—————————– What you will be responsible for —————————–

You will be responsible for evaluating task-based information seeking behaviours using different information finding tools. You will develop a framework for collecting data on a live information finding prototype, build models for interpreting the data and run evaluations measuring the success of the users of the tools. You will design and run user studies in order to confirm your model hypotheses and understand the search behaviours of users. You will publish the results of your research at top tier information retrieval venues.

In this role, you will work closely with our commercial partner on:
– a literature review and assessment of current task based information retrieval paradigms and assessment mechanisms
– a design for user studies
– the design and implementation of infrastructure for user data collection
– building a user model from the data
– analysing experimental results from the collected data
– publishing and presenting original research at top venues

—————————–Context Scout’s Mission —————————–

Context Scout aims to be what comes after web search.

We all know web search to be a fundamental tool for using the internet. For most of us, the first thing we do when we start our computers is to fire up our web browsers and type something into a search engine. That first search is our entry-point to the world wide web, the beginning of whatever task we’re about to do, the first action in the sequence of page reads, clicks, copies and pastes, scrolls, form submissions and other behaviour that make up 79% of the time we spend online. Search engines are an amazing technology for getting you started on the web, but once you’ve clicked on one of those blue links then you’re on your own.

Our technology follows on from where web search ends. By forming an understanding of your task Context Scout actively assists and aids towards completion. We aim to revolutionise the way every single online user utilises the world wide web – from the holiday booker to the financial analyst. The search engine handles the first 21% of information finding, we handle the rest.


University College London


We are seeking a full-time postdoctoral researcher to join the Media Futures Group in the Department of Computer Science. This 14 month post will be funded by InnovateUK ‘s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund for the project “Dynamic Information Retrieval for Digital Autonomous Workflow based web search” under the supervision of Prof Jun Wang and Dr Marc Sloan from our industrial collaborator Context Scout. Following completion of the project there will be an opportunity to join Context Scout as a full-time employee.

A PhD (or near completion) in the areas of information retrieval, human computer interactions, and data mining, or related areas. Experience with running user studies and modelling user interactions is essential. Candidates should also have a strong engineering and data science background.

You must be:
Proficient in scientific Python (Numpy, SciPy, Pandas etc), Javascript (React, jQuery), HTML, CSS, Django, AWS or Google Cloud Platform, Neo4J
Experienced in working with Chrome extensions or some web development is desirable
Knowledgeable about statistical modelling, graphical modelling and ma

Educational level:

Ph. D.

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About University College London

UCL (University College London) is London’s leading multidisciplinary university, with 10,000 staff and 27,000 students. Over 150 nationalities are represented among UCL students with overseas students making up nearly a third of the student body.

UCL is currently ranked fourth in the world by the QS World University Rankings, and our publications in clinical medicine attract more citations from fellow researchers than any other university outside North America.

Based in the heart of London, UCL was the first university in England to welcome students of any class, race or religion, and the first to welcome women on equal terms with men. This same spirit is manifested today in UCL's pioneering approach to interdisciplinary and frontier research. This has helped the university to develop strong linkages with UK Industry and has contributed to it's considerable success in winning research funding.

In the most recent UK Government Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) UCL was rated the best research univ