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Director of the Generative AI Laboratory

About the School of Informatics

The School of Informatics is a world-class centre for computer science and informatics research and education and is the leading institution in its field in the United Kingdom.

We are ranked 26th in the World’s Top Computer Science Departments in the most recent Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024, 4th in the Guardian Best UK Universities Rankings for computer science and related courses, 7th in the Times Good University Guide for Informatics, 15th in the QS World University Rankings for Data Science and 20th in the QS World University Rankings for Computer Science. Our joint submission with EPCC topped the Research Professional Computer Science and Informatics rankings, based on the 2021 Research Excellence Framework. Research Professional ranked us 1st for the size of submission (144 FTE), power rating (100) and market share (7.6 per cent).

The School is one of Europe’s largest Informatics groupings, with national and international leadership in fields such as natural language processing, machine learning, robotics, systems and architecture, quantum computing, and theoretical computer science. The School has to date hosted winners of 15 European Research Council awards and currently is home to 5 Fellows of the Royal Society and 15 Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

We are community of around 500 academic, postdoctoral researchers and professional services staff, around 500 research students and a taught student cohort of around 1,600. We are based in the modern, purpose-built, Informatics Forum on the University’s city centre campus. Dedicated teaching space is provided in the adjacent Appleton Tower. We have a diverse and international community – our students and staff come from over 100 countries.

Research and teaching within the School covers the full breadth of Informatics. The School’s research and academic staff are structured into six Institutes: Adaptive & Neural Computation; Artificial Intelligence & and its Applications; Computer Systems Architecture; Foundations of Computer Science; Language, Cognition & Computation; Perception, Action & Behaviour. The School has collaborative research and teaching with almost all Schools across the University, and annual research income of ~£22M. The School has a strong track record of industry engagement and commercialisation, facilitated by its own commercialisation and industry engagement team and through strong relationships with entrepreneurs (alumni), investors, industry partners, UK and Scottish funding bodies together with local government. The School has generated ~£16M of industry awards in the past year and has an outstanding record in entrepreneurship – not least as the founder of EIE (Engage Invest Exploit) – the largest investor readiness programme outside London. To date over £1B of private equity investment has been raised by companies participating in the programme.

We currently host three Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)-funded Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) – in Biomedical AI, Natural Language Processing and Robotics and Autonomous Systems (the latter in conjunction with Heriot Watt University).  In November 2023 we were awarded three further CDTs in these areas that will have their first intake of students in 2024. The University of Edinburgh is one of five founding partners of the UK-wide The Alan Turing Institute for Data Science and AI and the School plays a leading role in this relationship.

Our taught programmes are in high demand and the School is increasingly developing new ways of enhancing student learning and the student experience through innovative approaches to teaching and to delivering teaching at a distance.

2023 has marked the 60th anniversary of Computer Science and AI at the University of Edinburgh, the first institution in Europe to establish a group working on AI research. Looking forward, the University views this post and the establishment of the Generative AI Lab as the perfect springboard to highlight our research talents, leadership and ambition in the critical area.

60 years of computer science and AI | The University of Edinburgh

Our vision is to build a strong research and teaching environment that addresses key challenges of the 21st century and benefits society as a whole, and our mission is to:

  • To provide quality education that equips all of our graduates with problem solving, analytical and critical thinking skills, which they can rely on as future leaders in an ever-changing global environment of the 21st century.
  • To conduct research of the highest quality, motivated by both intellectual curiosity and societal needs, informing our research-led teaching and retaining our position as one of the world’s leading informatics schools.
  • To make a significant, sustainable and socially responsible contribution to Scotland, the UK and the world through education, research, innovation and impact.

People are key to the success of the School and we are fortunate to have people who are incredibly committed to their work, their colleagues and the School, and we hope that you will be able to join us to bring to life this exciting GAIL opportunity!

School of Informatics | The University of Edinburgh