Chancellor’s Fellowships in Data-Driven Innovation (Financial Services and Fintech) The University of Edinburgh

SALARY SCALE £39,992- £47,722 (for Grade 8 appointments). Exceptionally, an appointment at Grade 9 (£50,618- £56,950) or even Grade 10 (starting from £58,655)

Challenges to old certainties in societies, democracies and the economy are coming from patterns of inequality, climate change, the mass displacement of people, and the rise of the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data. These are complex and intractable challenges that stretch across areas of expertise and which can and should draw heavily on interdisciplinary research and education. They require us to bring together experts from diverse fields and to deliver solutions in partnership with private, public and non-governmental organizations.

You will contribute to the development of the Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI), one of the largest interdisciplinary institutes of its kind in the UK and internationally. The EFI will be a catalyst for a new approach to teaching and research and will bring together expertise in data science with the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences across three key areas of intervention: Government & Public Policy (with specific reference to new digital forms of identifying and delivering public policies, services and infrastructures (‘Govtech’); Culture & Education (with specific reference to new digital and data driven forms of creative industries, culture and tourism); Finance, Technology and Society (with specific attention to the interface between financial innovation, technology and regulation (‘Fintech’) and the design and delivery of financial services). The focus for these innovative Fellowships will be on developing strong working relationships with partners in these sectors and co-creating research and teaching programmes with them.

We aim to combine expertise in these three areas with scholarship in Data Science in a way that draws on insights and methods from the Arts, the Humanities and the Social Sciences. This means gathering a group of talented and innovative researchers who recognise that ‘data’ is a contested term, affected by ambiguity, power relations and mediation.

We are looking for high calibre scholars who appreciate the organizational, institutional, social and creative dimensions of data driven innovation. We aim to cast our net widely and are therefore looking for curious and future-oriented researchers whose work is focussed on areas such as:

  • understanding how big data can be harnessed to deliver solutions to global social and economic challenges, such as envisaged in the data revolution of development as formulated in the UN Sustainable Development Goals;
  • applying new methods to the design of people-centred data driven systems in the context of civic, social and commercial environments. Extending the conceptual thinking and methodologies necessary to develop compelling strategies and products that involve and empower the University’s wider publics;
  • studying new forms of data literacy and digital citizenship;
  • understanding the implications and science of data-driven approaches to educational governance, practice and policy;
  • cutting-edge work in Futures Studies with a focus on the impact of data science on key areas of public policy including education, creative industries, tourism, transport, physical, digital and social infrastructures;
  • convening and curating digital arts programmes, open science and innovation, working across creative sectors through mixed research methods. Developing and inspiring highly collaborative and interdisciplinary forms for engagement, exhibition and research, in which building civic communities is integral;
  • the analysis of large-scale digitised historical content such as digitised books and artworks, including text and image mining, in order to scale-up and conduct novel research into previous societies, including research on the development and efficiency of data analysis techniques for such heterogeneous and fragmentary datasets;
  • analysis of Smart Manufacturing platform data in order to undertake both real-time and longitudinal studies of culture, economics, politics, and society, responding to contemporary societal changes;
  • work in artistic media responding to, and utilising, data and data science approaches in their work, to question, interrogate, investigate, and create by reframing and remediating digital technologies and their relationship to society;
  • researching the implications of data driven innovation not only for current providers of financial services but also for the users of such services, for societies and economies, and for the regulation and governance of financial markets;
  • developing our understanding of how financial innovation and services also have clear welfare implications, cut across various regulatory and institutional dimensions and are increasingly influenced by the rise of automated and high-frequency trading systems in hyper-global financial markets;
  • unveiling the intricacies of financial data driven innovation to help the public make conceptual sense of apparently esoteric financial activities, services and products by arguing against the common misconception that markets, including capital markets, represent the only means of growing an economy;
  • how ‘datafication’ of our contemporary society changes how we do research, how we formulate and evaluate policy and how we make decisions.

You will have a commitment to develop your skills in on-line teaching at scale at a University level. Colleagues with translational-industrial, public and third sector linkages, international academics and those interested in interdisciplinary collaboration are particularly welcomed. Relocation support and Immigration Fee Assistance is available for colleagues who need to move to take up the Fellowship. This includes practical support for a spouse or partner.

The culture of the University is open and diverse and we strive to replicate that in our appointments. We are the proud holder of a prestigious Athena SWAN Silver Institution Award recognising our work in supporting the advancement of gender equality in academia. As women and members of ethnic minorities are currently under-represented in posts at this level we particularly encourage applications from members of these groups. We are committed to support individuals looking to return to research after a career break for family, caring or health reasons. Appointment will be full time (although consideration will be given to those who wish to work part-time) and will be tenure track.

For information about the Chancellor’s Fellow scheme more generally, please contact Professor Dorothy Miell at or 0131 650 4089. For information about EFI generally and the financial services/’fintech’ strand of vacancies, please contact Professor Paolo Quattrone at  or 0131 651 5541


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