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OpenDoTT is a joint PhD training program from the University of Dundee and Mozilla, which aims to develop future researchers and leaders capable of designing and advocating for a more trusted Internet of Things. The program is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Initial Training Network.

The University of Dundee is recruiting five Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), who will receive full PhD scholarships to undertake research in this area, spending time based at both the University of Dundee and at Mozilla Berlin, where they will receive training around design research, internet advocacy and open technology.

Apply via University of Dundee

Role Description

OpenDoTT ESRs will undertake training and conduct research towards the award of a PhD, working both individually and with fellow ESRs, under the supervision of advisors from both the University of Dundee and Mozilla.

The program will take a design-led approach to the Internet of Things, working at the intersection of design, technology, society and policy to understand how Mozilla’s Internet Health values—including trust, openness, privacy, decentralization, inclusion and digital literacy—can be built into the emerging IoT landscape.

A program of training will be provided including core research skills, design research methods, public engagement and communication, leadership, open innovation, trust, security and privacy, digital inclusion and literacy, and legal/policy issues around IoT. This will be delivered in conjunction with a network of world-class organisations including Officine Innesto, Quicksand, SimplySecure, STBY, ThingsCon and University of the Arts Berlin. PhDs will also be funded to attend international events and conferences.

ESRs will be based initially at the University of Dundee for the first year of their training, but will spend the subsequent 18 months hosted by Mozilla Berlin, before returning to complete their PhD in Dundee.

Available PhD Topics

There are five ESR positions available, each of which will explore these issues around one of the following broad topics:

  • Wearables and the Self: Connected devices are forming increasingly intimate relationships with our body and identity and can collect personal data that is entangled in our health, personal lives and sense of identity. How do we address issues of trust while supporting more expressive notions of personal identity?
  • Smart Homes: The rapid proliferation of home devices, including voice assistants, has raised issues around how personal data is being utilised and interoperability between different mainstream devices. How can people remain in control of the technology in their homes?
  • Communities and Neighbourhoods: The increased availability of cheap, DIY platforms places IoT within the realms of possibility for grassroots communities of makers and activists at a local scale. What opportunities exist for IoT at this scale and how can communities be supported in making the best use of it?
  • Smart Cities: Technology is fundamentally changing how cities work, but these smart cities are most often determined in a top-down fashion, with little transparency or accountability in how data influences the workings of the city. Can we create cities that are not just smarter, but kinder, fairer and more citizen-centred?
  • A Trust Mark for IoT: This topic will work across the other four to provide a holistic view on what makes for trusted IoT, exploring the interplay between policy, design and technology. How can we develop a set of guidelines and properties that define a “trusted” device?

Person Specification

Essential:

  • A passion for improving people’s lives through better technology and a keen interest in the role of technology in society.
  • A relevant background and experience in either design (e.g. product design, interaction design, craft), technology (e.g. computer science, human–computer interaction) or society (e.g. internet advocacy, policy, law).
  • A Masters degree or good Bachelors degree (1st class or 2:1 equivalent).
  • Excellent people skills, including the ability to run workshops, co-design activities, etc.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team to conduct and deliver high quality research.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Meet the eligibility criteria listed below.

Desirable:

  • Prior engagement and experience with the Internet of Things or internet advocacy.
  • Relevant prototyping skills (e.g. software development, open hardware platforms, digital making, user experience and service design).

Eligibility

To be eligible for funding under the project, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have less than four years of research experience since you gained the degree that qualifies you for this post (UK bachelors degree or equivalent) and must not already hold a PhD.
  • You must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to your recruitment.

Please ensure that this information is clear on your CV.

Salary and Terms

The posts are available on a full-time basis for 36 months, ideally beginning 1st July 2019, or as close to this date as possible. ESRs will be employed as staff and registered on a PhD at the University of Dundee.

The annual salary is in the region of £37,300, which includes a mobility allowance. An additional Family Allowance of approximately £3,600 per year is available to applicants who are married (or in a similarly recognised partnership) or have dependent children.

This estimated gross salary is taxable and will fluctuate with exchange rates.

Application Process

Apply via University of Dundee

The application deadline is January 25th. Through the University of Dundee jobs site, applicants should submit:

  • A CV, which should include details of your eligibility (research experience and residency).
  • A covering letter explaining your interest in pursuing a PhD through OpenDoTT, which of the above topic(s) you are interested in and why.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview in March 2019 and teleconference interviews will be available.

Enquiries can be directed to j.rogers@dundee.ac.uk and n.x.taylor@dundee.ac.uk. For eligibility queries, please include a summary CV.