Bournemouth University in the UK invites application for a PhD studentship in Crowdsourcing reality: Using technology to combat the spread of misinformation in 2020.
Misinformation in the form of fake news has become a characteristic of the 21st century, driven by technologies such as social media platforms that enables information to spread quickly. The propagation of this misinformation often relies upon individuals sharing the fake news items to their contacts, typically through a ‘Share now’ button on websites or other online platforms. Algorithmic systems on social media platforms use these behaviours to determine what information that individual will be presented with in future. This represents a fundamental departure from how we have previously interacted with our social world, in which individuals would more regularly be exposed to alternative information and, through processes such as normative influence and informational influence, come to a more comprehensive understanding of our world.
The same technology that contributes to the spread of information has the potential to be used to curb it. At the moment the flow of information is primarily in one direction – with the click of a button an individual can share an article online, but there is often no straightforward way for them to retract that action. Similarly, there are multiple online systems in which individuals can share a review or rating of a product, but few ways for them to provide their rating or degree of confidence in an online story.
The successful candidate will attend the Doctoral College’s PGR seminar programme and receive training in research methods and quantitative and qualitative data analysis. The supervisory team will train the PGR in specific software, with the help of the researchers in the Engineering and Social Informatics Research Group (ESOTICS).
The student will be given the opportunity to attend doctoral colloquiums at relevant conferences (e.g. the European Conference of Cyberwarfare and Security) and network with other PhD students in similar fields of study at an international level through participation in online fora and conference presentations. The supervisory team will place a strong emphasis on the candidate publishing from the study, and the student will be encouraged to take advantage of the various writing and ‘how to publish’ workshops that are available at BU.
Worth of Award
- This is a fully-funded PhD studentship which includes a stipend of £15,000 each year to support your living costs, as well as a fee waiver for 36 months.
- Associated costs, such as for fieldwork and conference attendance, will also be met under the Studentship.
The PhD Studentships are open to UK, EU and international students. Candidates for a PhD Studentship should demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 4 years and must demonstrate:
- Outstanding academic potential as measured by either a 1st class honours degree or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA)
- An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component) for candidates for whom English is not their first language and this must be evidenced at point of application.
In addition to satisfying minimum entry criteria, BU will look closely at the qualities, skills and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project in order to ensure successful completion.
- Current BU Doctoral students are not eligible to apply for a Studentship
- Current MRes/MPhil students can apply, subject to satisfactory completion of their Research Degree prior to being able to take up the award
- PhD Studentships cannot be used to support BU staff to complete doctoral programmes.
How to Apply
- Click the green ‘Apply now’ button at the top of the page and complete the online application form.
- Applicants will be asked to submit an online application form and a proposal (approximately 1500 words) outlining their understanding of the project for which they are applying, the approach they would envisage taking and what qualities they will bring to the research community.
- You can find further guidance about applying for a postgraduate research degree in their Postgraduate Research section.
Deadline: The closing date for applications October 31, 2019.