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Behavioural Science and Security

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Adam Joinson
    Dr L Smith
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The PhD studentship will be linked with the ‘Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats’ (CREST: project, under the supervision of Professor Adam Joinson (School of Management) and Dr. Laura Smith (Department of Psychology).

The successful candidate will join a team of academic, post-doctoral, and PhD researchers who are part the ‘Applied Digital Behaviour Lab’ based in the Information, Decision and Operations Division of the School of Management. This is an excellent opportunity to join and contribute to a collaborative and successful research group that has a large portfolio of projects addressing applications of behavioural science and analytics to security and cybersecurity. The student will also benefit from close engagement with the Department of Psychology via a joint supervisory team spanning both groups.

The project will involve testing methods for predicting vulnerability to cybersecurity threats. This student’s project would use behavioural analytics to identify the vulnerability of individuals to various cybersecurity threats. Using both data from organisations and our own testing environment, the student would seek to identify reliable markers for individual vulnerability, and also test skills-based interventions to reduce vulnerability.


1. Must hold at a minimum a bachelor degree (a First or Upper-second or GPA equivalent) in Psychology, Computer or Data Science, Communications or Management, or related discipline. A Masters level qualification would be desirable.
2. Must be fluent in English.
3. Must be strongly committed to, and potentially capable of, high-quality academic research in an area that is consistent with the CREST research project using quantitative methods. High level technical skills suitable for application to behavioural analytics would be an advantage.

Suitably qualified candidates should apply directly online attaching, without fail as additional documents, ALL of the following:

1. A letter (2 pages max) outlining their interest in the topic, rationale for PhD study and career goals.
2. A full academic CV, including all schools, colleges and universities attended, along with grades and working experience.
3. An example of written work (e.g. essay, dissertation, research report)
4. Copies of official transcripts of all degree subjects taken, and (where required) proof of English fluency (IELTS – 7 or higher, Pearsons).

Anticipated start date: Spring/Summer 2019

Funding Notes

Applicants will be considered for a University studentship covering Home/EU tuition fees, a training support fee of £1,000 per annum and a tax-free maintenance allowance at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£14,777 2018/19) for a period of up to 3 years, full-time study.

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