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HECAT PhD Scholarship Socio-Technical-Studies

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Tuite
    Dr R Griffin
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Post summary

We are currently seeking a full time PhD researcher to undertake a project that explores the interface between the social and the technical of algorithmic technologies in public administration. This project is suited to anthropology, sociology, organisation studies and general social science or business graduates.

Understanding the social life of algorithms is a pressing matter, as they become ever more embedded in the fabric of social life. This project, part of a large EU Funded H2020 project explores the humans and non-humans of algorithmic interactions within the public employment services (PES). Non-humans actors such as policies, procedures, offices, forms and even research work in partnership with human caseworkers, administrators, managers and politicians as well as unemployed citizens to accomplish a welfare system, and their outcomes. This project aspires to explore the translations, interactions between the various actors.

The PhD candidates will be registered on the 4-year WIT structured PhD programme and located in the WIT School of Business. WIT is currently coordinating the EU funded H2020 project, HECAT, in association with nine other consortium members across Ireland, Denmark, France, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland. This research funded under H2020 Societal Challenge 6 which explores socioeconomic and cultural transformations will use sociological and anthropological insight on the experience of unemployment with expertise in national statistical and learning algorithms to develop new techniques to visualise the labour market.

The PhD will be a stand-alone independent research project making broad contributions to the research deliverables of the HECAT project. The projects will culminate in the submission of a dissertation for examination and award of a PhD (Level 10).

This academic research roles, building on prior experience at undergraduate, postgraduate and/or within industry, will include a specified programme of research supervised by senior HECAT researchers and under the guidance of the Principal Investigator. HECAT is an interdisciplinary project that is primarily driven from human centred AHSS principles requiring candidates to have an appreciation for both AHSS and STEM research.

Standard duties and responsibilities of the scholarship

Key Responsibilities:

• Conduct a specified programme of research and scholarship under the supervision and direction of senior HECAT researchers based in WIT
• Engage in appropriate training and professional development opportunities as required by your supervisor(s), Principal Investigator, the Business School or Institute under the structured PhD programme
• Provide input into the design and development of the research programme
• Engage in the dissemination of research results as directed by and with the support of your supervisor(s)
• Engage in the wider research and scholarly activities of your research group, School and Institute
• Engage in the wider administrative and organisation duties of your research group as requested by the project manager
• Engage in a research community within the HECAT project including with postdoctoral researchers and PhD researcher both within WIT and across the HECAT network
• Engage in duties related to the research deliverables of the HECAT project across the network (including travel)
• Support, if required, the development of proposals for future research funding

Person specification



An Honours Degree (Level 8) with first class honours or 2.1 minimum in the areas of arts, humanities, social sciences, business, technology or a related discipline


A Masters degree (Level 9) with first class honours or 2.1 minimum or a Masters degree by research (Level 9) in the areas of arts, humanities, social sciences, business, ICT/technology or a related discipline

Knowledge & Experience


The ability to conduct research relevant to the themes the outlined above


An academic interest in the areas covered by the HECAT project including (but not limited to): Social Welfare, Unemployment, big data and algorithmic knowledge, STS, public policy (including EU policy), philosophical and practical application of statistics.
Knowledge and application of the principles underpinning successful grant application

Skills & Competencies


A high level of written and oral English. Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English, please see WIT’s English Language Requirements for details.
Meet the visa requirements for studying in Ireland


Understanding of the skills and competencies for carrying out independent research and managing resources
A high level of academic writing skills including critical exploration of academic literature

Further information

For any informal queries, please contact Dr Aisling Tuite or Dr Ray Griffin by email on [Email Address Removed] or [Email Address Removed]

For queries relating to the application and admission process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office via email [Email Address Removed] or telephone +353 (0)51 302883.


Funding Notes

The candidates will register on the 4-year structured PhD programme in WIT

The scholarship will cover:

-Fees for the 4 year programme €4,500pa (until 2024)

-A stipend of €14,400pa for 3 years (until the end of the research project on 1st February 2023)

-Travel of €3,000pa

Application procedure

Please download the Research Postgraduate Application Form from the WIT Website and return completed applications to [Email Address Removed] quoting “WD_2020_04” in the email subject line.

Please note that paper submissions will not be accepted.

Any queries relating to the application process should be emailed to [Email Address Removed].

Related Subjects

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