Web Science Funded PhD Studentship Influence in Cyberspace: The relationship between information provenance, trust and identity within the context of cyber influence

Reference: WebSci/RMR

Deadline: 30th September 2014

The University of Southampton seeks a strong candidate for an industry backed Web Science PhD studentship to research the relationship between information provenance, trust and identity within the context of cyber influence. The PhD scholarship is fully funded for three years and sits within the University of Southampton’s Web Science Doctoral Training Centre. An industry partner is involved with this studentship and the successful candidate will be expected to be based at their Hampshire site for 3 months each year. 

Project Topic:
How can we trust what we read online? Who influences the information we are provided with? How does causality manifest itself on the Web: what event or writing triggered a cascade of further online comments, and what happened because of that cascade? How do “memes” appear and disappear? These are difficult questions to answer for cyberspace in general.

Provenance [1] is a record that describes the people, institutions, entities, and activities involved in producing, influencing, or delivering a piece of data or a thing. It is proposed that provenance can be used as a way of putting a structure on data collected from cyberspace. Subsequently, methods can be developed that utilize provenance to understand influence.

This research topic in Web Science will be grounded on cyberspace datasets; the research aims to be multi-disciplinary bringing methods from social science and /or psychology to validate results generated by computer science.   The project will be supervised by Professor Luc Moreau and another academic (TBD) in collaboration with the industry partner. 

Also Read  Competition Funded Studentship

The successful candidate is likely to have the following qualifications:

  • A 1st or high 2:1 degree in a social science/computer science discipline
  • Experience and an interest in multi- and inter-disciplinary research

THE AWARD:  A scholarship for tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and a stipend of £13,726 (tax-free).   The studentship is available to support three years’ full-time work, subject to satisfactory progress.

ELIGIBILITY:  To be eligible for a scholarship, a student must have:

Settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay


Been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the grant.


Not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. (This does not apply to UK or EU nationals). 

To be eligible for a fees only award:

Students from EU countries other than the UK are generally eligible for a fees-only award. To be eligible for a fees-only award, a student must be ordinarily resident in a member state of the EU, in the same way as UK students must be ordinarily resident in the UK. 

Note: These eligibility criteria are based on the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations 1997 and subsequent amendments, covering England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 

TO APPLY: Please apply online http://www.southampton.ac.uk/postgraduate/pgstudy/howdoiapplypg.html for a ‘PhD in Computer Science’ within the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering via the Apply button below.

IMPORTANT: Title your personal statement with ‘FOR THE ATTENTION OF LUC MOREAU – Web Science/RMR’
For more information on the studentship and the Industry Partner, please contact Professor Luc Moreau at l.moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk.
[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/prov-primer/

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