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In-security in the Automated Economy: the implications of emerging and associated technologies for supply communities and mobile labour

Information Security Group

Dr Rikke Jensen , , Dr Anna Jackman Applications accepted all year round Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Egham United Kingdom Geography Social Anthropology

About the Project

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security for the Everyday at Royal Holloway University of London seeks to recruit a PhD student to study the wider security implications of increased technological automation and datafication for supply communities. Through this, the aim is to contribute to the development of technologies that meet the needs and expectations of mobile labour working in different supply sectors, including road haulage, maritime, delivery, agriculture and warehousing.

A growing number of both established and emerging industries are turning to AI-driven automation to respond to global changes and challenges, as well as to improve efficiency and productivity throughout the supply chain, with significant implications for those who work in these sectors. Supply communities are thus at the cutting-edge of these developments, evidenced by large-scale UK government and industry investments into AI and robotics. This project aims to explore how such developments manifest themselves in the often hidden and intrinsically mobile communities that support these industries, with a focus on security broadly defined – the security of infrastructure and supply chains; systems and data; the security of employment, rights, benefits and welfare; the security of communities. It explores the extent to which such technologies impact upon the ways in which members of these communities build trust, maintain work identity and establish security in their daily lives, while their work and living environments are turning increasingly technological and more automated.

This project focuses attention on the security needs and practices - the practical security features, including the diverse ways in which strategies and techniques for governing security are experienced, taken up, embodied, resisted and augmented by members of supply communities - at a time of rapid technological transformation. It is thus solidly grounded in these communities at a time when advanced technologies are becoming enmeshed in their work environments, often assisting and/or replacing human interactions, and re-shaping bodily capacities.

We seek applicants with 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 the collection and analysis of qualitative data, and experience of conducting ethnographic fieldwork, including participant observation and semi-structured interviews.

Prospective applicants are welcome to discuss with Dr Rikke Bjerg Jensen (), Prof Peter Adey () and Dr Anna Jackman ().

Funding Notes

The studentship includes
* Tuition fees:
* Maintenance: £21,285 for each academic year.

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security for the Everyday can offer up to ten studentships per year, three of which can be awarded to international students (which includes EU and EEA.)
Please ensure you are familiar with the eligibility criteria set by UKRI and their terms and conditions.
In order to apply please visit the CDT website and follow the application instructions.

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