Frequently Asked Questions

The questions below cover common questions we have received about the programme. If your question is not covered here, please feel free to contact us.

Funding and Eligibility

Are the PhDs fully funded?

Yes! OpenDoTT researchers will be employed by the University of Dundee with a salary of roughly £37,300 per year. This includes a mobility allowance to cover costs incurred by living abroad.

An additional family allowance of £3,600 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.

Who is eligible for funding?

Eligibility for the programme is determined by mobility and experience:

Experience: At the date of recruitment, you must be within the first four years (full-time equivalent) of research career and not have a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when you obtained the degree entitling you to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained, or in the UK).

Mobility: You must not have resided or carried out your main activity (e.g. work, studies) in the United Kingdom for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before your recruitment date. Holidays are not counted. Note that the mobility rule is related to your residence and not to your nationality.

You may be required to provide documentation proving your eligibility.

If you have a question about eligibility, please contact us.

How long is the funding for?

The posts are funded for three years.

What We’re Looking For

What type of person are you looking for?

We are open to applicants with any relevant background, including design, technology and internet advocacy. We believe in interdisciplinarity and will consider applicants who are able to bring different experiences to the project.

What qualifications are required?

University of Dundee requires PhD students to hold a Bachelors Degree (2:1 equivalent or higher), or ideally a Masters Degree. Equivalent experience may be considered.

What the Programme Looks Like

What topics are available to study?

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?

Are these topics fixed?

These topics provide a starting point for each PhD, and we expect that each researcher will develop the topic based on their own interests.

How you approach the PhD will depend a lot on your background, your skills and your future ambitions. We will work closely with each student to develop a PhD that suits them and what they want to achieve.

How will the PhD be structured?

Each PhD will follow a broad pattern that is complemented by training from partners.

The first year will focus on design research at the University of Dundee, which will include becoming familiar with participatory research techniques and the role of research in design, and building an understanding of the current landscape in your chosen area.

The second will focus on making interventions using suitable techniques based on your skills and background (e.g. building functioning prototypes, experience prototyping, video). These interventions will focus on how aspects of Internet Health can be embedded to create a more trusted IoT.

The third year will focus on policy and advocacy and exploring how your findings can be translated into real world change. The second half of this year will be focused on writing your thesis.

As with all aspects of the PhD, this structure only provides a framework around which your PhD is built.

Where will the PhDs be based?

The first 12 months will be based at the University of Dundee in the UK.

The next 18 months will be based at Mozilla in Berlin, Germany.

In the final 6 months, researchers will return to Dundee to complete their PhD thesis.

Can I study remotely?

No. It is a requirement of the MSCA funding that you are hosted at the University of Dundee and Mozilla Berlin.

What training will be provided?

Over the course of the PhD, we will deliver workshops that act as introductions to various key topics. These will include core research skills, design research, communication and engagement, open innovation and leadership, privacy, security and trust, digital inclusion and literacy, and policy and advocacy.

These will be delivered by a combination of the University of Dundee, Mozilla and partner organisations.

Who will I be supervised by?

Each PhD will have two academic supervisors from the University of Dundee. You will also have two industrial advisors from Mozilla or another partner in the network.

How will we interact with organisations outside the University of Dundee and Mozilla?

Partner organisations will play an important role in the project, including delivering training and directly supervising and mentoring some of the PhDs. We anticipate that each PhD will engage with partners across our network as well as developing their own network of organisations as their PhD develops.


How do I apply?

Applications must be made through the University of Dundee’s online job portal.

What do I need to submit?

You only need to submit a CV and covering letter.

Your CV should include enough information to allow us to determine your eligibility based on the criteria above (where you have lived for the last three years and how much research experience you have).

Your covering letter should focus on what you think you bring to the project, your motivation for applying and an indication of which topics you are interested in and why.

We do not require letters of recommendation at this point. We will contact your referees directly.

You do not need to submit a project proposal (see What the Programme Looks Like for more details).

What is the recruitment timeline?

  • 25th January 2019: Application deadline.
  • Early March 2019: Interviews by video conferencing.
  • Mid-March 2019: Decisions expected.
  • 1st July 2019: Target start date for all PhDs.

What time do applications close?

Applications close at midnight GMT. We recommend submitting ahead of the deadline. You can continue to edit your application up to the deadline.

What if I need a visa?

If you need a visa to study and work in the UK or Germany, we will support you through this process. The project is able to pay fees associated with this.