EPSRC PhD studentship: Groups and Violence: Using CCTV footage and Agent Based Modelling to develop strategies to produce safer public spaces



Supervisors:  Prof Mark Levine, Dr Miriam Koschate-Reis, Dr Richard Everson

We are inviting applications for this EPSRC funded PhD studentship to commence as soon as possible. For eligible students the award will cover UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend (in 2013/14 this will be £13,726 for full-time students, pro rata for part-time students) for three years. This project is one of a number that are in competition for funding. Studentships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

Successful applicants will be based within Psychology (Streatham campus, Exeter) at the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter.

This PhD project will combine cutting edge social psychological approaches to understanding behaviour in public places with advances in Agent Based Modelling (ABM). Using a mixture of experiments and behavioural analysis of CCTV footage of violence, the project aims to develop new ways of promoting intervention to prevent acts of violence in public places. The research will combine laboratory studies of group inhibition of aggression, with micro analysis of a corpus of CCTV footage of street violence (which has already been assembled as a research resource.) The insights from theory and from empirical analysis will be worked up and fed into an agent based modelling (ABM) system. Technical challenges include the extraction of data from the CCTV footage and the integration of social psychological knowledge with ABM techniques. In this way we aim to produce new insights which can be refined into public space intervention strategies. The PhD project will bring an innovative interdisciplinary approach to the problem of promoting safer cities.

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The PhD candidate will benefit from working with a multidisciplinary team exploring the technical and social challenges of creating intervention strategies to improve the safety of public spaces. There is also an opportunity to link in with research on the EPSRC-funded project “Being There: Humans and Robots in Public Spaces”.

You must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in psychology or a related discipline. A relevant Master qualification would be an advantage.

The studentship will cover a stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£13,726 per annum for 2013-2014), research costs and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for students who meet the eligibility requirements outlined by EPSRC (see http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/Pages/eligibility.aspx). Students from EU countries who do not meet the residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award. Students from outside of the EU would not be eligible for this award.

The closing date for applications is midnight on 8th September 2013. 

For full project details, instructions on how to apply and a link to the application form, go to the apply button below.

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