Research Associate - ACCEPT

2 days left

University of Bristol
Bristol, United Kingdom
£33,797 - £38,017
Apr 23, 2021
May 18, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
The role

REPHRAIN , the National Research Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence Online, is looking for new researchers to shape the future of digital interactions online.

REPHRAIN is the UK's world-leading interdisciplinary community focussed on the protection of citizens online. A UKRI-funded National Research Centre, REPHRAIN has a starting critical mass of over 50 internationally-leading experts at Bristol (lead), UCL, Edinburgh, King's and Bath and 23 founding industry, non-profit, government, law, regulation and international research centre partners. Together we will address the current tensions and imbalances between the substantial benefits to be gained by full participation in the digital economy, and the potential for harm through loss of privacy, insecurity, disinformation and a myriad of other online harms. REPHRAIN will provide the bedrock for innovative socio-technical solutions that empower individuals with regards to privacy and online safety and lead to new products and services for the digital economy.

You will be part of a collective of highly-skilled interdisciplinary researchers associated with REPHRAIN, initially from the five lead institutions, but growing further over the lifetime of the Centre as more projects and researcher/practitioners-in-residence start. Staff associated with REPHRAIN will take part in all Centre-wide activities including project specific meetings, quarterly All-Hands meetings, masterclasses, Knowledge Exchange events and REPHRAIN showcases.

The ACCEPT project aims to investigate consumer perspectives on the use and sharing of PETs-related data by various types of 'legitimate' organisations. In particular, it will explore consumer views on aspects such as the different types of data arising from different types of PETs; the use of this data for different purposes by different actors (e.g., private sector/commercial organisations versus governmental organisations versus non-governmental organisations); the potential existence of context-specific boundaries and nuances regarding what is, and is not, considered acceptable sharing and use of this data by organisations (e.g., when can this information be shared? With who? How should this be communicated to users?) and the use of Artificial Intelligence for user data analysis (e.g., the rise of so-called filter-bubbles of poor-quality or unwanted content). Additionally, a key focus of the project will be on PETs with regard to children's rights (for example, data collection and analysis by smart toys, social media dedicated to children such as YouTube Kids) and what should be done with collected data that reveal potential abuse or self-harming behaviour of a child.

What will you be doing?

The successful candidate will be primarily responsible for organizing and undertaking data collection with a wide range of stakeholders (through semi-structured interviews, focus groups, etc.) to help develop guidelines targeted at different organisation types regarding key issues and requirements to consider in the acceptable use of PETs-related data and how information regarding this issue is communicated to users.

This is a fixed-term position (with a possibility of extension) based within the REPHRAIN centre in the Bristol Cyber Security Group at the University of Bristol. The successful candidate will be a promising early-career researcher with experience in the field of human-smart technology interaction, with understanding of aspects of privacy, harm reduction and adversarial influence online. Ideally the candidate will have experience in both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis pertaining to natural language privacy policies and the development of guidance targeted at different organisation types (e.g., public / private sector) regarding key issues and requirements.

You should apply if
  • You have a track record of research in Privacy, particularly one or more of: Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs), Privacy Engineering, Usable Privacy
  • You have experience and are confident in working with different stakeholder groups to collect in-depth qualitative data
  • You have excellent qualitative and quantitative data analysis skills and the ability to systematically collect and analyse data from online source
  • You have strong research project management skills
  • You can build strong, effective relationships with a range of people from different sectors and levels of seniority;
  • You have excellent communication skills and can clearly articulate verbally and in writing;
  • You are someone who can get up to speed quickly, thrives on digesting lots of information, is mindful of competing priorities, and can drive activity forward in a sustainable manner.

Additional Information

The role is fixed term for 12 months.

For further information please contact:

Katharina Burger ( )

Claudia Peersman ( )

This advert will close at23:59 GMTon Tuesday 18 May 2021.

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.

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