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Exploring the trajectories of self-generated images of child sexual abuse material, and avenues for future intervention.


   Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

  Dr Samantha Lundrigan, Dr Deanna Davy  Monday, June 06, 2022  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The Policing Institute for the Eastern Region at Anglia Ruskin University has an established reputation for high quality research that has real impact on policy and practice in the field of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (CSAE). Currently, CSAE represents the greatest challenge to policing outside of terrorism (Bailey, 2020) with latest figures from the National Crime Agency (NCA) estimating that there are a minimum 300,000 individuals in the UK posing a sexual threat to children, either through physical ‘contact’ or online abuse (NCA, 2020). Together, the NCA and UK policing arrest more than 500 child sex offenders and are safeguarding around 700 children each month.

This PhD will be co-hosted by CameraForensics (their technology indexes imagery across the web to match online and offline personas, empowering investigators to solve complex crimes), and will utilise national databases that help police detect, flag, and analyse illegal digital media images.

The PhD will likely explore the following questions:

-       What is the trajectory of self-generated images – from the point that an image is taken to it being shared widely on the Internet and the Darkweb?

-       What are the possible areas for early intervention, for preventing the dissemination of self-generated child sexual abuse images?

The research may also explore other pertinent questions, such as: How can we rid the globe of the most frequently shared child sexual abuse images?

We are seeking applications from an ambitious, highly motivated researcher to work on this topic through the completion of a three-year, funded PhD. This PhD is particularly suited to candidates with strong quantitative/data analytic skills in areas such as big data, AI and machine learning, advanced statistical modelling, data and database analytics, computational statistics, real time analytics.

This is a unique opportunity to help shape the future research agenda in the CSA space, working with national partners to deliver impactful research and innovation whilst at the same time developing your own career.

To discuss a research project, please contact

Candidate requirements

Applications are invited from UK fee status only. Applicants should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum upper-second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a cognate discipline. A Masters’ degree in a relevant subject is desirable.

Applicants must be prepared to study on a full-time basis, attending at our Chelmsford or Cambridge campus, starting in September 2022.

Application Procedures

Applications are made through the application portal on our website: https://e-vision.anglia.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_ipp_lgn.login?process=siw_ipp_app&code1=R0173FCHE01D&code2=0005

We will review all applications after the submission deadline of 6th June. Interviews are expected to be held in June.

If you have any queries relating to the application process or the terms and conditions of the this scholarship, please email

Documentation required

You will need the following documents available electronically to upload them to the application portal (we can accept files in pdf, jpeg or Word format):

1)     Certificates and transcripts from your Bachelor and Masters degrees, (if applicable)

2)     Your personal statement explaining your suitability for the project. Please upload this in the "Research Outline" section of the application form.

3)     Passport and visa (if applicable)

4)     Curriculum Vitae


Funding Notes

The successful applicant for this project will receive a Dawes scholarship award which covers Home tuition fees and provides a UKRI equivalent minimum annual stipend for three years. The award is subject to the successful candidate meeting the scholarship Terms and conditions which can be found on our website.

References

The successful applicant for this project will receive a Dawes scholarship award which covers Home tuition fees and provides a UKRI equivalent minimum annual stipend for three years. For 2022/3, this will be £16,062. The award is subject to the successful candidate meeting the scholarship Terms and conditions which can be found on our website

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