Join us

You will be part of the collective of highly-skilled interdisciplinary researchers associated with REPHRAIN, initially from the five lead institutions, but growing further over the lifetime of the Centre as more projects and researcher/practitioners-in-residence start.

The Centre’s researchers will jointly contribute to the REPHRAIN Map that will systematically track the global challenges of preventing and/or reducing online harms for individuals and identify the gaps in our knowledge in this arena, and to the REPHRAIN Toolbox to provide real, actionable, resources for researchers, practitioners and citizens globally. Staff associated with REPHRAIN will take part in all Centre-wide activities including project specific meetings, quarterly All-Hands meetings, masterclasses, Knowledge Exchange events and REPHRAIN showcases.

Current Vacancies

Research Associate – Network testbed for evaluating privacy technologies

Full time – University of Bristol

REPHRAIN is looking for a researcher to join its core centre team to develop a privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) testbed. The testbed will provide a platform to evaluate the privacy assurances of PETs against a set of reference scenarios. Such experimental rigour is essential to the future of digital interactions online and the role of PETs in this regard.

The successful candidate will be a promising post-doctoral researcher (or close to finishing a PhD on a relevant topic) with expertise in network security and applied cryptography. Knowledge of PETs will be an advantage but not required as long as the candidate can demonstrate a willingness and capacity to develop this knowledge. Hands-on experience with developing systems is essential.

More information can be found here.

Research Fellow in Computer Science

Fixed-term (18 months), Full time – UCL

This position being recruited for is on the PROACTIVE project, part of the REPHRAIN centre. The goal of PROACTIVE is to study fringe communities to increase our understanding of the role they play in the online harms ecosystem with respect to the actions they “cause” on other, bigger platforms. In particular, we aim to: 1) learn how to proactively understand when coordinated actions perpetrated by users on those platforms are about to “spill” on mainstream platforms and social media; 2) do so without infringing on users privacy, i.e., setting up a monitoring infrastructure that does not require massive surveillance and problematic data retention.

The post holder will have an exciting opportunity to work at the intersection of online harms, cybersafety, and machine learning and help mitigate the harm resulting from coordinated hate campaigns. The post holder will be joining the UCL Information Security Research Group.

There will also be opportunities to collaborate with other members of the UCL REPHRAIN team, in Computer Science and the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy, as well as other partner institutions (Universities of Bristol, Bath, Edinburgh, and Kings College London).

More information available here.

Research Associate – PROM project

Fixed-term (12 months), Full time – King’s College London

REPHRAIN has a vacancy for a promising early-career researcher with an excellent background in cyber security to join the PROM project. This project will investigate the role of online cultures in the promotion of violence, through a data-driven analysis. Identifying sources of violent narratives require a deep understanding of how online communities are structured and what is the type of content shared. The project will leverage the outputs of two projects: the ESRC CREST project that have looked into the use of memes to promote violence led by Guillermo Suarez-Tangil, and ii) the EPSRC DADD project that has developed data-driven methods to automatically discover biases in language corpora led by Jose Such.

More information can be found here.

Research Associate – AUTAPP project

Fixed-term (7 months), Full time – University of Bristol

REPHRAIN are looking to recruit a promising early-career researcher in the field of machine learning for natural language processing, ideally with experience in large-scale corpus (Big Data) analysis and passionate about making online social media a safer place, especially for children and adolescents. The AUTAPP project will analyse the current (and future potential) abuse of commercially available Privacy Enhancing Tools (PETs) for criminal purposes, using specific online harms as primary case examples, while considering the potential role of machine learning and natural language processing techniques to flag a range of online harms on social media: the sale of illegal goods and services, such as drugs, weapons, and online fraud or hacking-related services; child sexual abuse, exploitation and grooming; harassment; sextortion; cyber bullying; trolling, aggression and hate speech; depression and self-harm; and, radicalisation.

More information can be found here.