Please not that applications are currently closed and will reopen in the Autumn
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.