Chapman-Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellowship, a program of Schmidt Futures (Research Fellow)

Job summary

Applications are invited for prestigious Chapman-Schmidt Fellowships in AI for Science, a program of Schmidt Futures, in the Department of Mathematics and I-X, commencing September 2024. There are several positions available, which will each be fixed term for 2 years. We have a programme of additional support for women in AI for Science including additional funds for their career development and a community of IX AI in Science women. Fellows...

Job listing information

  • Reference ENG02710
  • Date posted 1 August 2023
  • Closing date 28 September 2023

Job description

Job summary

Applications are invited for prestigious Chapman-Schmidt Fellowships in AI for Science, a program of Schmidt Futures, in the Department of Mathematics and I-X, commencing September 2024. There are several positions available, which will each be fixed term for 2 years. We have a programme of additional support for women in AI for Science including additional funds for their career development and a community of IX AI in Science women.

Fellows will join the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Network of researchers and will join a unique co-located cohort of top scholars with tailored training and one-on-one career development. The fellowships are flexible and independent, allowing recipients to freely explore while drawing on expert faculty mentors of their choice. These fellowships have the aim of identifying excellent researchers and accelerating them in using AI to advance and disrupt Science or Engineering.

Here ‘AI’ is interpreted very broadly, e.g.: topics in Bayesian Inference and Control Theory; ‘Science’ covers any typical topic in Natural Science and Engineering (Epidemiology, Biology and basic science in biomedicine are included but very clinical medical themes are not covered, including conventional medical imaging). Examples include Bayesian optimization for molecular or materials design; machine learning for single cell data; physics-based ML for turbine design and astrostatistics. These posts are not suitable for generic AI research with general application: candidates must be aiming to substantially advance a particular area of science. Applicants could view themselves as AI researchers tackling particular pieces of science or science researchers using AI to transform their area. Extensive AI knowledge is not a prerequisite. Please check the additional remit and application advice that can be found here. Applicants working in AI-based industry, with a desire to return to academic research, are encouraged to apply. The Chapman-Schmidt Fellows will be collocated with all other AI in Science fellows within Imperial’s dynamic new AI campus, I-X, and alongside other AI researchers including across Imperial’s faculties and departments.

Please note that applications that focus on method development alone or method development with broad application to numerous example areas will not be considered: a focus on advancing new science in a particular area is essential. The use of AI must serve a catalytic role: applications which use AI in a manner judged routine across the specific field (e.g., this would apply to some parts of bioinformatics) maybe be at a disadvantage. With exceptions like AI for Mathematical Proofs, publications/ outputs in mainstream venues read by a broad range of scientists/ engineers, will typically be expected. Applicants interested in 4 year roles should apply for the Imperial College Research Fellowships, supported by Schmidt Futures – these and other posts can be found here

We have partnered with the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the CNRS. If you are applying for one of these joint fellowships, we require that the listed principal mentor be in the Maths Department at Imperial, but a secondary supervisor must be at ICR/CNRS: please indicate this in your proposal details and in the appropriate fields in the online form and find further details in the FAQ found here.

Please read the FAQ regarding the application process and remit found here.

Duties and responsibilities

The Chapman-Schmidt Fellows will produce independent and original research, using AI to advance science, within the Department of Mathematics and I-X, submit publications to refereed journals, and help with teaching and administration. The post holders will be expected to undertake a self-directed program of research and scholarship, play a role in the national and international research community, in addition to teaching students at undergraduate level.

Essential requirements

The essential requirements for this post are as follows: 

  • PhD (or equivalent) in Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Computing, Mathematical Engineering. Computational Biology or a related subject.
  • The potential for leadership qualities in the subject, as illustrated, for example, through showing initiative on research projects.
  • An outstanding research record commensurate with their level of experience as demonstrated, for example, through an outstanding thesis, publications, conference presentations, code etc.
  • The ability to contribute significantly to the research environment of both I-X and the Department of Mathematics as demonstrated, for example, through a proven track record of successful research interactions.
  • A proposal which is within the AI in Science research remit.
  • Research Fellows will be expected to have several years of experience post-PhD (in research or AI-based industry) and experience supervising team members.

Further information

Further information about Imperial College London, the Department of Mathematics and the I-X AI in Science Centre can be found at: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mathematics and https://www.imperial.ac.uk/ix-ai-in-science/

In addition to completing the online application, candidates should upload following documents:

  • A full CV including publications and a single file with:
  • Publication Elaboration: 1 page (or less) outlining the contributions of up to three papers by the applicant, suitable for a general/lay reader.
  • Research Proposal Lay Summary: 1 page (or less) summarising the proposed research, suitable for a general/lay audience including the title of the research project. Particular attention will be paid to this summary. It should answer the question of why/how this application of AI (in a wide sense) will be transformative for the target area of science. The proposal should start by mentioning at least one mentor who could support the application – one mentor should be within the Department of Mathematics, but others could be outside. Mentors should be contacted in advance of the application. It is not essential that the mentor in Mathematics (or outside) be a close fit to the proposed research, but this is likely to make the science more credible.
  • Research Proposal: a 3 pages or less proposal that explains why and how the proposed research could be transformative for a particular area of science. It can be structured around background, a small number of hypotheses/aims, and work packages. It can be assumed that the reader will first read the Lay Summary and so content need not be repeated.
  • Training Plan: a ½ page or less plan, identifying any particular skills that need to be acquired for the proposed research to succeed. Training is a key part of the proposed fellowship, whether helping an AI expert master a scientific topic or a scientific topic expert acquire AI skills.
  • Kindness Statement: a ¼ page or less outline of your view on the need for kindness among scientists. The fellows will join a larger cohort of ~20 fellows in AI for Science with opportunities for outreach and Lower-and Middle Income Country (LMIC) engagement.
  • Mobility Statement (for applicants currently at Imperial only): Schmidt Futures seeks to enable national and international mobility: candidates from outside Imperial are particularly encouraged to apply. Candidates that are already in Imperial are asked to supply several sentences in their mobility statement outlining, in a distinctive and compelling manner, how remaining in Imperial is the best route for their personal growth. Applicants from Imperial are required to move from their existing supervisor to entirely new mentors for their Schmidt Fellowship, to increase both their independence and their breadth of experience (existing mentors cannot become secondary mentors).

This is a full time, fixed term opportunity for 2 years, based at White City Campus.

If you have any queries about the post, please contact e.boyce@imperial.ac.uk

Interviews will be held in November 2023.

Documents

About Imperial College London

Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.

You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.

We work in a multidisciplinary and diverse community for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle the big global challenges our complex world faces.

It’s our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society – and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.

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 reassignment, 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.