Research Assistant/Associate

Requisition ID:  26148

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  18 Sep 2023



Research Assistant: £31,396 to £32,982 per annum

Research Associate: £33,966 to £36,024 per annum


Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


Closing Date: 20 October 2023



The Role

The Microsystems Research Group is looking for a motivated Research Assistant/Associate to support the School of Engineering’s EPSRC project  “UKRI-RCN: Exploiting the dynamics of self-timed machine learning hardware (ESTEEM)”.


The Microsystems Group is prominent in the UK. It has an international reputation for world-leading research across microelectronics design and computer systems engineering with ten academic members, 10+ Research Assistants/Associates and 30+ PhD students.


This project will investigate opportunities for improving performance and energy efficiency in artificial intelligence hardware created by the inherent time and power elasticity of self-timed circuits. The project will lay foundation to a new design methodology for building electronic devices and systems with machine learning (ML) capabilities at the micro- and nano-scale granularity. Those devices will be widely leveraged in many at-the-edge applications such as environmental sensors, traffic monitors, wearables, as well potential commodity ML-enhanced devices that can be used as building blocks in computer systems of the future. The project outcomes in theory and design methodology will be validated by means of extensive simulations, prototyping, IC fabrication and testing, and, ultimately, via an embodiment of the new hardware solutions into a concrete Internet of Things (IoT) application. A particularly challenging and breaking through validation will be the development and fabrication of the first asynchronous machine learning integrated circuit using flexible substrates.


Within the project, the nominated candidate will work on both aspects, the machine learning hardware, both training and inference, and self-timed IC design and test.


The nominated candidate will perform tasks under the guidance of the Principal Investigator and three Co-Investigators, work closely with a multidisciplinary team, external academic partners and industrial partners (PragmatIC, Cambridge Future Tech).


To find out more about the School of Engineering click here


To find out more about the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering click here 


We are committed to building and maintaining a fair and inclusive working environment and we would be happy to discuss arrangements for flexible and/or blended working. Additionally, the post is eligible for blended working between campus and home. 


To apply, please complete an online application and upload a CV and cover letter. Your cover letter is a supporting statement, and you should outline how you meet the essential criteria of the role and evidence this with examples.


For informal enquires please contact Professor Alex Yakovlev

Key Accountabilities

  • Utilise Asynchronous design methods, Electronic Design Automation tools, Machine learning models for designing energy efficient and low latency AI hardware in at-the-edge applications
  • Work on the different tasks in the research project to generate deliverables in a timely manner and meet the project objectives
  • Provide active intellectual contributions to the research project by ways of, e.g., planning for implementation, generating new ideas, interacting with industrial partners and conducting lab experiments
  • Prepare clear, well-written reports and draft scientific papers to meet the requirements of high-impact journals on time according to the project timeline set out by the Investigators team
  • Present research findings at conferences or through publications in reputable outlets appropriate to the discipline


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Sufficient knowledge and research experience in self-timed/asynchronous circuits and systems design
  • Knowledge of electronic design automation tools
  • Knowledge of energy-efficient/low-power design principles
  • Knowledge of machine learning models and their applicability to hardware
  • Experience in FPGA and ASIC design and testing
  • Ability to program microcontrollers (e.g. Texas Instrument MSP


  • Knowledge of the Tsetlin Machine model of ML;
  • A developing track record of peer-reviewed publications in internationally recognised journals and conferences and experience in presenting to the national and international research community;
  • Experience in taping our ASICs


Attributes and Behaviours

  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to build trust and collaboration with internal and external stakeholders
  • Ability to manage research data and maintain records in a professional manner for research projects
  • Capacity for original thought and initiating new research ideas
  • Willing to learn and expand your research area and carry out challenging research studies
  • Maintaining a high level of professional conduct and ethics in research
  • Committed to embedding the values of equality and diversity in all aspects of your work
  • Demonstrable commitment to our values of academic excellence; ambition; social responsibility and accountability


  • Industrial experience



  • A doctoral degree in a discipline closely related to the project area


  • A postdoctoral experience in Electrical and Electronic Engineering or Computer Engineering and Communication

Newcastle University is a global University where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


We are committed to being a fully inclusive university which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all of our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams, we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and experiences reflect the diversity of our university and student population.


At Newcastle University we hold a silver Athena Swan award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  We also hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of our work towards tackling race inequality in higher education REC.


In addition, we are a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe. 

Requisition ID: 26148