NOTE: Distance Lab became part of the Glasgow School of Art Innovation School in October 2010.
This is a snapshot of the Lab's web site around July 2010 for historical reference.
Distance Lab
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Lost Values

Research Associate positions


Research Associates at Distance Lab have the chance to become immersed in an intense and exciting creative environment growing in the beautiful and culturally-rich north of Scotland. The Lab presents a model of practice-based research and innovation unique in Europe in which scientific investigation melds with design and the arts, and in which there is a strong drive to have an impact in the world not only intellectually but also commercially.

Inspired by the MIT Media Lab, Distance Lab emphasises the growth and personal development of its researchers who learn from one another as members of a highly interdisciplinary team. During their terms, research associates have many opportunities to give their ideas concrete shape in the form of artefacts and applications, which become the basis for a dialogue with the Lab's partnership community and the outside world. Some projects may naturally lead into commercialisation and others may be appropriate for scholarly publication, public exhibition, or other forms of dissemination.

Research Associates are expected to develop projects and themes together with the Chief Executive or other named supervisor and to contribute to the overall research vision of Distance Lab. They are also expected to spend some time collaborating with others and contributing to relevant contract projects secured by the Lab. A moderate amount of travel can be expected.

Successful applicants are appointed for terms of up to 2 years, depending on various circumstances including project funding and the availability of the applicant. By default, appointments will be full-time based at Distance Lab's premises, but applicants may propose shorter-term, part-time, or remote involvement. Those currently enrolled in a degree programme in a university and those currently working in industry are welcome to apply on the basis that a collaborative arrangement can be sought on project development and supervision.

Annual full-time equivalent salaries range from 18,000-24,000 GBP. The role of Senior Research Associate, carrying a salary in the range of in the range of 25,000-31,000 GBP, is also available but normally reserved for candidates with prior positive experience with the Lab. Salaries are commensurate with qualifications and experience. In addition to other benefits, Distance Lab researchers also receive a share of revenue derived from their inventions.

Skills and Experience sought

We are looking for radically creative applicants from across Europe and the world who are buzzing not only with passion and enthusiasm but who also have a good basis of technical skills and the desire to learn more and work hard in order to realise their visions at the cutting edge of technology and design.

Applicants may be recent graduates and should possess a minimum of a bachelors-level degree or equivalent in a discipline relevant to digital media technology and/or one of the specific research themes at Distance Lab. Applicants are expected to have demonstrated a substantial level of commitment and accomplishment in their areas of concentration prior to applying, with an emphasis on creative extensions of those domains.

Successful applicants may have academic backgrounds that can be described as unorthodox, innovative, or self-generated. Backgrounds will typically not be narrowly technical, but rather consist of a mix of different disciplines and interests, one or two in which the applicant will have deep experience. Some applicants will come from art schools, some from engineering schools, and some from both or neither. Some may have extensive industry experience and others may have none. Proficiency in computer programming or electronics design is highly desirable but not required. Experience within an interdisciplinary research environment similar to the MIT Media Lab would also be highly desirable.

Applicants should have a good knowledge of the English language. A drivers licence would also be desirable.

Application process

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. We may advertise specific research vacancies when there is a need for specific skills or experience, and these may have an application deadline. If no specific vacancies are listed in our web site recruitment section, you are still welcome to apply and we will consider such applications regularly, based on our current needs and resources available. If no other dates are given, we will aim to respond within 1 month of receiving your application. If we are unable to offer you a position, we may request to keep your application on file for future opportunities.

All applications should be submitted through our online application system. Shortlisted candidates may be invited to attend an interview at the Lab. The principal components of an application are:

  1. Basic personal information
  2. Previous academic and work experience
  3. Portfolio illustrating previous projects, clearly indicating roles taken in each project.
  4. Personal statement: This statement should give us an impression of "what makes you tick". Who are you? What do you know how to do? What personal experiences or projects are you most proud of? What excites you about Distance Lab? What ideas and research themes are you passionate about pursuing? What research questions are you eager to tackle? How would you like to contribute to the development of the Lab? (Maximum 1 page)
  5. Unless otherwise specified, concrete project proposals are not required. However, if you are proposing to work in Distance Lab for less than one year and you are not responding to a specific advertisement, a project proposal is recommended, or at least you should be as detailed as possible about specific activities you propose to carry out.
  6. Two referees: Referees can be professors of courses you have taken; supervisors of internships, practicums, or research; clients or supervisors in industry employment; people for whom you worked during summers or while in school...
  7. Post-specific application materials: Check the information presented by any specific vacancies you wish to target with your application.
  8. Disclosure and Diversity Monitoring information.

Applicants from anywhere in the world are welcomed. If you are not a citizen of the European Union, we may need to apply for a work permit on your behalf in order for you to take up residence and work in Scotland. We will advise accepted applicants of any required procedures.

Distance Lab is an equal opportunity employer.