Research Associate - Security, Privacy and Machine Learning

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


The Defence & Security programme at the Turing is looking to expand a newly formed team of researchers working on real-world security and privacy challenges at the intersection of machine-learning and cyber security.

As a team, we aim to advance the state-of-the-art and publish cutting-edge research across both domains. Day to day, we collaborate with technical and subject matter experts from our partner organisations as well as academics, software engineers, and data scientists from across the Turing’s research community. We present our work to a range of audiences including research colleagues, senior decision makers and non-technical stakeholders. For our models we use national clusters and cloud computing platforms to realise science and artificial intelligence research at scale.

We are a cross-disciplinary team and encourage applications from both generalists and specialists including those who self-identify as software engineers, computer scientists, machine learning practitioners, mathematicians, statisticians or more widely as data scientists or data engineers. Applicants focussed predominantly on either machine learning or systems/information security are most welcome.

The team practices an agile, experiment-driven approach and values a positive, supportive and collaborative environment in which ‘radical candour’ and ‘lifelong learning’ are encouraged. We embrace failure as a learning opportunity and necessary precursor to success. We are empowered to take ownership of our work and operate with a high level of autonomy in our roles, to deliver measurable impact to our partners.


This role will sit within the new AI for Cyber Defence (AICD) Research Centre. The AICD is aiming to become a world-class research centre, at the Alan Turing Institute, focussed on delivering the science needed for developing autonomous and resilient cyber defence using reinforcement learning (RL) and other autonomous approaches to learning from interaction. This involves both the application of existing AI algorithms and techniques as well as fundamentally advancing AI where necessary.


The research associate will work closely with the Centre Leads based at the Turing Institute to:

  • Pursue collaborative research of high quality, consistent with making a full active research contribution in line with the research strategy outlined by the Centre Leads.
  • Write or contribute to publications or disseminate research findings using other appropriate media.
  • Attend and present research findings and papers at academic and professional conferences, and to contribute to the external visibility of the Institute.
  • Ensure compliance with secure handling of data and health and safety in all aspects of work.
  • Participate in and develop internal and external partnerships, for example to identify sources of funding, generate income, obtain projects, or build relationships for future activities.
  • Contribute to the running of workshops to showcase early-stage research in the area.
  • Participate in international research challenges and competitions.
  • Contribute to the running of interactive events such as data study groups and capture the flag competitions.
  • Establish regular ways to convene researchers such as with a seminar series, special interest and/or reading group(s)


  • PhD or an equivalent qualification/experience in cyber security, machine learning or a closely related discipline.
  • Eligible for UK/NATO security clearance, e.g., by nationality or 5+ years NATO residency
  • General machine learning knowledge.
  • Familiarity with reinforcement learning or related control techniques.
  • The ability to initiate, develop and deliver high quality research aligned with the research strategy indicated by the Centre Leads and any industrial stakeholders and to publish in peer reviewed conferences and journals.
  • Experience of working in a team and interacting professionally within a team of researchers and students.
  • Able to collaborate with experts across domains and teams
  • Ability to organise working time, take the initiative, and carry out research independently (e.g., planning, execution, work to meet deadlines), under the guidance of the PI.

Please see the job description for a full breakdown of the duties, responsibilities and person specification

Other information


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. If you have questions about the role or would like to apply using a different format, please contact us on 020 3970 2148 or 0203 862 3340, or email

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS: 28 February 2023 at 23:59

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 quoting the job title.

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


This full-time is offered on a fixed-term basis until March 2025. The annual salary is £40,850 - £46,200 plus excellent benefits, including flexible working and family friendly policies,

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant at a salary of £38,236 per annum.

Successful candidates will need to undergo a security check by DSTL’s security team.

The Alan Turing Institute is based at the British Library, in the heart of London’s Knowledge Quarter.

We are currently assessing the results of our hybrid working trial, which ran for six months. We will soon publish a long-term workplace policy: as a guide, we anticipate this will be between 2-4 days per month. Some roles may require the jobholder to spend a greater number of days in the office, but the hiring manager will be able to confirm this during the interview.


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 building a diverse community and would like our leadership teal to reflect this. We therefore welcome applications from the broadest spectrum of backgrounds.

Reasonable adjustments to the interview process will be made for any candidates with a disability.

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

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 to find out how we can assist you.