Vacancy Type/Job category
Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies
£31,406 - £40,927 per annum
University of Warwick, Coventry
Full time, fixed term contract for 12 months.
We are seeking to appoint a full-time Postdoctoral Research Fellow for 12
months commencing January 2022. You will be employed as a Postdoctoral
Research Fellow as part of the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship funded project
“Scaling Trust: An Anthropology of Cyber Security”, based at the University of
Warwick's Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies.
The post-holder will be working in close cooperation with the PI Dr Matt
Spencer. The post-holder should expect both to travel for research and to
attend regular team meetings/events on campus.
Scaling Trust: An Anthropology of Cyber Security is a UKRI funded project
bringing perspectives from anthropology and science and technology studies to
bear on problems of cyber security. The project critically examines the nature
of trust in digital infrastructures, and in institutions for assuring it. You
will play an important role in conducting and analysing empirical fieldwork
for the project. In developing and carrying out fieldwork engagements, you
will work closely with collaborators in industry and government. These
activities will involve developing flexible methodological approaches, suited
to a technically and logistically complex field. While your focus will be
primarily ethnographic, examining practices of technology evaluation, the
research will also entail documentary, interview and workshop-based research.
DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
• To conduct ethnographic research into cyber security practices, focussing,
for instance, on processes of lab-based technology assurance. The study will
be carried out at field sites in the UK and will be conducted in close
collaboration with the PI Dr Matt Spencer.
• To support the PI in wider research activities in related areas, including
through conducting documentary and textual analysis, interviews, and
• To develop higher-order constructs and produce theoretical and
methodological contributions in the sociocultural analysis of cyber security.
• To work at the leading edge of sociocultural studies of cyber security.
• Familiarity with scholarly literature on the anthropology or sociology of
technology, computing and/or security is desirable.
• To keep in regular contact with the PI on the progress of the research;
attend regular project meetings, and alert the PI to any problems that may
arise in the conduct of the research.
• To maintain and submit to the PI, frequent reports on materials and data
collected and analysed during the duration of the project, and regularly
update materials on the project's on-line sources.
• In collaboration with the PI, to draft and revise research papers resulting
in journal submission.
• Any other reasonable duties commensurate with the level of the post and as
deemed appropriate by the PI.
The Person Specification focuses on the knowledge, skills, experience and
qualifications required to undertake the role effectively. This is measured by
(a) Application Form, (b) Test/Exercise, (c) Interview, (d)
Essential Criteria 1
A PhD (in hand or viva exam scheduled) in a social science or related field
Essential Criteria 2
Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English (a,c)
Essential Criteria 3
Excellent organisational and time-management skills, particularly with
reference to research and presentation of research (a,c)
Essential Criteria 4
Ability to carry out high-calibre research and analysis independently and
Essential Criteria 5
Ability to process qualitative data through first-order coding and higher-
order conceptualization (a,c)
Essential Criteria 6
Ability to prepare for and actively participate in fieldwork research, to
prepare interview protocols, to arrange logistics of research activities, and
to transcribe and analyse qualitative data (a,c)
Essential Criteria 7
Ability to write applications to the Institutional Review Board; and to
securely maintain data and documentation according to Data Management policies
Essential Criteria 8
Ability to contribute to the research culture of the Centre (a,c)
Essential Criteria 9
A flexible approach to work, including teamwork (a,c)
Essential Criteria 10
A proven ability to work to deadlines (a,c)
Essential Criteria 11
A track/pipeline of scientific publications and working papers relevant to the
sociology or anthropology of computing, technology and/or security (a,c)
Essential Criteria 12
Excellent verbal and written communication skills (a,c)
You will work closely with the PI, Dr Matt Spencer. Scaling Trust: An
Anthropology of Cyber Security is a UKRI funded project bringing perspectives
from anthropology and science and technology studies to bear on problems of
cyber security. The project critically examines the nature of trust in digital
infrastructures, and in institutions for assuring it. You will play an
important role in conducting and analysing empirical fieldwork for the
In developing and carrying out fieldwork engagements, you will work closely
with collaborators in industry and government. These activities will involve
developing flexible methodological approaches, suited to a technically and
logistically complex field. While your focus will be primarily ethnographic,
examining practices of technology evaluation, the research will also entail
documentary, interview and workshop-based research.
You will develop high level analytical concepts in collaboration with the PI.
You will be familiar with literatures from science and technology studies and
the anthropology and sociology of knowledge and will be enthused about
engaging closely with interdisciplinary perspectives on function, trust and
scale. You will be someone who is also interested in working closely with
empirical technicalities and developing theoretical arguments through the
analysis of empirical material.
We are eager to hear from strong candidates from a range of fields. This is an
opportunity to work in an exciting and emerging area of scholarship, and we
are looking for someone who is enthused by that prospect.
It is not necessary to have worked directly on cyber security in the past, but
a background conducting qualitative research in relation to computing,
security or technology more broadly will be advantageous, as is the ability to
draw on prior research to develop a distinctive perspective on the topic of
trust and cyber security.
You will be part of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (CIM),
which forms the scholarly context for this study, with opportunities to engage
and collaborate across diverse ongoing intellectual projects that characterise
You will be supported to develop your skills and your own intellectual agenda,
to build relationships and to look ahead towards establishing an independent
career beyond this role. You will be given an academic mentor from among the
academic community at CIM, selected for their ‘fit' with your interests, who
will give you an extra level of support (in addition to the PI) to develop
You will be encouraged to apply to become an Associate Fellow at the
University of Warwick Institute of Advanced Studies. This scheme provides
extensive training opportunities, the ability to apply for small grants of
your own to put on research events, and connects you with a broad network of
early career scholars.
For further information about the University of Warwick, please read our
University Further Particulars.
For further information about the department, please visit the departmental
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The University of Warwick provides an inclusive working and learning
environment, recognising and respecting every individual's differences. We
welcome applications from individuals who identify with any of the protected
characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010.
Recruitment of Ex-Offenders Policy
As an organisation using the (DBS) Disclosure and Barring Service to assess
applicants' suitability for positions of trust, the University of Warwick
complies with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes not to discriminate
unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of a conviction or
other information revealed. More information is available on the University's
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12 Oct 2021