Research Associate, AI Governance (Standards and Regulation)

Alan Turing Institute London United Kingdom Research Programmes
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Company Description

Named in honour of Alan Turing, the Institute is a place for inspiring, exciting work and we need passionate, sharp, and innovative people who want to use their skills to contribute to our mission to make great leaps in data science and AI research to change the world for the better.

Please find more information about us here.

Position

The Public Policy Programme works alongside policy makers in pursuit of the Institute's mission – to make great leaps in data science and artificial intelligence research in order to change the world for the better – by developing research, tools, and techniques that have a positive impact on society. Within this aim, the programme tackles questions of how to develop and deploy AI for better governance and policymaking, and how to advance regulatory frameworks and governance mechanisms for the ethical development and deployment of AI.


Situated within the Public Policy Programme, the AI Governance and Regulatory Innovation team conducts research, provides advice, and works with policymakers and other stakeholders to address governance challenges and opportunities presented by AI. The team’s portfolio of work covers a diverse range of areas, including questions of AI governance that stretch across regulatory and non-regulatory mechanisms and across different governance domains (horizontal/sector-specific, national/international) and questions about the use of AI for regulatory purposes. Our research informs AI policymaking processes in the UK and internationally, and we act as a trusted advisor and a collaborator with government departments, regulatory bodies, and intergovernmental organisations.


The team’s portfolio includes leading the Turing’s work on the AI Standards Hub, a high-profile government-funded initiative delivered in partnership with the British Standards Institution and the National Physical Laboratory, dedicated to the role of international standards as AI governance tools and innovation enablers. Through a combination knowledge sharing, community and capacity building, and research, the AI Standards Hub seeks to provide thought leadership, enable new forms of international collaboration, and empower stakeholders to become actively involved in the AI standardisation landscape. (For more information on the Hub’s mission, see www.aistandardshub.org).


ROLE PURPOSE

We are recruiting a Research Associate to join the AI Governance and Regulatory Innovation team. The successful candidate will report to the Head of AI Governance and Regulatory Innovation and will play a central role in delivering the team’s strategy for research, stakeholder engagement, and capacity-building in the areas of AI standards and AI regulation. The post holder will join the team during an exciting time, with the opportunity to shape new workstreams while contributing to the development of the AI Standards Hub and other existing projects.


The successful candidate will join a team with a track record of producing high-impact public-facing work and acting as a source of strategic advice to stakeholders in the UK and abroad. Their work will involve building and maintaining strong working relationships with regulators, collaborating in prominent industry networks, and contributing to a strategy that combines UK-focused and internationally oriented activities.


The post holder’s work will address the governance of AI and autonomous systems in a range of possible domains, depending on project needs and candidate background. This includes possible work dedicated to vertical domains such as maritime industry, transport, agriculture, construction, or creative industries, among others.


DUTIES AND AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY

  • Generating research and thought leadership on standards and regulation for AI that encompasses technical as well as non-technical considerations and addresses questions in areas such as reliability and safety, security, transparency, fairness, accountability, interoperability, or wider societal implications. Specific research aims are project dependent and may include analysing AI use cases, their associated challenges and risks, identifying and assessing the adequacy of existing standards and regulatory frameworks in the UK and internationally, and developing recommendations for addressing gaps and needs for new standards and regulatory measures.
  • Contributing to engagement, community building, and knowledge production & exchange activities with diverse stakeholders (including industry, regulators, academia, and civil society) in the UK and internationally through workshops, roundtables, webinars, and other relevant formats.
  • Developing resources, tools, and training materials to equip stakeholders with knowledge on best practice, standards, regulatory strategies, and the wider AI governance landscape.
  • Contribute to producing high-quality publications for dissemination of the work to the wider community as well as research reports to document the work undertaken during the project.
  • Work collaboratively with researchers, senior investigators from across the Turing and external partners on the project.
  • Attend and contribute to presentation of findings and papers at conferences, and to contribute to the external visibility of the Turing.
  • Contribute to the organisation of workshops and other events.

Requirements

  • A PhD or an equivalent level of professional experience that provides suitable foundations for understanding technical as well as governance, and management related aspects concerning the design, development, and use of AI technologies (including ethical and regulatory considerations). This may be a degree in the social sciences, law, fields concerned with technical aspects of AI and digital innovation (such as computer science), or other relevant disciplines.
  • An excellent understanding of technical as well as governance - and management - related aspects concerning the design, development, and use of AI technologies.
  • A strong understanding of the current literature on regulatory and ethical considerations related to AI.
  • A general understanding of and strong interest in existing and emerging legal and regulatory frameworks and requirements with relevance to AI technologies at the national and international level.
  • A general understanding of and strong interest in the role of international standards as a technology governance tool.
  • A record of scientific publication, which may include journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports/white papers, according to career stage.

Other information

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

If you are interested in this opportunity, please click the apply button below. You will need to register on the applicant portal and complete the application form including your CV and covering letter. Please include a sample piece of writing (a journal article, conference paper, book chapter, or similar research piece) and a list of publications. If you have questions about the role or would like to apply using a different format, please contact us on 020 3862 3536 or email [email protected].


If you are applying for more than one role at the Turing, please note that only one Cover Letter can be visible on your profile at one time. If you wish to apply for multiple roles and do not want to overwrite your existing Cover Letter, please apply for the role using the button below and forward your additional cover letter directly to [email protected] quoting the job title.


If you are an internal applicant and wish to apply, please send your CV and Cover Letter directly to [email protected] and your application will be considered.


CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS: SUNDAY 30 JUNE 2024 AT 23:59 (LONDON, UK BST)

We reserve the right to close this vacancy early or to interview suitable candidates before the closing date if enough applications are received.


TERMS AND CONDITIONS

This full-time post is offered on a fixed-term basis for two years. The annual salary is £44,180 - £49,966 plus excellent benefits, including flexible working and family friendly policies, https://www.turing.ac.uk/work-turing/why-work-turing/employee-benefits.


Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant at a salary of £41,352 per annum.


The Alan Turing Institute is based at the British Library, in the heart of London’s Knowledge Quarter. We expect staff to come to our office at least 4 days per month. Some roles may require more days in the office; the hiring manager will be able to confirm this during the interview.


EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

The Alan Turing Institute is committed to creating an environment where diversity is valued and everyone is treated fairly. In accordance with the Equality Act, we welcome applications from anyone who meets the specific criteria of the post regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.


We are committed to making sure our recruitment process is accessible and inclusive. This includes making reasonable adjustments for candidates who have a disability or long-term condition. Please contact us at [email protected] to find out how we can assist you.


Please note all offers of employment are subject to obtaining and retaining the right to work in the UK and satisfactory pre-employment security screening which includes a DBS Check.


Full details on the pre-employment screening process can be requested from [email protected].