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  Cyber security and digital resilience in health services – an exploration of the use of immersive technologies in the provision of gendered and effective cyber security immersive trainings for healthcare professionals(Ref: WD_2023_51_WSCH_4)

   Research Support Unit

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  Prof John Wells, Dr J Sheppard, Ms Frances Cleary, Dr PJ White, Prof Martina Gooney, Dr Frances Finn  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Project Key Words: Extended reality, health services resilience. gender

Post summary

Cyber breaches/ attacks are a regular threat to health services. When launched they are costly and pose a threat to patient safety. Innovative use of extended reality technology can facilitate practice responses to manage the recognition and immediate impact of a cyber-attack, may embed the knowledge and skills required to maintain cyber security awareness and support resilience of health care professionals during a cyber-security breach (Wells, 2022). A large-scale investigation into a more innovative method of training and education referenced to high priority cyber security scenarios has yet to be undertaken in relation to health care professionals’ training. This study will investigate the development, use and adoption of extended reality ((virtual and augmented reality immersive technology)  to design, develop a VR educational training platform for healthcare professionals utilizing AI to personalize the experience and analyze the outcomes.

Person specification

A highly motivated and innovative person with an interest in immersive technologies and their applications in health care and/ or teaching and learning. Someone who can take an initiative when required but who is also comfortable working under guidance and is able to work within teams (particularly multi-national teams).



·       Honours Degree (minimum 2:1) in the specific area or related area including Computer Science Technologies, Gaming / Digital / Immersive Technologies, multimedia/game development or equivalent (e.g. BSc/BEng).


·       Master's degree in Computer Science /Multimedia (or related).

·       Qualification in a health-related or cybersecurity related discipline

Knowledge & Experience


 ·       General knowledge of computer science.

·       Strong programming ability .

·       Clear understanding of the commitment requirements for PhD research.

·       Familiarity with issues relevant to cyber security. 


 ·       Exposure to Interactive technologies (virtual reality and augmented reality).

 ·       Knowledge of AR frameworks such as ARkit, ARCore, Vuforia.

 ·       Understanding of software development methodologies, UI/UX design, procedural content generation, and interactive storytelling.

·       Good communication skills and ability to work effectively on shared projects with designers, artists, testers, and other developers.

·       Experience of working in health care settings, preferably with health related digital technologies.


 Skills & Competencies


·       Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate on application that they meet SETU’s English language requirements and provide all necessary documentation. See Page 7 of the Code of Practice

·       In order to be shortlisted for interview, you must meet the SETU English speaking requirements so please provide evidence in your application. 


·       Self-motivated and enthusiastic about research.

·       Good Communication Skills.

·       Good Presentation skills.

. Good organizational and time management skills.


Communication & Media Studies (7) Computer Science (8) Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

Supervisor(s): Professor Martina Gooney, Professor John Wells, Dr John Sheppard, Dr Frances Finn, Ms Frances Cleary (Waterford) and Dr PJ White (Carlow)
Department /School/Faculty :School of Health Sciences
Duration 48 Months
Status: Full-time
Funding information:SETU PhD Scholarship Programme 2023
Value of the scholarship per year for four years
Stipend: €18,500
Fees, up to a maximum of €5,750
Research costs- A budget of € 8000 over the period is allocated to cover materials, consumables, and travel costs as per the requested budget


Further information
For any informal queries, please contact Professor Martina Gooney on e-mail -
For queries relating to the application and admission process, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office or telephone +353 (0)51 302883.
For queries relating to the funding programme, please email
University Website
Application procedure
Download the Research Postgraduate Application Form from here and return the completed application to quoting advert reference code WD_2023_51_WSCH_3 from the above table in the email subject line.
Please note that paper submissions will not be accepted.
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