I have unashamedly stolen the idea for this post (and some of the sentences!) from my colleague Martin Albrecht’s blog.

We are recruiting two lecturers in the Information Security Group (ISG) at Royal Holloway University of London; in all areas of information security, including qualitative social sciences. These are full-time, permanent research and teaching positions and the deadline is 31 October 2021.

Why should you apply? Well, let me do a pitch as a qualitative social scientist in the ISG.

  • We are a group of 23 permanent members of staff working across the field of information security: social foundations, cryptography and systems security. We therefore cover a broad range of research areas, including security at the margins, digital security for all, social foundations of cryptograph.

  • We have a pretty cool Research Seminar programme and our publications highlight the diversity and breadth of our research.

  • We do qualitative social science, ground up, creative and ethnographic in nature, often centred on questions about security needs of groups of people living and working at the margins of societies. We also have a growing number of PhD students working from these foundations. We run a Critical Security Reading Group and we teach Social Foundations of Security and Privacy on our MSc programme in Information Security.

  • We interact across specialisms. That is: while everybody is line managed by the Head of Department, Chris Mitchell (who is great, btw!), the hierarchies are pretty flat within our group, which really helps with interaction. And while there are only a few of us on the qualitative social science end, including PhDs, it’s a pretty cool place to work. For example, I recently collaborated with colleagues in cryptography and systems security on collective information security practices among Hong Kong protesters, which most likely wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t attend the same meetings, taught on the same programme, went to lunch and the pub together. This is the kind of interdisciplinary research that I enjoy: ground up, not top down.

  • It really is a nice group. We are a pretty friendly bunch, if I say so myself. We come together to help each other out and it seems that many of my colleagues are also union members, thus, adopting a collective rather than individual approach.

  • We have funding for our Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber Security for the Everyday, which funds PhD research across our specialisms. In recent years, we have seen a growing number of qualitative social scientists apply for and be accepted onto the CDT, which is exciting. For example, we have just recruited three brilliant PhD students who will work with me on Ethnographic Explorations of Collective Security Practices ‘on the Edge’. The CDT funds roughly 10 PhD positions per year for the next few years and we will then need to re-apply.

  • The ISG is a large group but Royal Holloway is a relatively small university. This means that engaging with colleagues in other departments is often pretty easy and conversations happen across so-called disciplinary or departmental boundaries. It also means that getting hold of the person in charge is often possible.

Please spread the word and get in touch if you have questions!