Research Assistant / Associate in Astrophysics
University of Cambridge Department of Physics
United Kingdom

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position investigating "Sparse Bayesian reconstruction for optimal facial recognition" at the Cavendish Laboratory (Department of Physics, University of Cambridge).

The role holder will join the Astrophysics research group, undertaking work led by Anthony Lasenby and Will Handley, and will apply the latest developments in Nested Sampling (encapsulated in PolyChord 2.0) and Bayesian sparse reconstruction to the field of facial recognition. They will use a state-of-the-art facial recognition training corpus, provided by Anyvision, a world leader in machine learning, with interaction facilitated and software provided by PolyChord Ltd.

The post is ideal for an early career researcher who wishes to further their skills in machine learning and interaction with industry. Background in applying MCMC techniques and machine learning is essential, with experience in using nested sampling packages and techniques (PolyChord, MultiNest, Dynesty, DNest). The role holder will also be expected to interact with Anyvision and PolyChord Ltd on a regular basis.

The Astrophysics group has a long history of developing machine learning and nested sampling techniques and applying them in the context of Cosmology and Astrophysics, creating tools such as SkyNet, MultiNest and PolyChord. These techniques have also been applied to particle physics via GAMBIT and to geophysics problems as part of a Shell-funded postdoctoral scheme. This grant aims to transfer nested sampling techniques to the facial recognition community.

Applications will be reviewed after the closing date and interviews conducted in December 2020. The candidate would ideally start as soon as possible after January 1st 2021. The work will be funded by the STFC Innovation Partnership Scheme.

Fixed-term: Currently funding ends 11 months after the start date, or on 31/12/2021, whichever is the earlier.

Appointment as a Research Associate is dependent on having a PhD. Those who have submitted but not yet received their PhD will initially be appointed as a Research Assistant and amended to Research Associate when the PhD is awarded. The Research Assistant salary (grade 5) falls within the range £26,715 to £30,942. The Research Associate (grade 7) salary falls within the range £32,816 to £40,322.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a covering letter in the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

If you have any questions about this vacancy or the application process, please contact Anthony Lasenby, tel: 01223 337293, email:

Please quote reference KA23794 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Physicaloxy


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