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Senior Research Associate in Computer Science: Distributed Contract-Based Software Systems for Autonomy and Accountability

School of Computing and Communications
Salary:   £33,518 to £38,832
Closing Date:   Friday 16 November 2018
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  A2137-P

Modern software systems involve multiple autonomous parties and thus are conceptually decentralized yet what current software engineering supports is building centralized machines (e.g., a Web service). This project undertakes ambitious research into decentralized software architectures that enable autonomous action and, as a counterbalance to autonomy, accountability.   The project is truly foundational sitting at the intersection of autonomous agents and multiagent systems, software engineering, programming, concurrent and distributed systems, policy, and databases. 

Ongoing research is on languages for specifying decentralized software architectures.  One theme covers high-level languages for expressing norms, policies, and contracts that govern the interaction between autonomous parties.  Another theme covers information flow protocols in decentralized systems. A third seeks to translate the high-level languages into information flows.  Other interesting work includes building tooling for verification, programming, and, in general, methodology for designing architectures and implementations of autonomous components.  In summary, this project provides an opportunity to do great theory, systems work, and software engineering.

A direction of immediate interest is building for Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain environments.

We seek a candidate to undertake research in this broad area. The candidate will be expected to write and submit high-quality research papers on the foregoing themes, disseminate research results by giving talks and tutorials at conferences and other institutions, assist with preparing grant proposals, and undertake other research activities as needed. Please see Job Description for more details.

A PhD in computer science is required to be eligible for this position.  The ideal applicant will have a track record of high-quality publications in areas of relevance to the project and the willingness to undertake ambitious and challenging research.  For more details, please see the detailed Person Specification for this position.

The position will be under the supervision of Dr Amit K. Chopra, who is a senior lecturer in the School. Applicants are encouraged to take a look at Dr Chopra’s recent publications. 

We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis, as well as the Athena SWAN Charter, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address gender equality in higher education and research.

The position is for 30 months and is available to start on 1 Oct, 2018. 

Interested candidates should contact Dr Amit Chopra for informal inquiries (

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

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