The University of Edinburgh is a world-leading centre of academic excellence committed to making a significant, sustainable and socially responsible contribution to Scotland, the UK and beyond. In the top 20 of the QS World Rankings, in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, the University provides a first-class education for over 41,000 students across its programmes of study – undergraduate and postgraduate, on-site and distance learning.

The Edinburgh Futures Institute is a new inter-disciplinary centre aimed at harnessing the revolution in data, digital and artificial intelligence for social benefit, promoting human flourishing and inclusive economic growth. One of the largest ever investments made by the University and the government together, it brings together the arts, humanities and social sciences with data science, to drive solution-focused thinking on a range of key societal challenges: an approach to knowledge production and curation characterised by ethical co-design and undertaken in partnership with government, industry and the wider community.

We are now seeking a world-leading scholar for the Baillie Gifford Chair in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence, a new position supported by a major philanthropic donation. This gift, by global investment firm Baillie Gifford, will support a major programme of path-breaking and impactful research, inspirational education and public engagement, around the ethical challenges posed by the growing use of data and artificial intelligence. The programme will be led by the Chair and will based at the Edinburgh Futures Institute.

Candidates will be outstanding scholars, whose research and teaching backgrounds are in the ethics of data and artificial intelligence, but who may be working in any discipline. We are not prescriptive as to the subject area background of applicants, but we are looking for a leader with a vision for how data-driven research and innovation can flourish within an ethical framework. As well as providing research leadership in and beyond EFI, the Ballie Gifford Chair will contribute to postgraduate teaching, undergraduate courses, curriculum development and the supervision of research students.

The Chair will be based in EFI but will work with data scientists, technologists and researchers across the University, and with external public and private sector partners. They will be charged with engaging the public in the challenges and opportunities posed by data and AI and contributing to EFI’s ambitious programme for community engagement.

How to Apply:

Enquiries or applications can be made, in confidence, to Mary Comer on +44 7408 850 797 or

The closing date for applications is Friday 7 June 2019.

For further information, download the Baillie Gifford Chair information pack here