University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Associate in Pico (Fixed Term)

Research Assistant £25,298 - £29,301 or Research Associate £29,301 - £38,183

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 31 December 2017.

We are looking for a brilliant developer to join the Pico team ( and help us liberate humanity from passwords. Pico is an academic research project that is currently spinning out a start-up company and, for a star performer, there may be a chance to join the start-up at the end of this post. The University of Cambridge is renowned for entrepreneurship and innovation.

You are a great programmer, demonstrably fluent in at least one of Java, Python, C, C++, Objective-C or Swift. You love coding. You love a fast machine and a very large screen (which you'll get). You have experience working with mobile and desktop applications. Experience developing for iOS, macOS or both, is especially desirable. You are also, more generally, a well-rounded computer scientist. In particular, you have at least some basic understanding of Human Computer Interaction, User eXperience or security, and are keen to learn about how they interact. You have a keen interest in, and demonstrable ability to, design, build and test new applications with engaging user interfaces.

In this role, you may have several active strands of work at any one time, but your good initiative lets you plan and execute your work effectively, without detailed guidance. You are also good at working with others, in a small team of very smart people.

Your work will often involve communication between completely different types of devices, with different operating systems and development environments: smartphones, web servers, embedded systems and so forth. You will work primarily on iOS and macOS, on which some experience will be expected, but you will also be ready to contribute to Android, Windows and Linux development as appropriate.

Skills and Requirements: The single most important requisite for the job is to be a great programmer. After that, enthusiasm and versatility. We want someone who is keen to try their hand at new things. Programming experience in industry is appreciated but not required. Candidates should have a good undergraduate or Masters degree in computer science or a related discipline. From a technical perspective, any of the following attributes will be valued, but none is an absolute requirement: - Fluent in one or more of Java, Python, C, C++, Objective-C or Swift - iOS and/or macOS development experience - Some Linux, Windows or Android experience - Basic understanding of HCI/UX and/or security - Full development lifecycle - Experience with backend authentication and Single Sign-On systems (Kerberos, Active Directory, Okta, etc.)

You enjoy learning and using new programming languages, libraries, platforms and tools, which best suit the job at hand. Ideally, you are able to demonstrate this ability through a selection of previous projects.

Candidates will be appointed to the Research Assistant (£25,298 - £29,301) or Research Associate (£29,301 - £38,183) scale based on their experience. A PhD is not required for this role. Candidates for the Research Associate scale, normally reserved for post-docs, will need substantial programming experience in industry.

Informal enquiries may be directed to Dr Frank Stajano (

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please ensure you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a short statement, not to exceed 2xA4 pages (1 is better), addressing: - how you think Pico should work on the Apple platform - what should Pico do that it isn't doing - what is the best program you've written so far - why you consider yourself a great programmer - why you want to work on Pico.

Please also provide two referees familiar with your programming work whom we can contact before making an offer. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please quote reference NR11614 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Apply online