Research Associate, The Dickson Poon School of Law

Law School

London, Strand Campus

Overview

  • Posted on: 18th Feb 2021
  • Salary: £38,304 , including London Weighting Allowance
  • REF: 016504
  • Closes: 18th March 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Job Description

This is a fixed term Research Associate position within the Research Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence Online (REPHRAIN), the UK’s world-leading interdisciplinary community focussed on the protection of citizens online. A UKRI-funded Research Centre of Excellence, REPHRAIN brings together over 50 world-leading experts based at the University of Bristol (lead), UCL, the University of Edinburgh, King’s College London and the University of Bath, as well as 23 partners from the world of industry, non-profit, government, law, regulation and international research centres. The aim of the Centre is to develop a wide range of tools to keep people safe and informed online. These include automated tools to flag online harms in social media and a map to identify and avoid different threats such as fraud or disinformation.

This position is connected to a sub-project within REPHRAIN on “Technology and Manipulation”, whose PI is Professor Massimo Renzo.

One of the most pressing threats to democratic governance in recent years has been the manipulation of public opinion via social media. Governments, political parties, as well as powerful private companies regularly use social media to spread disinformation and influence the results of democratic decision-making. There seems to be little doubt that this attempt to manipulate social media users is wrong, but we currently lack an understanding of what the wrong in question is exactly. The phenomenon has received scant attention, partly because we currently lack an adequate understanding of how this form of manipulation has taken place. The aim of this project is to remedy this lacuna by providing an account of this intricate moral and legal phenomenon.

You will work closely with the PI of the project on “Technology and Manipulation” to pursue this exciting line of research. You will be based at the Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy and Law, in the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London. Thus in addition to being part of the collective of highly-skilled interdisciplinary researchers associated with REPHRAIN, you will have the opportunity to take part in the numerous research activities and events in the Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre and in the Dickson Poon School of Law

More information on REPHRAIN: https://www.rephrain.ac.uk/ ; https://www.ukri.org/news/new-centre-launched-to-keep-citizens-safe-online/

More information on the Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy and Law: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/law/c-ppl/home

More information on the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/law/about

This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 6 months.

This is a full-time post.
Key responsibilities

Research on “Technology and Manipulation”:

  • Identify and critically engage with relevant scholarship in some of the following areas: on-line disinformation, social media, fake news, artificial intelligence, advertisement, political propaganda, attention economy.
  • Work closely with the PI, with regular consultation, discussion and updating meetings, share research findings, discuss lines of research, carry out agreed plans
  • Developing and participating in seminars and conferences
  • Writing and co-writing journal articles and other publications.

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential criteria

  • PhD awarded in any relevant discipline, or equivalent experience.
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of issues related to propaganda, disinformation, social media, and on-line technology
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work to and meet deadlines
  • Ability to work independently and in a research team, contributing to the development of ideas, applications and outputs
  • Strong publication record or potential to develop such
  • Ability to communicate effectively with non-technical audiences about technical topics
  • Willingness to participate in seminars and other academic events

Desirable criteria

  • Ability to liaise with case study partners within and outside of academia
  • Experience of involvement in research projects, or research funding applications

Employer Achievements:

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