KINGS COLLEGE LONDON

Research Associate

Location
London (Greater) (GB)
Salary
£38,304, including London Weighting Allowance
Posted
Wednesday, 26 May 2021
End of advertisement period
Monday, 26 July 2021
Ref
023306
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Hours
Full Time

Job description 

The successful candidate will join King’s College London and work on the 1-year project PROM: Understanding the Promotion of Violence across online cultures, one of the inaugural projects of the £7M UK’s National Research Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence online (REPHRAIN), a centre funded by UKRI [1]. The candidate will join the vibrant cyber security research group at the Department of Informatics, which forms part of the KCL Cybersecurity Centre [2], an EPSRC-NCSC Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) [3].

Online radicalisation is a pressing problem that can foster spates of violence, which have permeated to the physical world in countless occasions. One driving factor that characterises online communities fostering online hate is the glorification and trivialization of violence in the community. Often times, the promotion of violence is carried out through visual or textual means that are ambiguous.

This project will investigate the role of online cultures in the promotion of violence, through a data-driven analysis. Identifying sources of violent narratives require a deep understanding of how online communities are structured and what is the type of content shared. The project will leverage the outputs of two projects: the ESRC CREST project that have looked into the use of memes to promote violence led by Guillermo Suarez-Tangil [4], and ii) the EPSRC DADD project that has developed data-driven methods to automatically discover biases in language corpora [5] [6] led by Jose Such.

The successful candidate must be highly motivated and must have:

• PhD (or near completion) awarded in Cyber Security, Computer Science, Data Science, Computational Social Science, ML, or similar near completion.

• Excellent background in cyber security and/or cyber safety

• Strong research record in the subjects above as evidenced by publications in high quality journals and conferences.

• Proven ability to work independently.

• Flexible approach to working and a desire to develop knowledge.

• Excellent interpersonal / team-working and organisational skills.

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills including presentation and report-writing skills.

For reference, preliminary work in this area from the team.

[1]   https://www.ukri.org/news/new-centre-launched-to-keep-citizens-safe-online/

[2] https://kcl.ac.uk/cybersecurity-centre 

[3]   https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/information/academic-centres-excellence-cyber-security-research

[4] Suarez-Tangil, G. Memetic Irony and the Promotion of Violence within Chan Cultures. CREST Commissioned project RE16539.

[5] Ferrer, X., Van Nuenen, T., Such, J.M. , Criado, N. “ Discovering and Categorising Language Biases in Reddit”. AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM), In press, 2021.

[6] Such, JM et al. “Discovering and Attesting Digital Discrimination (DADD),   https://dadd-project.org

This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 12 months

This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent

 

Key responsibilities

• Designing, conducting, analysing and reporting empirical and/or theoretical security results  

• Writing papers for publication in conferences and journals, and disseminating the work as well in seminars and other research meetings. 

• Working closely with the Principal Investigator (PI) and other Co-investigators of PROM, and other partners of the REPHRAIN Centre (Researchers at the National Research Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence online) to ensure that the aims and objectives of the project are achieved in a timely and effective way. 

• Developing new concepts and ideas to extend intellectual understanding in the area of the project.

• Leading the organisation of and support events, conferences and workshops run by the project to develop the project outputs and research agenda; and participating in relevant events within the institution or externally, in order to build contacts to facilitate exchange of information and advance thinking. The post holder will be particularly expected to actively engage in the activities and events of REPHRAIN.

• Contributing to the development of further research proposals.

 

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.  

Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Essential criteria 

• PhD awarded in Cyber Security, Computer Science, Data Science, Computational Social Science, ML, or similar near completion. 

• Excellent background in cyber security and/or cyber safety 

• Strong research record in the subjects above as evidenced by publications in high quality journals and conferences. 

• Proven ability to work independently. 

• Flexible approach to working and a desire to develop knowledge. 

• Excellent interpersonal / team-working and organisational skills. 

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills including presentation and report-writing skills. 

Desirable criteria 

• Previous experience conducting internet measurements 

• Previous experience on automated visual and/or textual analysis  

• Previous experience with Web data scrapping 

 

*Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.

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