Chancellor's Fellowship in Statistics

We are seeking outstanding candidates for a five year Chancellor’s Fellowship in Statistics, and its applications, leading to a permanent lectureship. We expect candidates to have an established record of first-class research or to be able to demonstrate excellent research potential. Candidates must have a strong commitment to excellence in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

The first year of the Fellowship will focus on establishing the Fellow’s research programme, with a limited amount of teaching. Start-up research funds may be available and the Fellow will be mentored towards gaining grant support. The Fellow will be expected to submit an appropriate number of high quality research outputs to REF2014. Teaching and administration will gradually increase over the 5 year period to that of a normal academic load and substantial mentoring and development support will be available through and beyond their Fellowship provided by the Institute for Academic Development ( A sufficient amount of teaching and administration will be required in the first three years to allow a judgement to be made on continuation to a full academic position. There will be a review at the end of Year 3.

Candidates already holding an externally-funded Fellowship are welcome to transfer this to Edinburgh if the sponsor permits. International candidates are welcome and will be supported through the process of visa application if required. Applicants wishing to work in interdisciplinary fields are particularly welcome.

For informal enquires about this post please contact Professor Colin Aitken via

The Fellow will be able to concentrate on research in the first instance, acquiring the full duties of University Lecturer (or more senior position, where appropriate) across the period of the Fellowship.

Approx. % of time

To undertake world-leading research in the discipline ~85% initially

To undertake development training to be competent in the academic role ~5%

Contribute to teaching programmes within the discipline 5% initially

To undertake administrative responsibilities associated with research and teaching duties 5% initially

Plan to increase teaching and administrative components to a normal load across 5 years.

Statistics in Edinburgh

The methodological research of the Statistics Group at the University of Edinburgh is balanced between classical and Bayesian statistics. Areas of research include hierarchical multivariate random effects models, wavelets, nonparametric regression and resampling. There is a strong interest in applications with specific areas being forensic science, the law, agriculture, and functional genomics data such as gene expression microarrays. There are strong links with Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland (BioSS) who have offices adjacent to the School and whose Director of Research is Professor Chris Glasbey, and with the School of Informatics through the Machine Learning Group, led by Professor Chris Williams and the Joseph Bell Centre for Forensic Statistics and Legal Reasoning which is led by Professor Colin Aitken, Professor of Forensic Statistics (School of Mathematics) and Professor Burkhard Schafer, Professor of Computational Legal Theory (School of Law).

Professor Colin Aitken, the current Head of the Research Group is interested in the applications of statistics to forensic science and legal reasoning, with an emphasis on Bayesian approaches including hierarchical multivariate random effects models and hidden Markov models.

Dr Natalia Bochkina has interests in nonparametric wavelet regression, namely optimality and a priori Besov regularity properties of Bayesian wavelet estimators, sparse models in high dimensional data including Bayesian hierarchical modelling of gene expression microarrays, frequentist performance of Bayesian estimators, in particular in inverse problems, and the current focus is on inference in nonregular statistical models, for example, of private value auctions.

Other members of the research group include Dr Sotirios Sabanis with interests in financial mathematics, and Dr Chris Theobald and Dr Bruce Worton, with interests in Bayesian decision making in agriculture and efficient techniques for statistical inference problems, respectively.

Other members of the School with related research interests include Professor Jared Tanner, with interests in compressed sensing and in the design, analysis and implementation of numerical algorithms for signal/date processing applications, and Dr. Tibor Antal, with interests in applications of probability to biology, statistical mechanics of non-equilibrium systems and evolutionary games and social behaviour.

There are statisticians in other parts of the university such as Informatics, which also has a strong machine learning group, Geosciences, Medicine, Epidemiology, Systems Biology, and Business Studies.

The School of Mathematics

The University of Edinburgh’s School of Mathematics is one of the leading centres for research and teaching in mathematics and statistics in Europe. As a partner in the Maxwell Institute for Mathematical Sciences - a centre for research and postgraduate training bringing together the research activities of the School and the Department of Mathematics and Department of Actuarial Mathematics & Statistics at Heriot-Watt University - we are one of the largest mathematical groupings in the UK. Edinburgh is also home to the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences, a UK centre for international workshops and meetings in mathematics. Further information about the School, our research and our teaching is available at

The School covers a very broad range of research topics in statistics, operational research, pure mathematics and applied mathematics. It has nearly fifty permanent members of academic staff and around ten research fellows and research associates. There are approximately sixty graduate research students and over one hundred and fifty MSc students. The academic staff of the School have significant collaborations with researchers throughout the world, and the School is committed to encouraging research at the highest possible level.

The established Chairs in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics are held by Iain Gordon and Benedict Leimkuhler, and the Colin MacLaurin Chair is held by Anthony Carbery.

Honorary Professorships are held by: Sir Michael Atiyah, OM, FRS; Roger Fletcher, FRS; John Toland FRS, Chris Glasbey FRSE and David Elston.

A full list of academic staff and their research interests can be found on the School website (hhtp://

Since 2005, the School of Mathematics has worked in a close partnership with the Departments of Mathematics and of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics at Heriot-Watt University, under the title of the Maxwell Institute for Mathematical Sciences. In 2008, the two universities made joint submissions in the mathematical sciences to the UK’s Research Assessment Exercise. The results were outstanding, with 70% of our work being rated nationally or internationally leading.

The School is located in the James Clerk Maxwell Building which is situated on the King's Buildings site, approximately 3 kilometres south of the centre of the city of Edinburgh. The Schools of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering and Electronics, Physics, and parts of GeoSciences are within a few minutes' walk.

The Research Environment

The School is divided informally into research groups of which Statistics is one. In addition to specialist seminar series there is a School Colloquium which covers topics of general interest in the mathematical sciences as well a variety of activities such as graduate-level minicourses and reading working groups. In addition to Statistics, other areas of research include

Probability and Stochastic Analysis: Stochastic Dynamical systems, in particular Stochastic Differential Equations and Stochastic PDEs; Nonlinear Filtering and Stochastic Control; Hidden Markov Models; Applications of Stochastic Analysis in Mathematical Finance; Numerical Analysis of PDEs, of Stochastic PDEs and of Stochastic Differential Equations. The research group also organises the North British Probability Seminar and runs successful MSc programmes in Financial Mathematics (jointly with the Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics at Heriot-Watt University) and in Financial Modelling and Optimization.

Operational Research and Optimization: Stochastic operational research; theory and parallel implementation of optimization methods for linear, quadratic and nonlinear programming, with applications to real-life problems; decomposition methods for large-scale nonlinear non-convex constrained optimization; global optimization. The group runs the Edinburgh Research Group in Optimization (ERGO) seminar. There is significant collaboration with the Management School, the School of Engineering and Electronics, and there is a growing portfolio of work with industrial partners.

Applied/Computational: Computational methods and numerical analysis of multiscale and homogenization problems, stiff and stochastic equations; water waves, inverse scattering and asymptotics; stellar dynamics and the N-body problem; computational dynamics, especially molecular dynamics; electromagnetic properties of composite mediums; exponential asymptotics and ordinary differential equations; complex-variable methods in free boundary problems; computational mathematical astronomy; nonlinear waves; fluid dynamics, with applications to the atmosphere and the oceans. The group is involved with the North British Differential Equations Seminar. The Edinburgh Simulation Group (ESG) brings together researchers from a variety of fields to help foster interdisciplinary approaches to computational modelling.

Algebra/Number Theory: Representation theory; noncommutative algebra; Lie algebras and quantum groups; growth properties of algebras; commutative algebra; automorphic forms; additive and algebraic number theory. The group is central in the EPSRC/CNRS Representation Theory Network and the Algebra and Representation Theory in the North (ARTIN) programme. There are significant links with researchers in mathematical physics, geometry and topology.

Analysis and PDE: Nonlinear and linear elliptic, parabolic and hyperbolic partial differential equations, stochastic partial differential equations; harmonic analysis; dynamical systems; spectral theory. The group is involved with the UK Harmonic Analysis and PDE Network and the North British Functional Analysis Seminar.

The Centre for Analysis and Nonlinear PDEs (CANPDE) was established in 2007 as a joint project of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt Universities to stimulate and support the development of the research base in theoretical nonlinear PDE in the Maxwell Institute and in the UK. It is funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Scottish Funding Council.

Geometry/Topology: Differential geometry and Lie groups; algebraic geometry, especially birational geometry of Fano varieties; surgery theory, quadratic forms, knot theory; geometric analysis, extremal and constant-scalar-curvature Kaehler metrics, self-duality in four dimensions, geometry of moduli spaces. There are collaborations with the algebra group and the mathematical physics group.

Mathematical Physics: Classical and quantum integrability; geometric and algebraic aspects of string theory; gauge/gravity correspondence and higher dimensional black holes. There is close contact with researchers in algebra and geometry and topology, and with the mathematical physics group at Heriot-Watt University: together these make up the Edinburgh Mathematical Physics Group (EMPG). The group is involved with the North British Mathematical Physics Seminar.


The University of Edinburgh's academic year consists of two semesters, the first running from mid-September to mid or late December and the second from early January to late March. This is followed by a revision and examination period which runs from mid-April to the end of May. The School encourages its postgraduate research students and research fellows to involve themselves in its teaching activities, and many of the tutorials are given by them.

Permanent members of academic staff may request leave on full pay (sabbatical leave) for one semester for every four years in post. At the discretion of the Head of School, leave may be granted more frequently to staff with very active research programmes.

Undergraduate Teaching: The School’s teaching was very well reviewed in the most recent SHEFC Teaching Quality Assessment exercise. It has responsibility for teaching Pure and Applied Mathematics, OR and Statistics to students of the honours programmes (BSc or MA) in Mathematics and in Mathematics and Statistics (BSc), as well as several combined honours programmes. There is a MMath degree beyond the honours degrees.

The School also provides teaching for a range of other disciplines in the University. The School takes teaching very seriously and encourages staff to engage with the scholarship of learning and teaching. There are excellent opportunities for imaginative curriculum development and course design and delivery. The day-to-day administration of teaching is overseen by the Mathematics Teaching Organisation (MTO), and led by the Director of Teaching. The School is involved with the teaching of the equivalent of about 900 full-time undergraduates at any one time.

Postgraduate Teaching: The School currently has close to sixty research students working for PhD or MPhil degrees in all the main areas of mathematics and statistics and offers a range of MSc programmes including highly successful programmes in Statistics and Operational Research, Mathematics, Operational Research and Financial Mathematics, the latter run jointly with Heriot-Watt University.

Related Institutes and Societies

The Maxwell Institute: The Maxwell Institute brings together within a single body the research activities of the School of Mathematics and the Department of Mathematics and Department of Actuarial Mathematics & Statistics at Heriot-Watt University. It is part of the Edinburgh Research Partnership in Engineering and Mathematics, recently established by Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt Universities, which consists of five joint research institutes and a joint graduate school.

The International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS) in Edinburgh is one of the UK's major resources in mathematics. Over the past 20 years the centre has established a superb reputation for hosting efficiently managed workshops at the highest scientific level covering a very broad range of mathematical topics. During its 20 year history, ICMS has attracted many of the best mathematicians in the world to the UK - in 2010 alone 4 Fields medallists attended ICMS workshops - and has consistently promoted the work of scientists from across the UK and encouraged links between academic mathematicians and statisticians and their colleagues in commerce and industry. ICMS was founded in 1992 by Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt Universities and receives substantial national funding from both EPSRC and the Scottish Funding Council.

Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre/HPC-Europa: The School has links to the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC) which is one of Europe's largest centres for research on advanced and grid computing. EPCC is a member of the HPC-Europa network which offers possibilities for research visits and access to high performance computing facilities for scientific investigation. At EPCC there are principally three parallel computers: (i) a 52-processor SunFire E15K, (ii) a 1472-processor IBM Power 5 system, and (iii) a 1024-node BlueGene/L.

Mathematicians at the Maxwell Institute also benefit from, and have a substantial role in running, the Edinburgh Mathematical Society. The Royal Society of Edinburgh is Scotland's National Academy of Science and Letters and provides further support for researchers based in Scotland.

For general information in this post and information about applying please see:

The closing date for applications is 29th February 2012.

Contact and application information
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Contact name: 
User One
Contact email: 
Universities and colleges