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Research Fellow in Urban Mobility

Are you an ambitious researcher and fascinated by urban mobility data? Are you interested in supporting social science research in a growing, multidisciplinary  centre committed to using consumer data for the public good? Would you like to further your career in one of the UK’s leading research-intensive Universities by making consumer- and “digital footprint” data more accessible to academics, policymakers and the public?

First established in 2014, the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) at Leeds delivers insights into human behaviour using consumer and commercial datasets. The Centre continues to grow, and is seeking a Research Fellow in Urban Mobility who can help us deliver greater impact from our data assets and projects in this specific theme. 

Since February 2023, the Centre has been working in partnership with Wejo to make connected vehicle data more readily available for research purposes.  The first phase of activity has focused on the launch of a unique, high-quality dataset on the Centre’s data store, supplied by Wejo, which contains GPS trajectories for around 50,000 vehicles during the month of July 2022, representing real-time insights over 1.8 million vehicle journeys and encompassing 400 million individual records.  This is one of the first times such detailed, in-depth data on connected vehicle trajectories has been made available for academic research.

In parallel, the Centre has also since 2020 been partnering with mobility and location data provider Spectus, leading to the creation of anonymised, aggregated daily counts of journeys between UK local authorities. During the COVID-19 pandemic in particular, use of this type of opted-in mobile phone- and GPS data enhanced a wide number of studies and policy responses that measured adherence to stay-at-home policies, alongside trends in the return to in-person workplaces. 

The value of these data lies in how they show activities and choices varying across space and time, how they indicate underlying regional, demographic or behavioural influences, and the way in which they enable assessment of impacts of new policies, disruptions, or other interventions. Beyond mobility, these data have the potential to be applied to a wide range of disciplines and further policy issues, including income segregation, food consumption, crime risk, and use of urban green spaces.  As a Centre, we want to use data such as those provided by Wejo and Spectus as the source(s) for multiple future outputs that address wider technological and methodological challenges conventionally associated with research into “digital footprints”-data.

We are therefore looking for a researcher to support work on advancing theory and methods relating to urban mobility and, most crucially, work on emerging insights that ultimately have impacts on policy. You will work closely with the PI, Professor Ed Manley, to develop new ideas and approaches for modelling urban mobility. You will have an approach to research and level of technical expertise that allows you to draw out new insights and models of mobility behaviour from large datasets. You will gain experience in a rapidly developing, interdisciplinary field that will benefit a future career in academia or data science.

We will consider flexible working arrangements. Please get in touch to discuss.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:

Professor Ed Manley

Tel: +44 (0)113 343 3356


Location:  Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:  Faculty of Environment
School/Institute:  School of Geography
Category:  Academic
Grade:  Grade 7
Salary:  £36,333 to £43,155 per annum
Post Type:  Full Time
Contract Type:  Fixed Term (Fixed term until 30 September 2024 due to external funding)
Release Date:  Tuesday 16 May 2023
Closing Date:  Tuesday 13 June 2023
Reference:  ENVGE1211
Downloads:  Candidate Brief  
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