Bournemouth University in the UK invites application for a PhD studentship in Fake news, culture and heuristics 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 enable information to spread quickly and to be targeted at individual beliefs, biases and emotions. One factor that may be of importance is culture. Cultures vary on several dimensions, including individualism vs collectivism, power distance, masculinity vs femininity and uncertainty avoidance. It is reasonable to expect that different types of fake news would spread more easily in different cultures. Another possibly relevant factor is decision making heuristics. These refer to quick decisions that we make based on limited information. The use of heuristics may be in part determined in the cultural context in which the decision is being made, however there is a lack of research in this area.
The PhD would consist of several stages. The first would be an analysis of fake news stories on social media. Depending on the social media platform and the metadata available additional data will be collected, such as the age and gender of the social media users. Software will then be used to determine how different types of social media propagate through different cultures, and if this is associated with any particular user groups. The second stage will then use a combination of fake news stories identified in the first stage along several well-known fake news stories. The language and imagery used in these stories will be analysed in detail to determine if they differ between cultures, and if this is consistent with the characteristics of that culture and the associated heuristics.
This is a match-funded PhD studentship that is supported by the Army Research Office of the US Department of the Army.
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.