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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Network Science

Northeastern University London

Network Science Institute - London

Northeastern University Global Network


Location: Devon House, London, E1W 1LP

Term: Fixed term 2 years

Benefits: Generous benefits package including 25 days holiday allowance pro rata (excl. Bank holidays), group life assurance, group income protection, pension schemes and private healthcare

Start: Flexible start date

Application deadline: 23:59 (BST time) Tuesday 31st October 2023

Positions are 100% research-focused with a two-year contract. 2

The role

The Network Science Institute (NetSI) at Northeastern University London (NUL) is looking for an exceptional candidate to fill an open Postdoctoral Research Assistant/Associate position in Complex Systems, Network Science and Data Science applied to Urban and Social Dynamics at the Complex Connections Lab.

The appointed Researcher will be an integral part of the Complex Connections Lab will work under the supervision of Associate Professor R. Di Clemente. The Researcher is expected to collaborate with members of the group, as well as with fellow researchers, graduate, and PhD students, and engage in cutting-edge projects at the intersection of Complex Systems, Network Theory, Data Science and Urban Dynamics.

The Researcher primary focus will be on analyzing and modeling a wide range of data sources, from digital fingerprints of human activities to uncover the underlying features and dynamics that define cities and online interactions. The researcher will utilize data-driven approaches, including complex systems, machine learning, natural language processing, and network theory, to make groundbreaking discoveries in the field.

We welcome applicants with a strong background in Data Science, Statistical Physics, Machine Learning, Complex Systems, or other closely related fields. Our priority is to attract researchers who have a passion for defining new mathematical frameworks or innovative applications to capture human behavior and interactions in urban and online space. We value a multidisciplinary mindset and encourage researchers who can bridge the gap between disciplines.

Our research focus extends across various domains, encompassing the development of novel data-driven approaches contributing to innovative strategies for poverty reduction in cities, understanding urban segregation dynamics through the analysis of digital human traces and creating new models to explain the endogenous formation of consensus within social networks.

We provide an enriching and collaborative research environment that encourages interdisciplinary engagement and competition. As a part of our team, you'll benefit from personalized mentoring delivered by a diverse faculty team, including collaborators and companies from the fields of urban science, computer science, mathematics, and complex systems science.

Person specification


Ph.D. in or equivalent in Network Science, Data Science, Complex Systems, Urban Data Science, Computational Social Science, Mathematics, Physics, or related quantitative field.

Essential selection criteria

● Proficiency in programming languages relevant to research (e.g., Python, R, SQL, Julia).

● Experience with software development/maintenance tools, libraries, and frameworks (e.g., Pandas, scikit-learn, Spark, Git).

● Experience in Statistical Analysis, Machine Learning, Complex Systems, and Network Theory.

● Ability to work effectively in small collaborative teams and foster interdisciplinary collaborations.

● Excellent scientific communication and presentation skills.

● Enthusiasm for interdisciplinary applied research.

● Fluency in English, both spoken and written.

● Demonstrate ability to plan, executed and publish research.

● Good time-management and organizational skills

Desirable selection criteria

● Ability to mentor junior researchers (e.g. Ph.D., M.Sc. students).

● Experience with proposal preparations for external research funding.

● Experience of data visualization techniques, and vectorial image design for presentation and project websites.

● Experience with urban data science and/or computational social science.

● A track record of conducting and publishing independent research.

Job Duties

The appointed PDRA will be expected to carry out independent research and to publish the results of their original, significant and robust research for the benefit of the scientific community and the advancement of the field. They will also be expected to contribute to research proposals and to help mentor network science doctoral students.

Job duties will include the following roles, with distribution of time, dependent on expertise and seniority.

● 50-60% Assist in initiating, executing, and completing research and analysis.

● 20-25% Prepare and write research papers, presentations, grant proposals, etc.

● 15-20% Data and project management.

● 5-10% Collaborate and provide mentorship for graduate students.

About the Complex Connections Lab

The Complex Connections Lab is a research laboratory based at the NUL dedicated to studying the complex social connections that govern human behavior and interactions in cities and online. The Lab focuses on the study of the digital traces we left behind to capture human behavior and social dynamics through the lens of Network Science, Complexity Theory, and Data Science.

The team is made up of researchers in fields such as data science, computer science, and mathematics, that work together to develop innovative methods and tools to analyze large-scale data sets and gain insights into the underlying principles of the complex connections we live within.

About the Network Science Institute (NetSI)

In 2023, NetSI established a new institute hub in London, UK at Northeastern University London. The new NetSI in London was created to advance research, education, and innovation centred around network science. The hub in London will also facilitate the development and growth of collaborations and partnerships within the UK and across Europe and US. The London hub, along with others in the US, is part of the NetSI Global program which is dedicated to engaging and integrating regional network science communities and partnering with regional talent, institutions, ecosystems of innovation.

Postdoctoral Research Associates will be core members of the Network Science Institute (NetSI), which has offices in Boston MA, Portland MA, and London UK. NetSI, founded in 2014, has emerged as a world leader of multidisciplinary research communities in the field of network science. NetSI brings together expertise from diverse disciplines, from the physical, information, and social sciences, with the goal to build and expand common, synthesizing methodology and theory of 5 networks, and to apply these tools to important societal challenges. Research staff will be connected to NetSI’s vibrant community, with dozens of externally funded research programs, diverse faculty, and a uniquely skilled pool of doctoral students.

About the Northeastern University – London (NUL)

Formerly known as New College of the Humanities, and founded in 2012, NUL has established itself as a prestigious higher education institution based in the heart of London. After becoming part of Northeastern University’s global network in early 2019, NUL has undergone a period of rapid growth, having been granted taught degree awarding powers in February 2020 and moving to new state-of-the-art premises, next to Tower Bridge, in 2021. NUL continues to grow, taking in more students every year, further expanding its courses, networks, and accelerating opportunities for research.

About the Northeastern University Global Network

Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global research university ($181m external research funding in 2020 – 2021) and the recognized leader in experience-driven lifelong learning. Our world-renowned approach empowers our students, faculty, alumni, and partners to create impact far beyond the confines of discipline, degree, and campus.

Our locations—in Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; London; Portland, Maine; San Francisco; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Toronto; Vancouver; and the Massachusetts communities of Burlington and Nahant—are nodes in our growing global university system. Through this network we expand opportunities for flexible, student-centered learning and collaborative, solutions-focused research.

Northeastern’s comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate programs— in a variety of on-campus and online formats—lead to degrees, through to doctorate, in nine colleges and schools. Among these, we offer more than 195 multi-discipline majors and degrees designed to prepare students for purposeful lives and careers.

Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff. Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion.


Informal enquiries may be made to Riccardo Di Clemente, the Director of the Complex Connections Lab ( To be considered for the position, applications must be made in accordance with the process specified.

Application Process

Applications should be made via the apply button (above) by 23:59 (BST time) on Tuesday 31st October 2023. Please reference your application “PRANS0923RDC

Please ensure that your application includes a CV and cover letter. Applicants should address the selection criteria and indicate how their background and expertise are aligned with those at NetSI and NUL. You may use bullet points if you wish.

Names and contact information of three references should be provided through the cover letter. References will only be sought for finalists.

Participation in the equal opportunities section is encouraged, but voluntary. Applications are welcome from all sections of the community and will be judged on merit alone. We welcome applications from underrepresented groups. Candidates must be able to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. We may be able to offer sponsorship for this role. Please detail your requirements in your cover letter.

Location: London
Salary: £40,847 to £45,949 per annum. Commensurate with experience
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 21st September 2023
Closes: 31st October 2023
Job Ref: PRANS0923RDC
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