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Professor of Computing and Social Responsibility

De Montfort University - Faculty of Computing Engineering Media

Location: Leicester
Salary: £73,354 to £124,231
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 28th February 2024
Closes: 8th March 2024
Job Ref: T-62622869-02
 

We seek an effective leader to lead the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR) within the School of Computer Science and Informatics (SCSI) in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Media at De Montfort University (DMU). The successful candidate will have the opportunity to lead the expansion of the CCSR with further planned staff appointments at professorial, lecturer and PhD levels. 

School 

The SCSI is large (100 staff and 2,000+ students) with a diverse makeup (50% BAME, 30% female, wide age range). Its research concentrates on the three main areas where computing affects modern society: AI, cyber, and social impact. 

There has been world-leading research in Artificial Intelligence at DMU for over 20 years. The high-quality publications and international collaborations in this area contribute to the high international ranking of SCSI: 201-300 worldwide in the Shanghai Ranking, as well as in the CSCI 2021 REF outcome which rated 2/3 of research outputs as 3-4*. 

Technological and political developments make Cybersecurity, including topics such as privacy and surveillance capitalism, highly current. The Cyber Technology Institute (CTI) has strong industry connections, and holds a top recognition awarded by the NCSC: Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education (Gold) – as the only university in the East Midlands, and one of only twelve in the UK. 

The CCSR was for over 20 years the only research group directly focused on the social impact of computing in the UK. Its work on social responsibility, ethics of computing and professionalism has had internationally leading impact on academia, UKRI research, industry and policy. It has attracted significant external income, through EU projects including the ethics and data governance hub of the €1B Human Brain Project. Through the EU funded AI ethics project SHERPA, the CCSR influenced EU policy development through events at the European Parliament. A recent spin-out from CCSR research, ORBIT, provides training in responsible innovation including UKRI projects and CDTs. The CCSR’s currently has some 10 academic staff, 5 RAs, and about 15 PhD students, plus associate members across SCSI and other departments. 

The research in CCSR is central to DMU’s role as a Global Hub for UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 16 “Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions”. The CCSR is also central to many of the cross-disciplinary research themes central to the new DMU Research Strategy “Living in a Digital Society”. 

The appointment is for a proven academic leader as the Director of the CCSR and full-time, permanent Professor in Computing and Social Responsibility. They can appoint a team of two new junior academics and two university-funded PhD positions. They will be expected to lead the CCSR from the start but will be free from teaching and administrative duties for their first academic year to develop their group including through recruitment and seeking external funding, with their workload focus in subsequent years on research and leadership. 

At interview we expect the candidates to present an area of focus within the broad interpretation of “Computing and Social Responsibility”, grounded within technology or a related discipline, but with demonstrated cohesion with existing research at DMU – in the CCSR, in SCSI, and/or the wider university. 

To discuss the post further please contact the Head of School, Professor Eerke Boiten (eerke.boiten@dmu.ac.uk

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