Job Postings

Social Systems Simulation Modeller



The work undertaken by The James Hutton Group is right at the top of the global agenda tackling problems such as the impact of climate change and threats to food and water security.

ICS comprises a wide portfolio of skills, working at a range of scales from molecular to global. The Group exploits expertise in bioinformatics, geoinformatics, soil science, community planning, policy analysis, risk assessment and integrated complex systems modelling, as well as research computing and high-performance computing (HPC). The skills and experience embodied in the ICS teams enable the Group to act as leaders, integrators and enablers of complex interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary projects.

This is an exciting opportunity for a skilled and motivated Social Simulation Researcher to join a world-class team developing agent-based modelling methodology to analyse real-world scenarios. The ideal candidate will be a team player, who loves to see the application of science to stakeholder-led challenges, pays attention to detail, interacts well with colleagues, and gets a thrill out of collaborative, inter- and trans-disciplinary working.

The successful candidate will be working on the delivery of a portfolio of projects funded by the Scottish Government and the European Commission, applying agent-based modelling to real-world problems, and developing the science needed to do so. For the European Commission, the candidate will be working on the Horizon 2020 project SMARTEES (http://local-social-innovation.eu/) simulating case studies of social innovation to address fuel poverty and district regeneration in Aberdeen (UK), Timişoara (Romania) and Sweden. Work for the Scottish Government entails simulating resilience of rural industries to shocks such as changes in trading arrangements; modelling scenarios of international trade and food security; and simulating dietary change. The work will involve designing and implementing new agent-based models and modifications to existing ones, integrating data to populate the models, running them using our computing cluster, analysing the results, and preparing scientific publications, policy briefs and presentations to scientific and stakeholder audiences. Our current tools are based around NetLogo, R, Python, Perl, Java, git and Sun Grid Engine. Training will be given where needed. The candidate will also be encouraged to apply for their own research funding and develop their own networks of collaborations to pursue their research interests.

The post requires a Ph.D. in a relevant subject, such as computational social science, complex systems, or distributed AI, with undergraduate degree level coursework in the social sciences, such as psychology, economics (including heterodox economics), sociology or social anthropology. We are looking for someone with a track record in developing and publishing agent-based modelling work, interest in applying social simulation to the Institute’s three scientific challenges, and a willingness and enthusiasm for international and interdisciplinary collaborations. It is also essential that the candidate is capable of delivering to multiple projects at the same time; can write, test and debug computer code that formalises qualitative knowledge; has data analysis skills; and can present complex ideas to diverse audiences.

This post is based in Aberdeen but there may be a requirement to travel between sites. The post involves international travel, mainly in Europe, typically for periods of up to a week at a time.

More information on the detail of the post and the post holder can be found below in the job description.

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