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Date(s) - 09/06/2017
All Day

Human Rights Centre, University of Essex


This funded three-year doctoral studentship will undertake research concerning big data analytics (technological risks and solutions for protecting human rights) as part of Work Stream One of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project.

Work Stream One acts as a hub for the other three Work Streams of the Project. As well as providing the overarching framework within which the other Work Streams operate, this Work Stream seeks to advance knowledge and understanding of how big data and associated technologies are reshaping the conceptualisation and meaning of human rights in the digital age.

The studentship, which is one of five to be associated with the HRBDT Project, will work on issues associated with the application and human rights implications of big data and associated technology – including current and potential uses of big data analytics, including future trajectory. The research will consider issues that can arise with technological measures regarding securing identity and protecting human rights, and will identify current and emerging areas where technology can result in positive and/or negative human rights implications. Examples include anonymity, the risk of re-identification through knowledge extraction and privacy by design. The research will also consider technical, legal, procedural and operational safeguards and remedies to protect human rights in the digital age. The successful candidate will work with their supervisors and the Work Stream team to develop their precise PhD project.

The successful candidate will have a first degree and a postgraduate qualification, at least one of which should be in computer science, law or a related discipline. Candidates with mixed disciplinary backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate:

  • An in-depth knowledge of technical issues surrounding big data and associated technologies;
  • An awareness of theoretical issues associated with international human rights law and of potential rights implications of big data and associated technologies;
  • An ability to undertake qualitative research of a high standard;
  • An ability to write work of publishable quality; and
  • An ability to disseminate research findings to a range of stakeholder and expert communities.

Candidates will also need to show that they can work as part of a multidisciplinary team and assist with the broader activities of the HRBDT Project, including the organisation of meetings and impact engagement activities.

Please click here for more information on the studentship, funding and how to apply.

Applicants are asked to notify Ms Catherine Kent ckent@essex.ac.uk that they have submitted an application.

Interviews will be held by Skype or in person at the University of Essex and are expected to take place during the week commencing Monday 19 June 2017. The successful candidate would be expected to start on Thursday 5 October 2017.

Informal enquiries should be made to Ms Catherine Kent ckent@essex.ac.uk.