Research Fellow

University of Southampton - Social Statistics & Demography

Bayesian agent-based population studies (Computer Science)

This is an exciting opportunity to join a cutting-edge project “Bayesian Agent-based Population Studies: Transforming Simulation Models of Human Migration”, funded by the European Research Council (

The aim of the project is to develop a ground-breaking simulation model of international migration, based on a population of intelligent, cognitive agents, their social networks and institutions, all interacting with one another. In the modelling process, we will use Bayesian statistical principles to design innovative computer simulations, and to learn about the way the simulated individuals make decisions through cognitive experiments. In this way, the project will effectively integrate behavioural and social theory with modelling.

The project is led by Professor Jakub Bijak, the Allianz European Demographer 2015, recognised as a leader in the field for methodological innovation, directing an interdisciplinary team with expertise in demography, agent-based models, statistical analysis of uncertainty, meta-cognition, and computer simulations. 

You will have, or will be close to completing, a PhD* (or equivalent professional qualifications) in computer science, with strong background in developing and implementing domain-specific programming languages. Experience in simulation modelling; the ability to plan and organise work independently and as part of a team; and write research presentations and papers. A basic understanding and knowledge of the principles of experimental design, and knowledge or experience with agent-based modelling of population processes, will be advantageous.

This research position will be partly based in the Department of Social Statistics and Demography, within the Social Sciences academic unit, Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences, at the University of Southampton, and partly at the Modeling and Simulation Group at the University of Rostock, Germany.  You will work closely with the project team, especially Professors Jakub Bijak (project lead, Social Sciences, Southampton) and Adelinde Uhrmacher (Computer Science, Rostock) on the tasks directly relevant to the programming work. 

It is expected that you will spend approximately one year working in Southampton and two years in Rostock. 

In addition to direct work, you will also collaborate with Professors Peter W F Smith (Social Sciences) and Jonathan J Forster (Mathematics), in relation to the statistical aspects of the work; and also with Dr Philip Higham (Psychology), as well as with the other research fellows on this project.  We also envisage maintaining close working relationships and information exchange with the ESRC Centre for Population Change, with the hub at the University of Southampton (

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Professor Jakub Bijak, email:, telephone: +44 (0)23 8059 7486.

Interviews are scheduled to take place in February 2018

The position is tenable as soon as possible, not later than from 1 June 2018.

Application procedure:

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Charlene Tyson (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 6803. Please quote reference 952017CC on all correspondence.

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