University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Associate in Semantics and Descriptive Complexity (Fixed Term)

Research Assistant £26,715 - £30,942 or Research Associate £32,816 - £40,322

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 36 months.

Applications are sought for a Research Associate position to work on a project with Prof Anuj Dawar at the Department of Computer Science and Technology in Cambridge. The position is available immediately and the successful candidate would be expected to start no later than 1st April 2020.

The Project The post is funded by an EPSRC project on "Resources and co-resources: a junction between semantics and descriptive complexity" which is jointly led by Prof Dawar and Prof Samson Abramsky at Oxford.

The project seeks to explore ways in which methods from the study of logic and algorithms (specifically finite model theory and descriptive complexity) can be combined with methods from semantics (such as category theory) to build a cohesive algebraic theory of resources.

This builds on recent work obtaining categorical accounts of essential constructions in finite model theory (by Abramsky, Dawar and Wang and Abramsky and Shah), as well as categorical accounts of quantum resources (by Abramsky, Barbosa, de Silva and Zapata). This work made essential use of monads -- seen as encapsulating quantum and other resources -- and of comonads, which encapsulate "coresources", i.e. ways of limiting access to a structure corresponding to definability in various logics. The project will seek to apply these new tools to major results in descriptive complexity, to expand them to cover other important constructions, to find ways of combining accounts of quantum resources and logical co-resources, and to build a general theory of these.

The Research Group Prof Dawar leads a group of researchers and doctoral students working in Logic and Algorithms. This group is part of the wider Programming, Logic and Semantics (PLS) group within the Department of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge.

The successful candidate will join this group and also be expected to work closely with the group led by Prof Abramsky at Oxford. The project also involves collaboration with a number of other research groups in Europe and the United States.

Candidates We seek candidates who hold (or are close to completing) a PhD degree in Computer Science, Mathematics or a closely-related area.

Candidates should have a strong background in areas of theoretical computer science such as logic, complexity or semantics, ideally with published work in the area.

This position can be filled by an appropriate candidate at Research Assistant or Research Associate level, dependent on relevant qualifications and experience. Appointment at Research Associate level is dependent on having a PhD (or equivalent experience). Where a PhD has yet to be awarded appointment will initially be made as a Research Assistant and amended to Research Associate when the PhD is awarded.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please ensure you upload a covering letter and a curriculum vitae. 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 NR20897 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

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

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