About the Project
The University of Southampton seek a strong candidate for an industry backed Web Science PhD studentship to research the relationship between information provenance, trust and identity within the context of cyber influence. The PhD scholarship is fully funded for three years and sits within the University of Southampton's Web Science Doctoral Training Centre. An industry partner is involved with this studentship and the successful candidate will be expected to be based at their Hampshire site for 3 months each year.
How can we trust what we read online? Who influences the information we are provided with? How does causality manifest itself on the Web: what event or writing triggered a cascade of further online comments, and what happened because of that cascade? How do “memes” appear and disappear? These are difficult questions to answer for cyberspace in general.
Provenance  is a record that describes the people, institutions, entities, and activities involved in producing, influencing, or delivering a piece of data or a thing. It is proposed that provenance can be used as a way of putting a structure on data collected from cyberspace. Subsequently, methods can be developed that utilize provenance to understand influence.
This research topic in Web Science will be grounded on cyberspace datasets; the research aims to be multi-disciplinary bringing methods from social science and /or psychology to validate results generated by computer science.
The project will be supervised by Luc Moreau and another academic (TBD but most likely from a discipline suited to understanding influence as social-behavioural phenomena) in collaboration with one of our industry partners. The three-year research programme is jointly supervised by two faculties giving the student the scope to draw on a wide range of disciplines ranging from Computer Science, Information Technology, Law, Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Physics, Biology, Humanities, Management or Education.
A PhD in Web Science will equip students to become leaders in the emerging Digital Economy, where the understanding the social behavioural aspects of cyber security and cyber exploitation is a growth area and will likely be an expertise in some considerable demand as time goes on.
For more information on the studentship and the Industry Partner, please contact Professor Luc Moreau at [Email Address Removed].
Please apply online,at http://www.southampton.ac.uk/postgraduate/pgstudy/howdoiapplypg.html for a ‘PhD in Computer Science’ within the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering. IMPORTANT: Please start your personal statement with ‘FOR THE ATTENTION OF LUC MOREAU – Web Science/RMR’
Any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Doctoral Training Centre Administrator, Claire Wyatt on 02380 592738 or [Email Address Removed]
Key words: provenance, cyber security, cyber crime, cyber influence, cyber intelligence, social network analysis, human behaviour, trust networks
To be eligible for these competitive scholarships you must demonstrate a relevant connection with the UK. You need to be ordinarily resident for a period of three years immediately prior to the date of application, excluding any period of residence mainly for the purposes of full-time education. EU nationals are eligible for fees-only awards if they are resident in their own country for a period of three years immediately prior to the date of application, excluding any period of residence mainly for the purposes of full-time education.