Salary: £38,730 per annum FTE (dependent upon experience)
Hours: 35 hours per week (part time arrangements also considered)
Contract: permanent contract
Location: London (initially UK-based remote in line with Government COVID-19 guidance)
Closing date: 12:00 GMT, Tuesday 2 February 2021
The role of Senior Researcher, Justice and Equalities, provides an excellent opportunity for a mid-career analyst to craft and execute a research agenda on technology, justice and social inequalities in a dynamic and energetic policy-facing organisation.
This is a new position, and the primary responsibilities will be to develop and execute Ada’s strategy for the Justice and Equalities research area, establishing a research agenda, defining communications strategies for outputs, and conceptualising, facilitating and attending meetings, workshops and events with a view to achieving strategic impact.
Ada’s methodologies include the use of working groups and expert convenings, public deliberation initiatives, desk-based research and synthesis, and ethnographic research. We welcome new kinds of expertise and methodologies into our team, especially those from a quantitative skills background.
We prioritise outputs that are aimed at engaging different publics and do not generally produce academic publications. Senior Researchers will provide leadership on their assigned substantive domains and subject areas. For the Justice and Equalities area, the Senior Researcher is expected to produce and execute a novel, achievable, and high-impact research agenda centred around social and racial justice.
Areas of inquiry include:
- Understanding how data and AI interact with health and social inequalities determined by a range of factors that include but are not limited to, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, race and ethnicity and socio-economic circumstance.
- Identifying mechanisms for preventing the inequitable and discriminatory impact of data driven technologies in domains such as health, education, criminal justice, etc, particularly on underrepresented people and groups.
- Identifying the positive and negative impacts of data-driven technologies on social inequalities, and articulating the conditions in which data driven technologies can help address inequalities.
You may have a background researching and co-ordinating for an academic organisation, tech company, research institute or charity. You may have a university degree, or have gained experience from an apprenticeship or trainee programme at a research, policy, private-sector or civil-society.
You are curious and passionate about the issues which arise at the intersection of technology and society, and committed to bringing an interdisciplinary and intersectional lens to understanding them. Importantly, you’ll be comfortable taking initiative, working independently and to short deadlines at times.
You’ll enjoy working in a team environment, willing to jump in to projects and keen to explore areas of policy, technology and practice that you don’t already understand. You’ll appreciate the importance of exceptionally high standards of rigour in research, but also want to think creatively about communicating and influencing in novel ways.
For further information about the role, please click here to download the full job description and a description of the day in the life of a Senior Researcher.
Further information and how to apply
To apply, please click through to beapplied.com where your application will be reviewed blindly to ensure fairness.
The closing date for applications is 12:00 GMT on Tuesday 2 February 2021, with interviews taking place via video on Tuesday 9 February 2021. We expect there to be only one round of interviews, and we hope to invite an external reviewer to join the interview panel and ensure diversity of perspectives in the process.
If you are from a background that is underrepresented in the sector (for example you are from a marginalised community, did not go to university or had free school meals as a child), and you would like to discuss how your experience may be transferable to this role, you can book time with one of our team who will be pleased to have a chat with you. Please note that this person will not be involved in the recruitment process. You can request this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (and we will not ask you to disclose your background).
About the Ada Lovelace Institute
The Ada Lovelace Institute is an independent research institute and deliberative body funded and incubated by the Nuffield Foundation in 2018. Our mission is to ensure data and artificial intelligence work for people and society. We do this by building evidence and fostering rigorous debate on how data and AI affect people and society. We recognise the power asymmetries that exist in ethical and legal debates around the development of data-driven technologies and seek to level those asymmetries by convening diverse voices and creating a shared understanding of the ethical issues arising from data and AI. Finally, we seek to define and inform good practice in the design and deployment of AI technologies.
After little more than a year of operation, the Institute has emerged as a leading independent voice on the ethical and societal impacts of data and AI. We have built relationships in the public, private and civil society sectors in the UK and internationally. Some of our most impactful work to date includes our rapid evidence review on contact tracing apps, Exit Through the App Store?, and our public attitudes survey on facial recognition, Beyond face value.
Our research takes an interconnected approach to issues such as power, social justice, distributional impact and climate change (read our strategy to find out more), and our team have a wide range of expertise that cuts across policy, technology, academia, industry, law and human rights. We value diversity in background, skills, perspectives, and life experiences. Because we are part of the Nuffield Foundation, we are a small team with the practical support of an established organisation that cares for its employees.
We aim to be a collaborative, welcome and informal place to work. Before COVID-19 the team worked flexibly, with some working from home regularly or on an ad hoc basis. We now operate fully remotely, using collaborative working tools such as Microsoft Teams with regular video calls). We are currently a 12-person team and expect to return to some in-person working in 2021 (and will have a shiny new office in early 2021), but we are open to staff working remotely for the foreseeable future, including in UK geographical locations outside of London.
Making visible the invisible: what public engagement uncovers about privilege and power in data systems
Lived experience insights at Citizens’ Biometrics Council and Community Voice workshops show technology can mediate power asymmetries and privilege.
Considering the question: ‘What would help build public confidence in the use of COVID-19 exit strategy technologies?’
When it comes to the societal impacts of AI and data, we need to tackle complex problems that don’t necessarily have objective solutions.
To better understand the limits of public trust in data-driven systems, we must acknowledge the role structural inequalities play in shaping trust