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PhD Studentships

Posted on 07/03/2014

'Exploring public understandings of cyber-security vulnerabilities and threats: Implications for policy and regulatory frameworks'


Royal Holloway is pleased to announce a number of PhD studentships in Public Policy, Cyber Security and Crime (see subject areas below).


The studentships are intended to develop research capacity and training in cyber security research, including public understandings of cyber security vulnerabilities and threats in specific policy, economic and cultural contexts. Interested applicants should be cognisant of cyber security discourses, practices and technologies in relation to broader conceptualisations of public policy, criminal justice and security, the political and ethical concerns that might pertain to them, as well as areas of critical theory. Applicants must also have had experience of social research methods and the fundamental principles of qualitative and inductive research. 

The studentships are funded through the Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security at Royal Holloway (http://www.rhul.ac.uk/isg/cybersecuritycdt/home.aspx) and a collaboration between RHUL Centre for Criminology and Sociology and the Information Security Group (http://www.rhul.ac.uk/isg/home.aspx) which builds on our successful  MSc in Information Security. Students are expected to interact with wider postgraduate student cohorts and will undertake seminars in criminology, sociology and cyber security as part of their first year of training before embarking on a 3 year doctoral studies programme.

It is expected that some period of time will be spent working with outside partners and research stakeholders in government, criminal justice or the public sector.  The studentships will be an ideal opportunity for those interested in cyber security and public policy related areas to develop their future career. The studentships are only available on a full-time basis only and candidates with a first class undergraduate degree and/or a Masters in the Social Sciences - particularly in Sociology or Criminology - are encouraged to apply.

Applicants should identify a particular project area that aligns most closely with their research interests. Along with an updated CV, candidates should apply with a 1 page covering letter explaining how their interests relate to that theme, and how they envisage pursuing it within a three year doctoral research project.

Applicants should satisfy EPSRC's elgibility requirements (see www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/Pages/eligibility.aspx) as this is a funding requirement of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security. 

Recommended Subject Areas:

  • - Government cyber-security: Re-conceptualising informed consent in the era of big data
  • - The relevance of cyber-security in the prevention of cyber crime across digital and 'real' world
  • - Cyber-security in corporate organisations: A study of the perspectives of customers
  • - Digital surveillance: crime management or placebo? 
  • - A Sociological study of the notion of cyber-security


Interested applicants should send their CV and the 1 page covering letter to  by 31st March Dr Carlos Cid carlos.cid@rhul.ac.uk. Expressions of interest and further queries should be directed to either Professor Ravinder Barn r.barnrhul.ac.uk or Dr Lizzie Coles-Kemp Lizzie.Coles-Kemprhul.ac.uk 

The successful candidates will be expected to begin in September 2014, and will be supervised by staff within the Centre for Criminology & Sociology, with an adviser in Information Security, although this depends on the nature of the project.

The number of studentships to be awarded will depend on the calibre of candidates and their project idea. Candidates who have or are expecting to obtain a first class honours degree or a masters degree (distinction) are especially encouraged to apply. To qualify, the full studentships are available to UK residents only and applicants should read the entry requirements carefully.


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