software engineering and verification  to engage in high quality research
  • Knowledge of a range of research techniques and methodologies
  • Research expertise in an area that will complement and enhance the department's research strategy and goals
  • Knowledge of language design and semantics
  • Knowledge of diagrammatic and controlled natural languages for modelling and design
  • Knowledge of mathematical semantics
  • Isabelle theorem prover
  • Unifying Theories of Programming
  • Functional programming
  • Highly developed communication skills to engage effectively with a wide ranging audience, both orally and in writing, using a range of media
  • Ability to write up research work for publication in high profile journals and engage in public dissemination
  • Ability to develop research objectives , projects and proposals for own and joint research, with the assistance of a mentor if required
  • Competency to conduct individual and collaborative research projects
  • Ability to identify sources of funding and contribute to the process of securing funds, with collaborators if required
  • Competency to make presentations at conferences or exhibit work in other appropriate events
  • Programming skills (design, coding, testing, … )

Interview date: 17 or 18 March 2021

For informal enquiries: please contact Jim Woodcock:

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