HIRING: Post Doctoral Researcher in Data Science/Machine Learning

TITLE OF POST: Post Doctoral Researcher in Data Science/Machine Learning

LOCATION: University of Limerick

REPORTS TO: Project Leader

CONTRACT TYPE: Specific Purpose          

SALARY SCALE: €38,632 – €50,029 p.a. pro rata (maximum staring salary €45,942 p.a. pro rata)

WEBLINK TO SCHOOL/DEPARTMENT: https://www.ul.ie/scieng/schools-and-departments/department-mathematics-and-statistics


WEBLINK TO RESEARCH CENTRE: https://confirm.ie/ & https://ulsites.ul.ie/macsi/











A doctoral degree (level 10 NFQ), completed or in the final stages of completion, in statistics, mathematics, applied mathematics, data science or related field with significant statistical and/or machine learning content. Please give date of Viva in application.




The University of Limerick wishes to appoint a Post Doctoral Researcher to develop our research programme in data analytics, to enable our manufacturing vision and to transform and grow our industry partner’s manufacturing research base. The successful candidate will be based at the Mathematics Applications Consortium for Science and Industry (MACSI), Ireland’s largest applied and industrial mathematics group. MACSI works closely with scientists and industrial companies across a wide variety of sectors with the aim of fostering new collaborative research, in particular on problems that arise in industry through the application of cutting-edge mathematical and statistical modelling techniques.


The position will be co-funded by the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre in smart manufacturing, Confirm (www.confirm.ie), and a multinational industry partner. Confirm was launched in 2017 and includes 9 academic partner institutions (UL, LIT, UCC, CIT, NUIG, AIT, IT Tralee, NUI Maynooth and Tyndall National Institute) and over 40 industrial partners. Confirm focuses on manufacturing research at a systems level, where we take data from discrete production processes using bespoke sensors, use manufacturing data analytics to extract relevant data to drive predictive models and algorithms of production in order to make smart decisions to be fed back to the machine controllers and robots, all implemented through secure ICT software loops linking the systems. This research programme focuses on developing data analytics aspects to achieve this overall mission.


Confirm has a dual research focus – it carries out an industry-targeted research programme in collaboration with industry partners, in addition to a fundamental research programme that underpins future developments in Manufacturing Systems. This project will be carried out as part of an industry-targeted research programme in close collaboration with our industry partner.


The successful candidate will develop a novel combination of machine learning, statistics and reliability modelling to analyse the company’s large datasets measured in field across numerous sites nationally and internationally. Key outputs include extract key features of interest, discovery of customer workflow patterns, understand product failure mechanisms and forecast product lifetimes.





  • Contribute to the research programme of the Department under general guidance of a member of the academic staff or Principal Investigator/Project Leader.
  • Define research objectives and proposals for own (or joint) research in line with research strategy.
  • Conduct individual and/or collaborative research projects in a variety of settings (laboratory, creative performance, field, clinical setting).
  • Determine appropriate methodologies for research, with advice and support as appropriate.
  • Assess research findings for the need/scope for further investigations/commercial exploitation.
  • Translate knowledge of advances in the subject area into research activity.


Research Management

  • Plan, co-ordinate and implement research project (this may include managing a small research team/co-ordinating other researcher activity).


Income Generation/Funding

  • May identify sources of funding and pursue the process of securing funds.
  • May work with PI to contribute to proposals for developmental purposes.


Research Outputs-Write Up and Dissemination

  • Write up results from own research activity.
  • Contribute to the research project’s dissemination, in whatever form (report, papers, chapters, book).
  • Present information on research progress and outcomes e.g. to bodies supervising research; conferences, steering groups; other team members, as agreed with the PI/Project Leader.
  • Where appropriate, work with PI to register patents to protect intellectual property.



  • May act as co-supervisor or be a member of a supervision panel.
  • May participate in limited teaching hours for own development. The extent of this must not adversely affect the primary research role.


Policy & Standards

  • Knowledge and understanding of the policy, practices and procedures, relevant to the role, which may include broader university/sector/external sponsor or funder (e.g. Commercial Awareness, Research Ethics, Knowledge Transfer, Patents, Intellectual Property Rights, Health and Safety, Equal Opportunities & Diversity).
  • Legal requirements regarding data protection and confidential data protection requirements.


Essential Criteria

  • A doctoral degree (level 10 NFQ), completed or in the final stages of completion, in statistics, mathematics, applied mathematics, data science or related field with significant statistical and/or machine learning content. Please give date of Viva in application.
  • Strong programming skills in, e.g. R, Matlab, Python.
  • Strong communication skills and well-developed ability to communicate technical concepts to non-experts.
  • Strong examples of ability to collaborate, in particular with industry partners, with evidence of participation in interdisciplinary research projects.
  • Experience working with large and diverse datasets and/or relevant publications in the modelling and analysis of large datasets.


Desirable Criteria

  • Experience of and/or publications in the development of and/or application of statistical or machine learning models and algorithms to large datasets.
  • Experience with Hadoop/SQL.
  • Experience of collaboration with industry partners and awareness of the importance of intellectual property management and protection.
  • Excellent interpersonal and project management and/or people management skills.
Please include the following information in your application:


  • Full title of PhD thesis.
  • Full list of publications including weblinks to publications.



Further Information for Candidates:


Recruitment Procedures used at the University of Limerick (UL)

The University of Limerick is committed to the Open, Transparent and Merit-Based Recruitment (OTM-R) of Researchers as detailed in our Recruitment/Appointment Procedures for Research Staff.


The University of Limerick generally uses a three stage recruitment procedure: screening, shortlisting and interview.


Screening: Initially applications for an advertised position are screened to determine if applicants have met the ‘Essential Criteria’ as outlined in the advertised job description.  Only candidates who meet the ‘Essential Criteria’ will progress beyond this stage.


Shortlisting: Depending on the number of applications remaining, it may not be possible to interview every candidate who has passed the screening process.  Therefore, at this stage the Selection Board for this position may review the applications which have passed screening and will select a final shortlist of candidates who in their view were most closely aligned to the post as advertised.


Interview: Once a shortlist has been finalised, all applicants will be notified of the status of their application.  The final shortlist of candidates will then be invited to interview.  We aim to provide at least one week’s notice to all candidates.  The interview process may take the format of a standard interview and may also include a presentation – if so, you will be provided with details of this in your invitation to interview letter.  Candidates may interview in person or also via our Video Conferencing facilities.


General Recruitment Timelines

Please note that applications for all vacancies must be submitted online at www.ul.ie/hrvacancies in advance of 12 noon Irish Standard Time on the advertised closing date.  We aim to complete the screening process within one week of the closing date, and the shortlisting process within a further week.  Therefore we aim to be in touch with all candidates within one month of the closing date.


Please note these timelines may vary based on various factors including the number of applications received.


Benefits at the University of Limerick

Employees of the University of Limerick receive a variety of benefits including:


Equal opportunities at the University of Limerick

The University of Limerick is an equal opportunities employer, is committed to selection on merit and to the developing and maintaining a positive working environment, in which all employees are treated with dignity & respect. In pursuit of this, it is the policy of the University to provide all employees with an environment, which is free from bullying, harassment or victimisation of any form.  You can read more about this in the University’s Equality and Diversity Policy


The UL strategic plan Broadening Horizons 2015-2019 clearly states that UL seeks to exemplify gender equality best practice in all aspects of its activities, reinforcing UL’s position as the leading university in Ireland in terms of female representation in senior academic roles, 31% of women in UL are at full professorial level, compared to the national average of 19%.


UL is the proud holder of the prestigious Bronze Institution Athena SWAN Award, the first university in Ireland with Trinity College, Dublin to achieve the award.  The AS charter recognises higher education institutions, academic departments, and research institutes that put in place initiatives to address gender inequality, including initiatives aimed at changing culture and attitudes.  The UL strategy explicitly commits the institution to the Athena SWAN process. Further details available on https://www.ul.ie/equality-diversity/athena-swan.


Development opportunities at the University of Limerick

A key objective of the University’s Strategic Plan 2015-2019 is to support staff development. In the context of this objective the University is committed to progressive development programmes and opportunities to enable all employees to fully develop their potential.  Further information is available here. The University of Limerick is also has a ‘Performance and Development Review System’ which employees may avail of.


Additional Links:

Link to Human Resources:                                             www.ul.ie/hr/

Link to the University of Limerick’s                                  Research Staff Role Profiles

Link to the University of Limerick’s Strategic Plan;           ‘Broadening Horizons’

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