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Research Associate in Artificial Intelligence

Department of Computing

departnent athena award

Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, London, UK


  • Posted on: 01st Dec 2021
  • Salary: £41,593 - £49,210
  • REF: ENG01943
  • Closes: 16th January 2022
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Job description

Job summary

This post involves conducting scientific research at Imperial College as part of the 10-year Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence grant, which is led by the Univerity of Cambridge with Imperial College as a partner. This post relates to the Kinds of Intelligence sub-project, in which Imperial College has had a major role since the Centre’s inception. The researcher we appoint will be expected to continue our comparative investigation of artificial intelligence and animal intelligence, based on the Animal-AI environment that we have developed. Specifically, we would like build a computational model of associative learning that conforms to standard descriptions found in the animal cognition literature, and to deploy it in an agent in the Animal-AI environment. The aim is to tease out the differences between associative learning mechanisms as conceived by animal cognition researchers and contemporary reinforcement learning methods from AI. There is the possibility of extension of the post, assuming the funding for the Leverhulme Centre is renewed as expected.

The post will be based in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London at the South Kensington Campus. The Department of Computing is a leading department of Computer Science among UK Universities, and has consistently been awarded the highest research rating. In the 2014 REF assessment, the Department was ranked third (1st in the Research Intensity table published by The Times Higher) and was rated as “Excellent” in the previous national assessment of teaching quality.

Duties and responsibilities

The successful candidate will collaborate internally with Professor Murray Shanahan, and with Dr Lucy Cheke of the University of Cambridge’s Dept. of Psychology and will be a member of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI). The Leverhulme CFI is led by the Univerity of Cambridge with Imperial College as a partner.

This post relates to the Kinds of Intelligence sub-project, in which Imperial College has had a major role since the Centre’s inception. In addition to carrying out and publishing original research, the Research Associate will be expected to contribute towards developing and maintaining the open source Animal-AI software related to this project (http://animalaiolympics.com/AAI/). For further information on the work of CFI’s Kinds of Intelligence project, see http://lcfi.ac.uk/projects/kinds-of-intelligence/.

Essential requirements

    • Research Associate: A PhD (or be close to completion) in an area pertinent to the subject area, e.g. artificial intelligence or machine learning*


    • Experience with the design and implementation of machine learning models


    • Experience with the design and implementation of reinforcement learning agents


  • Experience with the 3D environments and relevant software (eg: Unity)

See job description for full list of requirements.

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £36,694 – £39,888 per annum.

Further information

. In addition to completing the online application, candidates should attach:

  • A full CV, with a list of all publications
  • A 2-page research statement indicating what you see are interesting research issues relating to the above post and why your expertise is relevant.

Informal enquiries related to the position should be directed to Prof. Murray Shanahan m.shanahan@imperial.ac.uk .

For queries regarding the application process contact Jamie Perrins: j.perrins@imperial.ac.uk .

Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive, and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity and to eliminating discrimination. All employees are expected to follow the Imperial Values & Behaviours framework . Our values are:

  • Respect
  • Collaboration
  • Excellence
  • Integrity
  • Innovation

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

We are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment for all. We therefore encourage candidates to apply irrespective of age, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation. We are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Disability Confident Leader and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

For technical issues when applying online please email support.jobs@imperial.ac.uk .

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