Research Fellow

University of Southampton - Social Statistics & Demography

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, BAPS 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 experimental psychology, with strong background in research on human decision making and/or signal detection theory. You will have experience in conducting laboratory-based experiments, collating experimental data and conducting statistical tests on those data.  You will have 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 Bayesian statistics, and knowledge or experience with simulation modelling of human behaviour, will be advantageous.

This research position will be 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.  You will work closely with the project team: Professor Jakub Bijak (project lead, Social Sciences) and Dr Philip Higham (Psychology), on the tasks directly relevant to the experimental work, Professors Peter W F Smith (Social Sciences) and Jonathan J Forster (Mathematics), in relation to the statistical aspects of the work; and also with and Professor Adelinde Uhrmacher (Computer Science, University of Rostock), 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,, 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 952217CC on all correspondence.

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