SMQB Center Fellowships at University of Birmingham

Number of roles available: 3

Full time starting salary is normally in the range of £43,414 to £51,805. With potential progression once in post to £58,284 a year, Grade 8

Contract type: Fixed term, 3 years

Three roles are available. These are unique 3-year research fellowships within the Center for Systems Modeling and Quantitative Biomedicine (SMQB). The SMQB is an innovative interdisciplinary research center at the University of Birmingham comprising mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists, engineers, biomedical scientists and professional services staff. With key research themes in mathematical and computer modeling; neuroscience and neurology; endocrinology, metabolism and reproduction; and medical sensors and wearables, the SMQB currently hosts 3 independent research fellows, as well as being the hub for a new £1.3M EPSRC Network+ in responsible neurotechnology.

Led by Professor John Terry, our mission is to transform lives through quantitative biomedical and clinical research. We co-create research challenges with a range of stakeholders, including industry partners, biomedical researchers, clinical scientists, as well as people with lived experience of disease and members of the public. To solve these challenges, we use techniques from mathematical and statistical modeling, theoretical physics, machine learning and data science, and biophysical imaging and image analysis. Housed within the medical school, in close proximity to 3 substantial hospitals, as well as the soon to open Birmingham Health Innovation Campus, the SMQB is a unique environment for the pursuit of interdisciplinary research.

The role

Center fellowships are critical roles for the success of SMQB’s interdisciplinary ethos. They are innovative roles, designed to enable transition to independence for talented early career researchers. They give you the opportunity to develop and grow your own research portfolio, with the freedom that comes with a research-only contract. To facilitate this, the role comprises two main parts to which you will devote your time equally:

  1. Pursuing your own personal program of research. Your time will be spent developing your research portfolio in one or more of the key research themes of the Centre, while being immersed in a highly supportive and dynamic environment. You will receive mentoring and support from world-class academics, as well as the training and coaching needed to support your transition to independence.
  2. Pump-priming interdisciplinary, impactful projects. You will provide the quantitative expertise and leadership to co-create and develop needs-driven projects of biomedical and clinical significance with researchers from across our unique university, hospital and industry ecosystem. Working closely with relevant industrial partners (in areas such as digital health, MedTech or diagnostics) alongside academics, healthcare users and members of the public you will propose and develop collaborative projects and co-create commercialization and translational opportunities where applicable. This includes liaising with industry, senior academics, and business engagement to ensure the proposed research is fit for purpose and conducting research and publishing outcomes, as appropriate to the disciplinary area and specific project.

In addition to these main components, Center Fellows have the opportunity to become involved in interdisciplinary training and stakeholder engagement, as we continue to grow the ecosystem within and beyond Birmingham.

About you

You will already have extensive postdoctoral experience and either existing industrial experience or the transferable skills and desire to engage in stakeholder-led research. You will be curiosity driven and seeking to further develop your quantitative skills to tackle some of the most pressing healthcare and societal challenges. You will receive strong support and mentorship to develop your own independent program of research, with the ultimate aim of securing your own personal fellowship funding.

We are seeking three individuals with a strong background in one or more of (alphabetically): Advanced (Medical) Imaging, Complex Networks, Clinical Data Analytics and Visualisation, Diagnostics and Clinical Decision Support Systems, Dynamical Systems, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, Parameter Inference (including Bayesian Methods), Programming in multiple high-level programming languages ​​(eg C, C++, Fortran, Julia, Matlab, Python, R).

If you have the demonstrated capacity to work independently, think creatively and desire to work as part of a collaborative team we want to hear from you.

For further details of the role and selection criteria please refer to the job description on the University of Birmingham site.

Informal inquiries should be addressed to Dr Rebecca Ward, Center Manager at rjward.2@bham.ac.uk.

What we can offer

A package of tailored support to put you in the best place to transition you to independence through either personal fellowship funding or permanent academic roles. This includes strong academic support and mentorship to develop your own independent program of research, bespoke support from a dedicated professional services team and access to training, development and leadership opportunities. We have developed several processes to enable interdisciplinary research, including our flagship research incubator, which all Center Fellows play a key role in enabling. Center Fellows receive a budget for travel and computing that they are responsible for managing, as well as having the opportunity to arrange workshops and conferences and hosting international visitors.

Working at the University of Birmingham brings many benefits, from generous holiday leave, to reward and recognition. The University offers a range of benefits to help you achieve a better balance between your family and work responsibilities. We provide discounts on childcare and have two day nurseries and a holiday club on or near campus. In addition, you can benefit from a number of retail offers and discounts and you will have the opportunity to join private medical and dental schemes such as the National Dental Plan. For more information about staff benefits, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/employeebenefits/index.aspx

Our beautiful campus is one of our greatest assets. We are like a city within a city with all our buildings and amenities on a single site. Our striking architecture and 250-acres of parkland will inspire you to make the most of your time here and not only that but it has all the amenities of a small town. You will find bars, shops, a hair salon, opticians, travel agents, a concert hall, fine art gallery, geology museum and major banks on campus. You will also be able to take advantage of the fruit stall and regular Farmer’s Markets that take place here.

In addition, you will have access to all of the University’s facilities such as the sports center, library, outstanding nurseries, research facilities, faith support, well-being services, staff clubs and networks.

How to apply

To apply and be considered for a Center Fellow role applicants must submit:

  • a current CV
  • a two-page (max) summary of the personal program of research you plan to undertake within the Centre, including key collaborators within the University of Birmingham that you would seek to interact;
  • a recent publication that best reflects your skills and experience alongside a brief narrative describing its impact;
  • Answers to the required questions on the application website that clearly explain how you satisfy the essential criteria for the role, as detailed within the ‘Person specification’ section.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an assessment and interview at the University of Birmingham on 15 & 16th November 2022. The closing date for applications is 23rd October 2022

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working.

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