18,028 PhD positions grounded in ethnographic explorations of cyber/information security as part of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security for the Everyday in the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway University of London, UK.

We have a number of fully funded PhD positions grounded in ethnographic explorations of cyber/information security as part of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security for the Everyday in the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway University of London, UK. Importantly, none of these projects require a background in cyber/information security.  

See below for more information about the specific projects and funding.

Please do share with any potential candidates and get in touch if you have any questions or would like more information.

Rikke Bjerg Jensen

Information Security Group

Royal Holloway University of London, UK

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# Ethnographic explorations of collective security practices ‘on the edge’ 
The Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security for the Everyday at Royal Holloway University of London seeks to recruit a PhD student to explore collective security practices.

Grounded in ethnography, this project explores how (information) security is understood, negotiated, shaped and practised among people living and/or working on what we might call ‘the edge’ of societies. More specifically, it engages the often hidden, unvoiced and/or marginalised groups and communities not generally considered in the design of security technologies. ‘The edge’ is loosely defined and can be understood in cultural, economic, geographical, occupational, social terms. As such, the PhD can take multiple directions, engaging a diversity of groups, communities and/or specific sites of study.  

The starting point for this project is an understanding of information security as a collective endeavour, grounded in trust relations within groups and shared security goals; where security for the group is negotiated between group members and where individual security notions are shaped by those of the group. In other words, information security experienced and practised collectively. 

Ethnography is uniquely placed to uncover such collective practices through extended field studies, driven by immersion and observation with and within the groups it aims to understand. It enables long-term explorations of, for example, what security looks and feels like for the groups under study. How security is experienced and voiced and how it is negotiated and shared between group members. How security technologies are used and for what purpose within groups. What security expectations are held within groups and how they manifest themselves as well as the socio-materiality of their existence.

Qualitative social science is a key research area in the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway, with previous and current work engaging distinct communities, including refugees and migrants, seafarers, Greenlandic women, protesters. We seek PhD students to collaborate on, contribute to and extend this body of work. Applicants should thus have an interest in (information) security but come from a social science background, with at least an undergraduate degree in a field cognate to Anthropology, Human Geography, Sociology or Science and Technology Studies. Ideally, applicants will have experience in conducting ethnographic fieldwork, engaging in participant observation and/or collecting and analysing qualitative data.
 
Prospective applicants are welcome to discuss with Dr Rikke Bjerg Jensen (rikke.jensen@rhul.ac.uk).

## The studentship includes 
* Tuition fees
* Maintenance: £21,285 for each academic year. 

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security for the Everyday can offer up to ten studentships per year, three of which can be awarded to international students (which includes EU and EEA.) 
Please ensure you are familiar with the eligibility criteria set by UKRI and their terms and conditions. 
In order to apply please visit the CDT website and follow the application instructions. 
www.royalholloway.ac.uk/cdt

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# Social and Societal Foundations of Cryptography: The Case of Large-Scale Protests

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security for the Everyday at Royal Holloway seeks to recruit PhD students who will explore the social and societal foundations of cryptography.

Cryptography is a field that actively interrogates its foundations. These foundations are, unsurprisingly and sensibly, understood to be of the complexity-theoretic and mathematical variety. However, cryptographic security notions — and everything that depends on them — do not exist in a vacuum, they have reasons to be. While the immediate objects of cryptography are not social relations, it presumes and models them. This fact is readily acknowledged in the introductions of cryptographic papers which illustrate the utility of the work by reference to some social situation where several parties have conflicting ends but a need or desire to interact. Yet, this part of the definitional work has not received the same rigour from the cryptographic community as complexity-theoretic and mathematical questions.

This project aims to take first steps towards remedying this situation by grounding cryptographic security notions in findings emerging from ethnographic fieldwork in adversarial situations. In particular, it considers protesters in large-scale protests and aims to understand their security needs, practices and the technologies they rely upon. The project then also analyses these technologies, i.e. attempts to break their security, and proposes new solutions based on the findings from fieldwork. By bringing cryptographic security notions to *the field*, the project provokes a series of security questions about, for example, confidentiality and anonymity in online and offline networks, trust relations and how to establish them, onboarding and authentication practices.

We seek applicants with either a background in mathematics and/or computer science or related disciplines or a background in ethnography or experience using related qualitative social science methods.

The ISG is one of the largest departments dedicated to information security in the world with 21 core academic staff in the department, as well as research and support staff. We work with many research partners in other departments and have circa 90 PhD students working on a wide range of security research. We have a strong, vibrant, embedded and successful multi-disciplinary research profile spanning from cryptography to systems security and social aspects of security. This vibrant environment incorporates visiting researchers, weekly research seminars(https://seminars.isg.rhul.ac.uk/), weekly reading groups, PhD seminars and mini conferences, the WISDOM group (Women in the Security Domain Or Mathematics) and we are proud of our collegial atmosphere and approach. The ISG puts a strong emphasis on a meaningful integration of social and technological perspectives on information security.

Prospective applicants are welcome to discuss with Dr Rikke Bjerg Jensen (rikke.jensen@rhul.ac.uk) and Prof Martin Albrecht (martin.albrecht@rhul.ac.uk).

## Further Reading 
https://martinralbrecht.wordpress.com/2020/07/10/what-does-secure-mean-in-information-security/
https://martinralbrecht.wordpress.com/2020/08/24/mesh-messaging-in-large-scale-protests-breaking-bridgefy/

## The studentship includes 
* Tuition fees
* Maintenance: £21,285 for each academic year. 

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security for the Everyday can offer up to ten studentships per year, three of which can be awarded to international students (which includes EU and EEA.) 
Please ensure you are familiar with the eligibility criteria set by UKRI and their terms and conditions. 
In order to apply please visit the CDT website and follow the application instructions. 
www.royalholloway.ac.uk/cdt

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# In-security in the Automated Economy: the implications of emerging and associated technologies for supply communities and mobile labour

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security for the Everyday at Royal Holloway University of London seeks to recruit a PhD student to study the wider security implications of increased technological automation and datafication for supply communities. Through this, the aim is to contribute to the development of technologies that meet the needs and expectations of mobile labour working in different supply sectors, including road haulage, maritime, delivery, agriculture and warehousing.

A growing number of both established and emerging industries are turning to AI-driven automation to respond to global changes and challenges, as well as to improve efficiency and productivity throughout the supply chain, with significant implications for those who work in these sectors. Supply communities are thus at the cutting-edge of these developments, evidenced by large-scale UK government and industry investments into AI and robotics. This project aims to explore how such developments manifest themselves in the often hidden and intrinsically mobile communities that support these industries, with a focus on security broadly defined – the security of infrastructure and supply chains; systems and data; the security of employment, rights, benefits and welfare; the security of communities. It explores the extent to which such technologies impact upon the ways in which members of these communities build trust, maintain work identity and establish security in their daily lives, while their work and living environments are turning increasingly technological and more automated.

This project focuses attention on the security needs and practices – the practical security features, including the diverse ways in which strategies and techniques for governing security are experienced, taken up, embodied, resisted and augmented by members of supply communities – at a time of rapid technological transformation. It is thus solidly grounded in these communities at a time when advanced technologies are becoming enmeshed in their work environments, often assisting and/or replacing human interactions, and re-shaping bodily capacities.

We seek applicants with an interest in (information) security but come from a social science background, with at least an undergraduate degree in a field cognate to Anthropology, Human Geography, Sociology or Science and Technology Studies. Ideally, applicants will have experience in the collection and analysis of qualitative data, and experience of conducting ethnographic fieldwork, including participant observation and semi-structured interviews.

Prospective applicants are welcome to discuss with Dr Rikke Bjerg Jensen (rikke.jensen@rhul.ac.uk), Prof Peter Adey (peter.adey@rhul.ac.uk) and Dr Anna Jackman (anna.jackman@rhul.ac.uk). 

## The studentship includes 
* Tuition fees
* Maintenance: £21,285 for each academic year. 

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security for the Everyday can offer up to ten studentships per year, three of which can be awarded to international students (which includes EU and EEA.) 
Please ensure you are familiar with the eligibility criteria set by UKRI and their terms and conditions. 
In order to apply please visit the CDT website and follow the application instructions. 
www.royalholloway.ac.uk/cdt

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