Postdoctoral Research Associate (
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Grade 7: – £37,099 – £44,263 per annum
Fixed Term – Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
: 14-Jan-2024, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable.
Working at Durham University
A globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a warm and friendly place to work, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other.
As one of the UK’s leading universities, Durham is an incredible place to define your career. The University is located within a beautiful historic city, home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and surrounded by stunning countryside. Our talented scholars and researchers from around the world are tackling global issues and making a difference to people’s lives.
We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things in the world. Being a part of Durham is about more than just the success of the University, it’s also about contributing to the success of the city, county and community.
Our University Strategy is built on three pillars of research, education and wider student experience, but also on our keen sense of community and of inspiring others to achieve their potential.
Our Purpose and Values
We want our University to be a place where people can be free to be themselves, no matter what their identity or background. Together, we celebrate difference, value one another and are each responsible for creating an inclusive community that is respectful and fair for all.
Find out more about the benefits of working at the University and what it is like to live and work in the Durham area on our Why Durham? information page.
The Role and Department
The Department of Mathematical Sciences is one of the UK’s best mathematics departments with an outstanding reputation in teaching, research and employability of our students. It has an active programme of internationally recognised research in Pure and Applied Mathematics. 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 115 permanent members of staff, is set to grow significantly over the next ten years.
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.
Durham University is committed to the Concordat to support the career development of researchers. For further information please visit the Research Staff web pages on http://www.dur.ac.uk/hr/researchstaff/ .
Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Probability Theory with particular emphasis in statistical mechanics, random conformal geometry and/or branching processes. The successful candidate will be working on projects related to the research grant “critical systems in random geometry”, through which the position is funded. The successful candidate will also have time to develop their own research programme and to collaborate with other people. Durham has a particularly strong profile in probability (group webpage ) and theoretical physics (group webpage ).
This post is fixed term for 24 months, as prescribed by the grant funding.
The preferred starting date would be between 1st December 2023 and 1st August 2024, by agreement.
There is ample travel funding and there are no teaching duties.
- To conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the Principal Investigator (Dr Ellen Powell).
- To understand and convey material of a specialist or highly technical nature through presentations and discussions within the research group.
- To present work at seminars, both internally and externally, and at international conferences.
- To publish high quality outputs, including papers for submission to peer reviewed journals and open access electronic archives.
- To prepare and deliver presentations on research outputs/activities to audiences which may include: research sponsors, academic and non-academic audiences.
- To assist with the development of research objectives and proposals.
- To work with the Principal Investigator and other colleagues in the research group, as appropriate, to identify areas for research, develop new research methods and extend the research portfolio.
- To assist with the organisation of cross-disciplinary working/reading groups.
- To deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines by discussing with the Principal Investigator and offering creative or innovative solutions.
- To liaise with research colleagues and make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding to form relationships for future research collaboration.
- To be involved in graduate student supervision, as appropriate, in particular through research group seminars and discussions.
- To engage in wider citizenship to support the department and wider discipline, such as peer reviewing for journals.
- To plan and manage own research activity, research resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
- To contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
This post is fixed term due to the funding being available from 1 Aug 2022 – 31 July 2026; the project is time limited.
The post-holder is employed to work on a research project which will be led by another colleague. Whilst this means that the post-holder will not be carrying out independent research in his/her own right, the expectation is that they will contribute to the advancement of the project, through the development of their own research ideas/adaptation and development of research protocols.
Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by 1st August 2024
Working at Durham
A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits:
- 30 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 42 days per year.
- The University closes between Christmas and New Year.
- We offer a generous pension scheme, As a new member of staff you will be automatically enrolled into the University Superannuation Scheme (USS).
- No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered. We have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies.
- There is a genuine commitment to developing our colleagues professionally and personally. There is a comprehensive range of development courses, apprenticeships and access to qualifications and routes to develop your career in the University. All staff have dedicated annual time to concentrate on their personal development opportunities.
- Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state of the art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme.
- On site nursery is available and children’s clubs in the summer holidays.
- Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers).
- The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities to make a difference in the local community
- Discounts are available via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions.
- A salary sacrifice scheme is also available to help you take advantage of tax savings on benefits.
- If you are moving to Durham, we can help with removal costs and we have a dedicated team who can help you with the practicalities such as house hunting and schools. If you need a visa, we cover most visa costs and offer an interest free loan scheme to pay for dependant visas.
Durham University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion
Equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key component of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do. We also live by our Purpose and Values and our Staff Code of Conduct. 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. It’s important to us that all colleagues undertake activities that are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.
We welcome and encourage applications from those who are currently under-represented in our work force, including people with disabilities and from racially minoritised ethnic groups.
If you have taken a career break or periods of leave that may have impacted on the volume and recency of your research outputs and other activities, such as maternity, adoption or parental leave, you may wish to disclose this in your application. The selection committee will take this into account when evaluating your application.
The University has been awarded the Disability Confident Employer status. If you are a candidate with a disability, 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, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role.
Department contact for academic-related enquiries
Dr Ellen Powell via email at [email protected].
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 [email protected]
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
If you have any queries about the general recruitment process please contact the recruitment team on [email protected].
How to Apply
To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification below. It will be at the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether they will also consider any desirable criteria, but we would urge candidates to provide evidence for all criteria.
While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview.
Submitting your application
We prefer to receive applications online. We will update you about 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 make sure you have not missed any of our updates.
What to Submit
All applicants are asked to submit:
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview remotely, the date is to be confirmed.
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.
Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.durham.ac.uk/about-us/governance/information-governance/privacy-notices/privacy-notices/job-applicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.
When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.
Desirable Criteria –
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