Professor in Computer Science (COMP22-2)

Location : Durham

Salary : From £65,575 per annum

Job title:                                 Professor in Computer Science

Vacancy reference:               COMP22-2

Department:                          Department of Computer Science

Responsible to:                     Head of Department

Grade:                                    Grade 10

Salary Range:                        From £65,575 per annum 

Working arrangements:       The role is full time but we will consider requests for flexible working arrangements including potential job shares

Open date:                            22 November 2021

Closing date:                        31 January 2022 at Midnight (UK)

Preferred start date:             Successful candidates will ideally be in post by 1st September 2022


Durham University

A globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other.

We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things in the world.

As part of Durham University, you’ll be working with exceptional minds, all with the desire to ask, and answer the big questions. Access to leading-edge facilities and an active contributor to the global research and university community means you’ll be part of an international and diverse network of partners spanning the world’s best research institutions, organisations, and businesses. And all this within the evocative and historic surroundings of the city, county and community that is Durham.

We find it easy to be proud of the extraordinary people we have at Durham. We offer the inspiration, they achieve the outstanding. We invite you to join them.

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University.  We are committed to equality: if for any reason you have taken a career break or periods of leave that may have impacted on the volume and recency of research outputs, such as maternity, adoption or parental leave, you may wish to disclose this in your application.  The selection committee will recognise that this may have reduced the quantity of your research accordingly.

Durham University’s Athena Swan institutional award recognises and celebrates good practice in recruiting and supporting the development of women. We have also signed up to the Race Equality Charter, a national framework for improving the representation, progression, and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education.

The Department

The Department of Computer Science at Durham University seeks to appoint a talented individual to the role of Professor. We welcome applications from those with research and teaching interests from across the broad discipline of Computer Science. The Department has recently restructured its Research Groups and our new research structure consists of the following five Research Groups:

•    ACiD (Algorithms and Complexity in Durham)
covers a broad range of areas in theoretical computer science including computational complexity, proof complexity, descriptive complexity, combinatorial optimization, graph theory, exact algorithms, randomised algorithms, approximation algorithms, parameterized algorithms, finite model theory, coding theory, constraint satisfaction, interconnection networks, universal algebra and mathematical logic.
•    AIHS (Artificial Intelligence and Human Systems) 
covers research relating artificial intelligence centred around human needs and aspirations: applied, cross-disciplinary, human-facing artificial intelligence (AI), adaptation and personalisation, machine behaviour, bias in AI, data analytics, natural language processing, human-centred computing, data science, machine & deep learning, AI-driven human-computer interaction, with application areas such as business, law, ethics, web, e-*, education, augmented-, virtual- and extended reality.
•    NESTiD (Network Engineering, Science, and Theory in Durham)
covers areas related to networks and distributed computing including network systems and applications, distributed computing and algorithms, security and resilience, network science, theory underpinning networks and communication, social network design and human interaction. 
•    SciComp (Scientific Computing) 
covers interdisciplinary aspects of scientific computing including performance engineering, large-scale numerical simulations, load-balancing, new supercomputing architectures (in collaboration with Durham’s supercomputing centres ARC, N8, DiRAC), programming models and algorithms behind novel numerical schemes.

•    VIViD, (Vision, Imaging and Visualisation in Durham)
covers aspects of visual computing research including computer vision, image processing, medical imaging, visual HCI, robotic sensing, virtual/augmented reality, computational imaging and image/video encoding with contemporary research underpinned via strong links to generalised pattern recognition, neural computation and broader deep machine learning.
We invite applications from candidates who can strengthen the following Research Groups: AIHS, NESTiD, SciComp and VIViD – but we are also happy to receive applications from candidates working in other areas of Computer Science who can build links between their research and the research of these groups. 

For more information, please visit our Department pages at https://www.durham.ac.uk/departments/academic/computer-science/

Professors at Durham

The University is committed to enabling all of our colleagues to achieve their full potential. We promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment to ensure that all colleagues can thrive.  Academic colleagues are supported to publish world-leading and world-changing research in their area of interest in highest impact journals with a focus on quality rather than quantity. We will fully support your research needs including practical, help such as resources to attend conferences and to fund research activity, as well as a generous research leave policy and a designated mentor. Sitting alongside world class research; teaching quality and innovation is critical to ensure a first-class learning environment and curricula for all of our students. You will be supported to progress through the levels of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

All of our Professors are encouraged to focus on quality and innovation in their research and teaching, and to provide excellent leadership in the administrative functioning and collegial environment of the Department, discipline and University in support of the wider student experience.  We of course value research income, which is a necessary input to drive research outputs and impact. 

Professor in Computer Science

Applicants must demonstrate research excellence in the field of Computer Science, with the ability to take a leading role in the development of the Department’s research and teaching, and to fully engage in the services, citizenship and values of the University.   The University provides a working and teaching environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.  Candidates will be expected to demonstrate these key principles as part of the assessment process.

Key responsibilties :

  • Pursue research that is world-leading, and world-changing in terms of originality, significance and rigour, showing leadership in a research field within and/or beyond the academy which is commensurate with the Department’s continuing emphasis on international excellence;
  • To lead the development of successful research project/fellowship proposals in pursuit of suitable national and international funding opportunities to support research and end-user engagement.
  • Deliver excellent teaching, offering lectures, seminars and tutorials at undergraduate and taught postgraduate levels.  Demonstrate leadership and innovation in the design and delivery of high quality learning environments and curricula.
  • Enhance the quality of the research environment in the Department, providing leadership of national and international research groups and networks which is recognised at an international level.  Engage in the mentoring of early career researchers;
  • To attract and provide excellent supervision to research students, and contribute significantly to the development of PhD programmes.  Enhance the Department’s commitment to its vibrant and international postgraduate culture.
  • Contribute significantly to the administrative functioning and collegial environment of the Department and wider University, demonstrating sustained excellence in leadership activities which support the functioning of the Department and wider University.
  • To fully engage in, champion and enhance the values of the Department;
  • Carry out such other duties as specified by the Head of Department.

Person Specification

Applicants must demonstrate research excellence in the field of Computer Science, with the ability to teach our students to an exceptional standard and to fully engage in the services, citizenship and values of the University. 


Candidates will demonstrate world-leading and world-changing research, and leadership in a research field within and / or beyond their institution(s), with research outputs consistently recognised as internationally excellent.  

Essential Research Criteria – Grade 10

  1. Qualifications – a PhD in Computer Science or a related subject.
  2. Outputs – evidence of research outputs that are consistently recognised as internationally excellent with some output being evaluated as world-class. Candidates are asked to submit two research papers with their application (as outlined in the How to Apply section below).  Candidates may additionally choose to submit evidence such as external peer review of their outputs.
  3. Personal Research Plan – evidence of a personal research plan which supports and enhances the Department’s research strategy.
  4. Research Leadership – leadership of national/international research groups and networks, with an internationally recognised contribution to the development of research fields, as well as leadership of research groups and/or mentoring of early career researchers.  Candidates may choose to include information about research group leadership, mentoring of research colleagues, invitations to and engagement with significant external events, engagement with international networks or projects, serving on advisory boards, review bodies or commissions, external PhD examination.   
  5. PhD Supervision – a significant contribution to the development of PhD programmes and / or groups, including successful recruitment and excellent supervision of PhD students and examination of research degrees.
  6. Research Impact – demonstrable leadership of research that has a significant impact beyond the Candidate’s institution(s).
  7. Income Generation – evidence of leadership of successful research projects and/or quality research grant proposals.


Candidates will be able to evidence excellence in the development and delivery of teaching.  They will demonstrate leadership, distinction, and innovation in the design and delivery of high-quality learning environments and curricula, including curriculum development, that enables students to achieve their potential.          

Essential Teaching Criteria – Grade 10

  1. Qualification – Candidates must evidence substantial and sustained educational leadership demonstrated by:
    1. Evidence of at least one example of co-ordination, support, supervision, management and/or mentoring of others in relationship to learning and teaching, or;
    2. Successful completion of the DELTA3 course (“Leadership in Learning and Teaching”) or the DELTA4 course (“Strategic Leadership in Learning and Teaching”), or;
    3. Achievement of Senior or Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (https://www.heacademy.auk/individuals/fellowship/fellow), which is the national body that champions teaching excellence.
  2. Quality – evidence of excellence in the development and delivery of high-quality and distinctive teaching, at least at a nationally competitive level.  Evidence of training, educating, and mentoring other teachers in the department and/or the University in relation to learning and teaching. Candidates may choose to provide MEQ scores and/or peer reviews of teaching.
  3. Innovation – leadership, and influence in curriculum/new programme development and the development of innovative teaching and the design of learning environments/curricula that provide high-quality teaching and student experience at an internationally competitive level including lectures, small group learning, and/or using technology or other techniques to enhance learning and/or assessment.    
  4. Strategic – demonstrating leadership and influence in the design and delivery of excellent teaching activities and the creation of learning environments that enable students to achieve their potential.

Services, Citizenship and Values

Candidates will demonstrate sustained excellence of leadership in the provision of the administrative and collegial functioning requirements of the Department, Faculty, and University, positively contributing to the University Values and to fostering a respectful environment; as well as demonstrating their commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Essential Services, Citizenship and Values criteria – Grade 10

  1. Collegial contribution – evidence of a significant contribution to the collegial work and environment of the Candidate’s Department, Faculty, institution and/or discipline.  (Candidates may choose to evidence departmental or University roles, Faculty or University level committees or projects, mentoring activity, pastoral and academic support of students, engagement with widening participation, proactive support of the work of professional services colleagues, contributions to departmental programme management and/or strategic development, contribution to equality and diversity initiatives and membership or engagement with external bodies).
  2. Leadership – evidence of sustained excellence in leadership activities that support the administrative functioning of the candidate’s Department, Faculty or University and/or which support the development of their discipline.  (Candidates may choose to detail any leadership roles which they have undertaken, preferably in an academic context).
  3. Communication – candidates must have excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to engage with a range of students and colleagues across a variety of forums.

Contact Information

Department contact for academic-related enquiries

Professor Daniel Paulusma, daniel.paulusma@durham.ac.uk 

Contact information for technical difficulties when submitting your application

If you encounter technical difficulties when using the online application form, we prefer you send enquiries by email.  Please send your name along with a brief description of the problem you’re experiencing to e.recruitment@durham.ac.uk

Alternatively, you may call 0191 334 6801 from the UK, or +44 191 334 6801 from outside the UK. This number operates during the hours of 09.00 and 17.00 Monday to Friday, UK time.  We will normally respond within one working day (Monday to Friday, excluding UK public holidays).

University contact for general queries about the recruitment process

Leah Harrison (HR Coordinator) leah.t.harrison@durham.ac.uk 

How to Apply

We prefer to receive applications online.   

Please note that in submitting your application, we will be processing your data.  We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data. 

Information if you have a disability

The University welcomes applications from disabled people. We are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, adjustments will be made to support people within their role.

If you are unable to complete your application via our recruitment system, please get in touch with us on e.recruitment@durham.ac.uk.

What to Submit

All applicants are asked to submit:

  1. A CV
  2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;
  3. A personal research plan.
  4. An EDI & values statement – As a University we foster a collegiate community of extraordinary people aligned to the University’s values.  Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do.  At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive, and in doing so, recruit the world’s best candidates from all backgrounds and identities. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.  We therefore ask that as part of your application you provide a statement (of no more than 1 side of A4) that outlines work which you have been involved in which demonstrates your commitment to EDI and our values.
  5. Two of your most significant pieces of written work.  Where possible your written work should have been published or submitted since 2014, however, work prior to 2014 may be submitted where candidates have had career breaks.

Where possible we request that you provide web links to these which the hiring Department will access to read your work.  The application form contains fields in which to enter each of the web links.

In the event you are unable to provide accessible links to online hosting of your work, your work should be uploaded as PDFs as part of your application in our recruitment system. Please ensure that your PDFs are not larger than 5mb. Please note that your work may be read by colleagues from across the Department and evaluated against the current REF criteria;

Please save all application documents with your name and document type as PDF files.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system.  Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails.


You should provide details of 3 academic referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference (if they are not listed as an academic referee).  Please note:

  • We shall seek academic references during the application process.  Academic referees should not (if possible) include your PhD supervisor(s) and a majority should be from a University other than your own (save for early career applicants applying for their first post).  We would ask that you alert your academic referees to this application as soon as possible, and provide them with a copy of the CV you submit with your application, so that we can quickly obtain references should you be progressed to the interview stage. As part of your application you will be asked whether you give your consent to your academic references being sought should you be invited to attend interview.
  • Academic references sought for short-listed candidates may be made available to the panel during the interview process.
  • We will seek a reference from your current line-manager if we make you an offer of employment (albeit you may have also nominated your line manager as an academic referee).  Please clearly indicate which referee is your current line-manager and please let us know if we should only approach them once an offer has been made.

Next Steps

All applications will be considered; our usual practice is for colleagues across the Department to read the submitted work of long-listed candidates. 

Short-listed candidates will have the opportunity to meet key members of the Department. Due to the pandemic, the assessment for the post will take place remotely, via Zoom. The assessment includes a presentation to staff and students in the Department on 7th April 2022 followed by an interview on 8th April 2022.

In the event that you are unable to attend on the date offered, it may not be possible to offer you an interview on an alternative date.

About the Department

Durham University is making significant investments in the Department of Computer Science. The number of staff has already grown from around 20 to 40 and is growing further. We have launched new degree programmes, developed new research areas, and in January 2021 moved into a brand new purpose built building with our colleagues in Mathematics.  We are a relatively young and vibrant department – where inclusivity and collegiality is at the heart of what we do. 

We are currently ranked 9th in the UK in the Complete University Guide. We are very proud of our work on diversity and recently doubled percentage intake of our first year undergraduate cohort to be double the national average – work led by Professor Sue Black.

About Durham University

As one of the UK’s leading universities, Durham is an incredible place to define your career while enjoying a high-quality work/life balance. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people’s lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral.  A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

All new staff are given membership in a Senior Common Room in one of our 17 colleges for their first year and thereafter they may choose to remain and/or to join additional SCRs.  SCR membership offers the opportunity to participate in social and scholarly events – dinners, lectures, debates, research talks (colleges are all interdisciplinary), music and drama.  Membership includes past and present University staff, alumni, and members of the wider Durham community and gives the opportunity to engage with the College’s students. 

Less than 3 hours north of London, and an hour and a half south of Edinburgh, County Durham is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breathtaking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of city, suburban and rural residential locations. The University provides a range of benefits including pension and childcare provision and the University’s Relocation Manager can assist with potential schooling requirements.

If you’d like to find out more about the University or relocating you and your family to Durham, please visit https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/recruitment/