Research Associate

University of York

United Kingdom

January 7, 2022


Research Associate


Computer Science

Based at

University of York - Heslington Campus

Hours of work


Contract status

Fixed term


£33,309 - £37,467 per year

Posted Date


Apply by


Job Reference



  • 10112 Job Description.pdf (PDF, 835.58kb)
  • Role Description Department

    The Department of Computer Science is seeking to appoint a Research Associate for 2.5 years to join the EPSRC-funded project Solver Feedback Loops for Automated Constraint Modelling. The role is to conduct research on modelling and solving of decision and optimisation problems.

    Decision and optimisation problems such as planning, scheduling, logistics, and resource allocation are ubiquitious, and providing optimized timely solutions to these difficult problems often has substantial economic value. The goal of the project is to enable automatic solving of larger and more difficult problems than currently possible. To achieve this, we will exploit solver feedback loops -- a promising technique for improving the model of a decision or optimisation problem, thus improving solver effectiveness. Rewriting a model is called reformulation , and prior work in this area has shown that reformulation can be highly effective.

    The successful applicant will build on several years of research (at York and elsewhere) in model reformulation, where a constraint-based model of a decision or optimisation problem is automatically improved while also being specialised for a solver or class of solvers.

    Women are underrepresented in the department, and we would welcome applications from female candidates for this role.

  • To develop new reformulation techniques to improve the performance of constraint solving methods (including constraint solvers, SAT and SMT solvers, mixed-integer programming and related methods, and metaheuristic methods).
  • To implement the new techniques in a prototype system and to evaluate them
  • To develop a suitable method for selecting and configuring the new reformulations, based on existing algorithm selection and tuning techniques
  • To conduct individual and collaborative research projects, duties to include: analysis and interpretation of research data; use of appropriate research techniques and methods; writing up of research results and dissemination through publications, seminar and conference presentations and public engagement and outreach activities; contributing to the identification of possible new areas of research
  • Skills, Experience & Qualification needed
  • First degree in Computer Science or cognate discipline
  • PhD in Computer Science or cognate discipline, or equivalent experience
  • Knowledge in modelling and/or solving of decision-making or optimisation problems, in order to engage in high quality researchin the area
  • Knowledge of a range of relevant research techniques and methodologies
  • Highly developed communication skills to engage effectively with a wide- ranging audience, both orally and in writing, using a range of media
  • Ability to write up research work for publication in high profile journals and peer-reviewed conferences, and to engage in public dissemination
  • Competency to make presentations at conferences or exhibit work in other appropriate events
  • Ability to implement research ideas or proposals to create prototype software systems
  • Experience of carrying out both independent and collaborative research
  • Experience of modelling and solving decision or optimisation problems using any of the following approaches: constraint programming, SAT or SMT, mixed integer programming or similar, or metaheuristics.
  • Interview date: To be confirmed

    For informal enquiries: please contact Peter Nightingale on

    The University strives to be diverse and inclusive – a place where we can ALL be ourselves.

    We particularly encourage applications from people who identify as Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic background, who are underrepresented at the University.

    We offer family friendly, flexible working arrangements, with forums and inclusive facilities to support our staff. #EqualityatYork

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