Research Fellow

University of Southampton - Social Statistics & Demography

Bayesian agent-based population studies (Modelling)

This is an exciting opportunity to join a cutting-edge project “Bayesian Agent-based Population Studies (BAPS): 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) with a strong statistical or mathematical component, such as in statistics, demography, economics, mathematics or computer science, and experience in innovative statistical and computational modelling of social processes (e.g. through simulation-based models). You will be proficient in the use of R or other equivalent statistical software; have the ability to plan and organise work independently and as part of a team; and write research presentations and papers. Detailed understanding and knowledge of Bayesian statistics, and fitting models using Bayesian methods, 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), Peter W F Smith (Social Sciences) and Jonathan J Forster (Mathematics), especially in relation to the statistical aspects of the work; and also with Dr Philip Higham (Psychology), and Professor Adelinde Uhrmacher (Computer Science, University of Rostock), as well as with the two 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.

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 952317CC on all correspondence.

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