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Postdoctoral Research Assistant in AI for Autonomous Systems

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, (UKAEA)
UKAEA Culham, Oxfordshire
£36,397 to £38,620 (inclusive of MPP) + excellent benefits including outstanding pension
Closing date
11 Sep 2022
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Job Details

Company Description

By 2050, the planet could be using twice as much electricity compared to today. Are you interested in contributing and helping to shape the future of the world’s energy? If so, read on.

Fusion, the process that powers the Sun and Stars, is one of the most promising options for generating the cleaner, carbon-free energy that our world badly needs. UKAEA are at the forefront of realising energy from fusion, working with industry and research partners to deliver the ground-breaking developments that will underpin tomorrow's fusion power stations with the aim of bringing fusion electricity to the grid. As we work towards our mission and goals, UKAEA has devised values (Innovative, Committed, Trusted and Collaborative) that capture the spirit of how we work.

Job Description

Who are we looking for?

The Remote Applications in Challenging Environments (RACE) Department is looking for a Postdoctoral Research Assistant. You will hit the ground running and provide research in artificial intelligence, particularly relating to autonomous systems, multi-agent systems, agent-based systems and artificial intelligence planning.

You will be working in partnership with the GOALS team at the Oxford Robotics Institute (ORI) with a focus on decision-making, and mission planning, for single and multi-robot systems operating in uncertain environments and around humans, with a particular emphasis on applications in nuclear fusion environments. Part of your role will be to contribute to our international portfolio of research in robotics for extreme environments, which will include the testing of hypotheses, and analysis of data from a variety of sources, reviewing and refining working hypotheses as appropriate and being willing to engage across discipline boundaries to apply your work.

What will you be responsible for?

- Managing own academic research and administrative activities. This involves small scale project management to co-ordinate multiple aspects of work to meet deadlines
- Contributing ideas for new research projects
- Developing ideas for generating research income, and present detailed research proposals to senior researchers
- Collaborating in the preparation of scientific reports and journal articles and present papers and posters
- Acting as a source of information and advice to other members of the group on own area of expertise
- Engaging with industrial stakeholders to understand needs and disseminate results
- Organising and delivering autonomous system trials and demonstrations at internal and external sites


Essential skills, experience and competence required

- Possess sufficient specialist knowledge in decision making under uncertainty, probabilistic modelling, formal methods for robotics, control, learning or human-machine collaboration, to collaborate with the GOALS research group
- Hold a relevant PhD/DPhil (or submitted your PhD thesis), together with relevant experience

Desirable skills, experience and competence

- Knowledge of working with robots and the Robot Operating System (ROS)
- Expertise in running or analysing experiments with human participants
- Experience of independently managing a discrete area of a research project
- Sufficient knowledge of actively collaborating in the development of research articles for publication

Additional Information

What we offer

Our comprehensive benefits package includes a vibrant culture committed to being fully inclusive, an Employee Assistance Programme and trained Mental Health First Aiders, Flexible working options including family friendly policies, Emergency paid leave, Generous annual leave allowance (30.5 days) increased with length of service, wide range of career development opportunities, outstanding defined benefit pension scheme; Corporate bonus scheme and a Relocation allowance (if eligible).

We welcome applications from under-represented groups, particularly from individuals from black and other ethnic minority backgrounds, including nationality and citizenship, people with disabilities and women. The Executive Team with support from our ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ (EDI) Partner and Inclusion Ambassadors, is actively promoting EDI and taking steps to increase the diversity of our people through reinforcing best practice in recruitment and selection, and revaluating approaches where it is clear we can remove barriers to success.

Please be advised that this vacancy is due to close on 11/09/2022. We may close earlier than this date if large or sufficient numbers of applications are received.

Please note all employees working at the UK Atomic Energy Authority will be required to complete an online Disclosure Certificate application as part of their clearance – The Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks will show the details of all current criminal convictions or will confirm that there are no such convictions.

Note for applicants who are applying for employment with UKAEA either from outside the United Kingdom or who have spent time outside the United Kingdom in the last five years. Please visit the UK Government website. If the country you are resident in or have resided in is not listed on this website or that the UK Government is not aware of how to obtain a criminal records check from that state then we are unable to process your application.


Do you want to help shape the future of the world's energy? If so, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy is the place to be and we can offer a range of career opportunities. These include scientific and engineering roles, as well as technical and administrative positions supporting our research programme.

We have professionally accredited training schemes for graduate engineers and apprentices, and strong links with universities around the UK for PhD placements, as well as job vacancies for various positions when they occur, working in a friendly international environment. 


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