Tenure track research faculty applications Open @ Tecnico – U. Lisbon

Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon invites applications for three tenure track research faculty to join the ERA Chair team at Assistant or Associate level within Computer Science and/or HCI, to begin in the fall term of 2021. This is an exciting opportunity to both collaborate to build a world-class research centre and accelerate your own research career; We are open to candidates from a wide range of complementary academic disciplines.

The ERA Chair is funded by the European Research Area through the BIG ERAChair project, a prestigious grant awarded to select research institutions in Europe. Through the BIG ERA Chair grant, Tecnico is launching a new world-class lab – the DCentral Lab.  Working across IST in close collaboration with others across the university and our external partners, DCentral’s core aim is to deliver on the promise of decentralisation – in particular blockchain and associated technologies – in the delivery of sustainability and social good outcomes.

In many instances, our heavily globalised and centralised world will need emergent forms of decentralisation to manage and mitigate the various impacts of technology, environmental and social issues we see today: DCentral places solving these issues at its core.  Led by the ERA Chair Prof. Catherine Mulligan, the DCentral Lab will bring together an interdisciplinary team creating a critical mass of researchers across technical, social science, economic and design disciplines to investigate the role of blockchain and associated technologies (e.g. distributed computing, edge computing, security and applied cryptography, AI, machine learning, big data and cloud computing) in the creation of social impact. 

The foundation of DCentral will be interdisciplinary research methods drawing strongly on the competences of all the researchers in the lab to create the digital future.  For example, design practice, design studios, as well as other interdisciplinary research methods will form the basis of our work.  This will serve to investigate and support new ways of examining and communicating the potential of blockchain technologies, as well as guide and assess their impacts in important societal challenges.  A strong commitment to interdisciplinary research will be a must.

Research Faculty Profile:
DCentral is looking for exceptional researchers eager to: embrace rather than dissimulate the political, social, economic and geopolitical potential of blockchain technologies; draw from design, social science and the real-world as much as computer science for inspiration in order to directly contribute to our primary research outputs.  Successful applicants will have an ambition to build one of the best research centres in the world.  We are open to candidates from a wide range of complementary academic disciplines, with demonstrated research interests in areas that may include:

  • Blockchain and associated coding disciplines, with a willingness to learn new ones
  • AI / ML / Cybersecurity / Applied Cryptography
  • Traditional HCI with design thinking and design practice innovation interests
  • Decentralised Economics, Decentralised Finance (DeFi and similar), Incentives and/or behavioural economics
  • Appropriate technology development including ethical and social implications of technology
  • Big data with a focus on environment, social justice, or international political economy
  • The study of global flows and systems in the emerging decentralised economy
  • Artistic and humanistic approaches to blockchain technology

Researchers will be expected to:

  • Deliver high quality research outputs in appropriate venues for their selected research area
  • Maintain and grow a strong presence in their field while engaging in cross-disciplinary research
  • Successfully co-create and submit research grant proposals to funding bodies such as Horizon Europe
  • Have an ability to manage discussions with everyday end users of technology as well as senior leaders in governments, corporations, NGOs and civil society
  • Manage relations with other research centres, universities, companies, NGOs, governments and other partners to create a flourishing technical research community
  • Maintain a critical technical practice and be comfortable with a prototype-oriented research method
  • Mentor MS and PhD students toward innovative and recognized research outcomes. 
  • Where appropriate collaborate in and help expand current PhD programs, for example the dual-degree PhD in HCI with the prestigious HCI institute at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Assist in recruiting new students who will enrich our community

In addition, members of the DCentral lab will have a keen interest in delivering real-world benefits from research and be comfortable working with research “in the wild”. 

All instruction and business is conducted in English by a diverse, international faculty and staff.

Applicants for faculty positions in the ERA Chair Team must have:

  • PhD in an appropriate discipline
  • A strong demonstrated record of accomplishment in research, whether in the sciences, engineering, design, or humanities
  • Teaching experience
  • A portfolio of prior research work

Research Fields:

  • Technology – Information Technology
  • Architecture -> Design
  • Communication Sciences -> Media Studies; Arts -> Visual Arts
  • Engineering -> Design Engineering; Telecommunications
  • Environmental Science -> Global Change
  • Computer Science -> Distributed Computing, Edge Computing, Security and Applied Cryptography, AI, Machine Learning, Big Data and Cloud Computing

Career Stage
Early-stage researcher (0-4 years) or Experienced Researcher (4-10 years)


  • Tenure research track position with initial appointment of four years
  • Competitive salary commensurate with qualification and experience according to the Portuguese law for university research public servants
  • Social benefits, health insurance
  • Support for housing and relocation

Queries around the roles may be sent to Catherine.mulligan@tecnico.ulisboa.pt.  Applications sent to this address will NOT be processed, please see below for the application process.

How to Apply:
Applicants should send to bigerachair-hires@iti.larsys.pt 

  • a CV, 
  • letter of interest,
  •  brief research summary (max 2 pages) outlining how you think DCentral can contribute to your discipline over the next 4 years 
  • the names of three references (who will not be contacted until a later stage) 

Deadline for applications: 30th of June 2021

  • This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 952226.