Assistant Professor (Research): Willmore Fellow in Statistics (MATH22-3) (ID: 22001348)
Job title: Assistant Professor (Research) in Statistics (Willmore Fellow)
Vacancy reference: MATH22-3
Department: Mathematical Sciences
Responsible to: Head of Department
Grade: Grade 7
Salary Range: £35,333 – £42,155 per annum
Working arrangements: The role is full time but we will consider requests for flexible working arrangements including potential job shares
Contract type: Fixed-term and full time for 3 years
Closing date: 18 September 2022 at Midnight (UK)
Preferred start date: Successful candidates will ideally be in post by 1 January 2023
A globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other.
We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things in the world.
As part of Durham University, you’ll be working with exceptional minds, all with the desire to ask, and answer, the big questions. Access to leading edge facilities and an active contributor to the global research and university community means you’ll be part of an international and diverse network of partners spanning the world’s best research institutions, organisations and businesses. And all this within the evocative and historic surroundings of the city, county and community that is Durham.
We find it easy to be proud of the extraordinary people we have at Durham. We offer the inspiration, they achieve the outstanding. We invite you to join them.
Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University. We are committed to equality: if for any reason you have taken a career break or periods of leave that may have impacted on your career path, such as maternity, adoption or parental leave, you may wish to disclose this in your application. The selection committee will recognise that this may have reduced the quantity of your research accordingly.
Durham University’s Athena Swan institutional award recognises and celebrates good practice in recruiting and supporting the development of women. We have also signed up to the Race Equality Charter, a national framework for improving the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education.
The Department of Mathematical Sciences is investing in excellence and seeks to appoint an outstanding postdoctoral researcher as Willmore Fellow. This 3-year fixed term position is for candidates who are in the early stages of their research career and have between 2 and 6 years of research experience since their PhD by the closing date of the call. A Durham Willmore Fellowship provides the opportunity to build an independent research career. We advertise on average one Willmore Fellowship each year. Those appointed are expected to be strong candidates for permanent posts in universities at the end of their fellowships.
For this year’s Willmore Fellowship, we welcome applications from exceptional scholars with research interests in Statistics and Data Science, including statistical machine learning and artificial intelligence. (Further details of the research interests of the Statistics Group may be found near the end of this document.)
Assistant Professors (Research) at Durham
The University is committed to enabling all of our colleagues to achieve their full potential. We promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment to ensure that all colleagues can thrive. Academic colleagues are supported to publish world-class research in their area of interest with a focus on quality in high-impact journals, rather than quantity. We will fully support your research needs including practical help, such as resources to attend conferences and to fund research activity, as well as a generous research leave policy and a designated mentor.
All of our Assistant Professors (Research) are encouraged to focus on research but also to engage in wider citizenship to enhance their own development, to support their department and wider discipline.
Assistant Professor (Research) in Statistics (Willmore Fellow)
Applicants must demonstrate research excellence in the field of Statistics and Data Science, with the ability to fully engage in the services, citizenship and values of the University. The University provides a working, research and teaching environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate these key principles as part of the assessment process.
• Pursue high-quality research, individually or collaboratively, and actively contribute to enhancing the research atmosphere of the Department
• Publish research outcomes in appropriate journals of international standing
• Contribute to the external visibility of the Department by attending and presenting research findings at conferences and workshops
• Manage own research activity, planning, and resources, and deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines
• Liaise with research colleagues and make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding
• Contribute modestly to teaching, in the form of final year undergraduate project supervision and possibly in tutorials
• Engage in continuous professional development
• Undertake external commitments which reflect well on and enhance the reputation of the University and the Statistics group
• Actively engage in the administrative requirements of the Department, notably related to research and the research environment of the department
• Carry out such other duties as specified by the Head of Department
The successful applicant for this post is expected to engage in independent research and will be put on the University’s ‘Research Track’ career path, which provides clearly defined opportunities for progression against defined criteria.
Applicants must demonstrate research excellence in the field of Statistics; they must also demonstrate the ability to teach our students to an exceptional standard and to fully engage in the services, citizenship and values of the University.
The University provides a working and teaching environment that is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate these key principles as part of the assessment process.
Applicants must have a PhD in Statistics or a related discipline, with 2 to 6 years of postdoctoral experience in Statistics.
Candidates must have the capacity for and be progressing towards the independent development of internationally excellent research that produces high-quality outcomes, including some work that is recognised as world class.
Essential Research Criteria – Grade 7
1. Qualifications – a good first degree and a PhD in statistics or a related subject
2. Outputs – evidence of high-quality outputs, some of which have the potential to be (or are) world-class. Candidates are asked to submit two research papers with their application (as outlined in the How to Apply section below). Candidates may additionally choose to submit evidence such as external peer review of their outputs.
3. Personal Research Plan – evidence of a personal research plan which supports and enhances the department’s research strategy. Capability to develop an independent research programme.
Services, Citizenship and Values
This post is focused on research but candidates will be expected to actively engage in the administrative requirements of the Department, notably related to their research, and/or the research and research environment of the department.
Candidates must positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating their commitment to equality diversity and inclusion.
Essential Services, Citizenship and Values criteria – Grade 7
1. Collegial contribution – experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate (experience of or) the potential to participate in the collegial/administrative activities of an academic department notably related to their research and/or the research and research environment of the department. (Candidates may choose to evidence departmental or University roles, mentoring activity, engagement with widening participation, involvement in equality and diversity initiatives and membership or engagement with external bodies).
2. Communication – candidates must have excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to engage with a range of students and colleagues across a variety of forums.
Desirable Criteria – Grade 7
The desirable criteria for this post (for which candidates should provide evidence of some if not all criteria) are :
A. Income generation – experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate (experience of or) the potential to develop successful research project proposals.
B. Research Leadership – experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate (experience of or) the potential to contribute to the leadership of research groups and the mentoring of early career researchers. Candidates may choose to include information about research group leadership, mentoring of research colleagues, invitations to and engagement with external events, and/or involvement with international networks or projects.
C. Research Impact – experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate (experience of or) the potential to evidence research impact beyond the institution.
D. Leadership – experience, skills and/or achievements that demonstrate (experience of or) the potential to engage in the administrative functioning of the candidate’s academic department and/or discipline including any leadership or other responsibilities in an academic/research context.
Department contact for academic-related enquiries
Professor Darren Wilkinson
Professor in Statistics
Dr Jonathan Cumming
Associate Professor in Statistics
Contact information for technical difficulties when submitting your application
If you encounter technical difficulties when using the online application form, we prefer you send enquiries by email. Please send your name along with a brief description of the problem you’re experiencing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you may call 0191 334 6801 from the UK, or +44 191 334 6801 from outside the UK. This number operates during the hours of 09.00 and 17.00 Monday to Friday, UK time. We will normally respond within one working day (Monday to Friday, excluding UK public holidays).
University contact for general queries about the recruitment process
Melissa Allison – Recruitment Coordinator
How to Apply
We prefer to receive applications online.
As a University we foster a collegiate community of extraordinary people aligned to the University’s values. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do. At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive, and in doing so, recruit the world’s best candidates from all backgrounds and identities. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI. We therefore ask that as part of your application you provide a statement (of no more than 1 side of A4) which outlines work which you have been involved in which demonstrates your commitment to EDI and our values.
Please note that in submitting your application, we will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.
Information if you have a disability
The University welcomes applications from disabled people. We are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, adjustments will be made to support people within their role.
If you are unable to complete your application via our recruitment system, please get in touch with us on email@example.com.
What to Submit
All applicants are asked to submit:
1. A CV
2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;
3. An ambitious personal research plan for the next 3 years (no more than two sides of A4);
4. An EDI & values statement – As a University we foster a collegiate community of extraordinary people aligned to the University’s values. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do. At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive, and in doing so, recruit the world’s best candidates from all backgrounds and identities. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI. We therefore ask that as part of your application you provide a statement (of no more than 1 side of A4) which outlines work which you have been involved in which demonstrates your commitment to EDI and our values.
5. Two significant pieces of work which you have been involved with since 2016 and an explanation of your input (grade 7 candidates should submit two pieces of research-focused work in any format).
Where possible we request that you provide web links to these which the hiring Department will access to read your work. The application form contains fields in which to enter each of the web links.
In the event you are unable to provide accessible links to online hosting of your work, your work should be uploaded as PDFs as part of your application in our recruitment system. Please ensure that your PDFs are not larger than 5mb. Please note that your work may be read by colleagues from across the Department and evaluated against the current REF criteria;
Please save all application documents with your name and document type as PDF files.
We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails.
You should provide details of 3 academic referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference (if they are not listed as an academic referee). Please note:
• We shall seek the academic references during the application process. Academic referees should not (if possible) include your PhD supervisor(s) and a majority should be from a University other than your own (save for early career applicants applying for their first post). We would ask that you alert your academic referees to this application as soon as possible, and provide them with a copy of the CV you submit with your application, so that we can quickly obtain references should you be progressed to the interview stage. As part of your application you will be asked whether you give your consent to your academic references being sought should you be invited to attend interview.
• Academic references sought for short-listed candidates may be made available to the panel during the interview process.
• We will seek a reference from your current line-manager if we make you an offer of employment (albeit you may have also nominated your line manager as an academic referee). Please clearly indicate which referee is your current line-manager and please let us know if we should only approach them once an offer has been made.
All applications will be considered; our usual practice is for colleagues across the Department to read the submitted work of long-listed candidates.
Short-listed candidates will be invited to the University and will have the opportunity to meet key members of the Department. The assessment for the post will normally include a presentation to staff and students in the Department followed by an interview and we anticipate that the assessments and interviews will take place over two days at the end of October/beginning of November 2022.
In the event that you are unable to attend in person on the date offered, it may not be possible to offer you an interview on an alternative date.
About the Department
The Department is one of the UK’s best Mathematics departments, with an outstanding reputation in research, teaching, and student employability. Ranked 7th in terms of grade point average intensity in the Research Excellence Framework 2014, it has an active programme of internationally recognised research in Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics (including Applied and Computational Mathematics as well as Mathematical and Theoretical Particle Physics), and Statistics and Probability. The research culture is vibrant, with many visitors, seminars, international conferences and workshops. We aim to provide a supportive and friendly environment with a strong sense of community. The Department, which currently has 100 permanent members of staff, has recently grown significantly. In 2021, we moved to a newly constructed building, which we share with Computer Science, with the goal of fostering constructive interdisciplinary exchanges.
The Department has a proud tradition of delivering excellence in its undergraduate programmes through research-led and small group teaching. Attracting some of the best students in the UK, the Department is ranked 7th in the Complete University Guide 2022. As part of the expansion of the Department, new MSc programmes, in Scientific Computing and Data Analysis and in Data Science launched in 2019 and 2020 respectively, and 2020 also saw the start of a new undergraduate programme in Mathematics and Statistics. These degrees allow research-led teaching in areas at the forefront of modern statistical practice.
The Department holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award. Athena SWAN is a national initiative that recognises the advancement of gender equality, representation, progression and success for all in academia. The Department also supports the London Mathematical Society Good Practice Scheme, whose aim is to support mathematics departments to embed equal opportunities for women within their working practices.
About Durham University
As one of the UK’s leading universities, Durham is an incredible place to define your career while enjoying a high quality work/life balance. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people’s lives.
The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.
Less than 3 hours north of London, and an hour and a half south of Edinburgh, County Durham is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breathtaking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of city, suburban and rural residential locations. The University provides a range of benefits including pension and childcare provision and the University’s Relocation Manager can assist with potential schooling requirements.
If you’d like to find out more about the University or relocating you and your family to Durham, please visit https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/recruitment/