Senior Research Associate AiDesign Lab: Artificial and Distributed Intelligence and Challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution (1.0 FTE - Flexible, FTC 24 months)

Date advertised

13 May 2022

Closing date

29 May 2022


School of Arts & Humanities


School of Arts & Humanities (Central)

Required hours

Full Time




£37,910 - £41,171 per annum

The Royal College of Art is the UK’s only entirely postgraduate institution of art and design, dedicated to teaching, research and knowledge exchange with industry. The RCA has been ranked the number one university-level institution for art & design, internationally, for the eighth consecutive year according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2022.

Applications are invited for a Senior Research Associate, 1.0FTE (flexible) for a duration of 24 months.

Radical Matter proto-Centre: Art, Philosophy, Wild Science

The Radical Matter proto-Centre (RCA) foregrounds a practice-led approach to Artificial and Distributed intelligence, led by contemporary art and philosophy (logics of sense, traditional, media, electronic and digital poetics, cultural and political narrative structures) alongside advances in the wild sciences (quantum physics, super positionality, non-locality). It includes the PGR research group Entanglement (30+ PGR researchers and international scholars), and the MA School unit (Radical Matter), welcoming researchers within the School of Arts and Humanities and across the College.

Robotics at RCA

This research work in this project will be conducted in collaboration with researchers at RCA Robotics Laboratory. The lab designs and develops intelligent robots that can enhance human safety, access, and performance in a wide range of industrial and medical applications.

Purpose of the Post

The purpose of AiDesign Lab RP2-9 Artificial and Distributed Intelligence is fourfold: First, to provide technological and ethical analysis and mapping of Ai/Di in relation to the challenges of the industrial revolution 4.0 and onwards, emphasising the opportunities for innovative product and service design in key industrial sectors. Second, to co-design and interact with users, participants, experts on application of Ai/DI (from the biosphere to technosphere). Third, to facilitate and promote knowledge exchange with academia, industry, policy makers and user groups to inform theoretical, practical and technical frameworks. Fourth, to publish and begin to implement insights, technologies, advocacy, policy, product and service design interventions for improved understanding and ethical application of Ai/DI to the opportunities and challenges of the industrial revolution 4.0 and onward.

The main duties and responsibilities of the Senior Research Associate are:

  • To undertake high-quality, rigorous, and (where relevant) collaborative research which lead to robust research outcomes for the AiDesign Lab project.
  • To develop personal research objectives and interests that align closely with wider project plans, working with the Co-PIs to ensure these are in line with the strategic direction of the project, the lab and of the college.
  • Where appropriate, to prepare and submit funding proposals in collaboration with project team members to UK and international research funders, industry partners and other funding sources, to support the lab’s research agenda and the post-holder’s own research career development plans.
  • In collaboration with project team members, to manage the award, ensuring execution of proposed research, efficient management of resources, and effective delivery of research outcomes and impacts.
  • To work with academic, industry and third sector partners as appropriate on collaborative research and knowledge exchange to achieve the deliverables of the RP2-9 Artificial and Distributed Intelligence.
  • To support engagement with partnering companies, undertaking collaborative research and contributing to working relationships to maintain a productive partnership.
  • To produce and disseminate research outputs. These outputs may be suitable for submission to the national Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise, with a quality of at least 3* as per the REF definition.
  • To support communication of research outcomes to a wide variety of audiences, including through public engagement, tailoring content and style to a broad range of specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • To participate in relevant academic, industry, government and policy networks as appropriate, presenting the work of, and representing the lab as relevant.
  • To participate in lab team meetings and activities, events and workshops, contributing ideas for development, delivery and promotion of projects.
  • To contribute to the RCA Academic community through presentations or teaching in appropriate forums and participation in RCA-wide activities such as Across RCA or Committees and boards as requested.
  • To conduct all research reflecting best practice in ethics, integrity, research data management, and research governance, ensuring compliance with RCA policies and external funding terms and conditions and sector standards.
  • To ensure compliance with RCA processes and procedures in relation to procurement and use of equipment and facilities, including health and safety policies, working with relevant departments across RCA.
  • To ensure confidentiality of sensitive project information is maintained, through appropriate project data protection.
  • To undertake general administrative and other tasks relevant to the lab’s work, as required by senior staff.
  • Evidenced flexibility and confidence to tackle a wide range of tasks, with an open, pro-active, creative and problem-solving approach.
  • Evidenced excellent writing, communication and presentation skills, able to adopt an appropriate style for a range of specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Evidenced strong interpersonal and team-working skills.
  • Genuine commitment to the aims of the project and of the lab.
  • The Senior Research Associate will be required to spend time in Hong Kong at least once a year for the employment period.

Closing date for applications is Midnight on: 29th May 2022

Further details:  Information Pack  
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The Royal College of Art is an equal opportunities employer. The College particularly welcomes applications from all sections of the community and would particularly encourage members of minority groups to apply.  

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