Research Fellow in Adaptive Online Safety and Privacy

Surrey, United Kingdom
£35,308 to £43,155 per annum
20 Mar 2023
End of advertisement period
23 Apr 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Computer Science

Location: Guildford
Salary: £35,308 to £43,155 per annum
Fixed Term
Post Type: Full Time
Closing Date: 23.59 hours BST on Sunday 23 April 2023
Reference: 010823

Applications are invited for a Research Fellow in adaptive online safety and privacy, to work full-time on an EPSRC-funded project “AP4L: Adaptive PETs to Protect & emPower People during Life Transitions”. The successful post holder is expected to start as soon as possible and will be based in the Department of Computer Science and its highly regarded Surrey Centre for Cyber Security (SCCS), reporting to the project PI (Prof. Sastry).

This is a fixed term contract for up to 24 months.

The aim of the project is to undertake research in online privacy & vulnerability challenges that people face when going through major life transitions such as relationship breakdowns; LBGT+ transitions or transitioning gender; entering/leaving employment in sensitive sectors such as the Armed Forces; and developing a serious illness or becoming terminally ill.

The postholder will be responsible for designing and developing privacy enhancing technologies and privacy sensitive machine learning techniques to adapt and meet the changing needs of citizens during significant life transitions. They will also work with psychology and human factors researchers to develop immersive simulation environments that explore and develop a new understanding of how online privacy and safety and can be compromised during life transitions.

The postholder will be part of a cohort of researchers working with the REPHRAIN National Research Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence Online. A key aspect of the project is working closely with 26 core partners spanning legal enforcement agencies (e.g., Surrey Police), tech companies (e.g., Facebook, IBM), support networks (e.g., LGBT Foundation, Revenge Porn Helpline, Macmillans Cancer Care), financial agencies (Mastercard, Lloyd’s) and regulators such as Ofcom. A six-part radio series has been commissioned by the BBC for disseminating the key project messages.

The successful applicant is expected to have a PhD (gained or near completion) or equivalent professional experience in computer science or a related subject, in topics relevant to online privacy and safety. Experience conducting empirical research, including software development, in one or more of the following areas is necessary: Online Harms, Privacy Enhancing Technologies, Usable Security and Privacy or Privacy Sensitive Machine learning. Interdisciplinary research experience, working with researchers from psychology and human factors, sociology or criminology will also be desirable.

For informal inquiries about the position, please contact Prof. Nishanth Sastry (

We acknowledge, understand and embrace cultural diversity. Research staff are supported and encouraged in their career development through mentoring and early career researcher training. We are also committed to help balance life needs and career ambitions, for example by accommodating flexible working conditions such as part-time work or non-traditional work hours, where possible given the requirements of the project.

Please submit a CV and covering letter with your application.

Please note, it is University Policy to offer a starting salary equivalent to Level 3.6 (£34,314) to successful applicants who have been awarded, but are yet to receive, their PhD certificate. Once the original PhD certificate has been submitted to the local HR Department, the salary will be increased to Level 4.1 (£35,308).

Further details: Job Description

For more information and to apply online, please download the further details and click on the 'apply online' button above.

In return we offer a generous pension, relocation assistance where appropriate , flexible working options including job share and blended home/campus working locations (dependent on work duties), access to world-class leisure facilities on campus, a range of travel schemes and supportive family friendly benefits including an excellent on-site nursery.

Click here to find out more about the benefits we offer to support you.

The University of Surrey is committed to providing an inclusive environment that offers equal opportunities for all.  We place great value on diversity and are seeking to increase the diversity within our community.  Therefore we particularly encourage applications from under-represented groups, such as people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and people with disabilities.

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