PhD Fellowship in Cybersecurity and Care

University of Copenhagen Department of Computer Science


PhD Fellowship in Cybersecurity and Care 

Department of computer science
Faculty of SCIENCE

University of Copenhagen

The Department of Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in Human Centred Cybersecurity

Start date is expected to be 1st July 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project

As computers have become part of nearly every aspect of our lives, so too have the dangers of being hacked, harassed or attacked through technology. Yet security systems designed to prevent this are often so badly designed that they are disabled or ignored by users.  Security systems can even exacerbate existing problems with technology - such as failing to support those who care for others, or by allowing those with shared access to abuse that access. Recent research has documented how security is a shared activity, often organised within homes or families.  Those relationships often involve care relationships - such as between parents and children, or between the elderly and their care givers. Amongst the many responsibilities of carers, carers need to manage others’ digital resources - such as bank accounts and security information. This can be difficult when these services are designed for single user usage.     

This PhD position will involve conducting empirical research into end-users security practices with ordinary technology, trying to understand the connections between care and cybersecurity.  As part of the PhD, the student will conduct ethnographic work studying relevant communities with diverse care and security needs.  We are particularly interested in studying security as part of home and family life, within intimate relationships, as well as varying multi-generational care situations. We have particular interested in issues around gender and technology, feminist approaches to cybersecurity, the experiences of those under surveillance of different sorts, and the ways in which security systems can be abused.  The successful candidate’s research will help advance current research around cybersecurity, design and equitable technology. This will build on Professor Brown and his colleagues recent cybersecurity work in the human computer interaction, computer supported collaborative work, and usable security research areas. 

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for candidates within the field(s) of human computer interaction. The ideal candidate should have a strong background in user-centred research methods, with some experience of working in a research environment. We are particularly interested in candidates who have experience in formulating research questions, conducting qualitative research with diverse user groups, analysing qualitative data, and drawing design implications from user research. However, we are open to any mix of skills for an exceptional candidate. It is expected that candidates will have an M.Sc. degree in a relevant technical or social science discipline. We are particularly interested in students who have a background in the social or technical sciences but are interested in developing an interdisciplinary perspective in their future research career.

Our group and research- and what do we offer?

The Human-Centred Computing section aims to fundamentally understand and improve the relation between computational technology and people. Our research focuses on using computing to support people’s activities and well-being; inventing new ways for people to interact with technology, and understanding how human capabilities are influenced by technology. We are a diverse and highly collaborative group of researchers that strives to provide a welcoming, supportive, and caring environment for all.The group is a part of Department of Computer Science, Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. We offer a creative and stimulating working conditions in dynamic and international research environment. We particularly value having a supportive and collegial work environment that values and encourages diversity.

Principal supervisor is Professor Barry Brown,, Phone +4644119671

The PhD programme is a three year full-time study within the framework of the regular PhD programme (5+3 scheme), it is expected you have an education equivalent to a relevant Danish master’s degree.


To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project, e.g. computer science, social sciences, media studies, etc. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment

Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Responsibilities and tasks

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project

We are looking for the following qualifications:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other relevant professional activities
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in human centred computing
  • Good language skills

Application and Assessment Procedure

Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include: 

  1. Motivated letter of application (max. one page)
  2. Your motivation for applying for the specific PhD project, with a review of what you believe to be the relevant issues and how you would approach researching this topic.
  3. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  4. Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  5. Publication list (if possible)
  6. Reference letters (if available)

Application deadline

The deadline for applications is Monday 27 March 2023, 23:59 GMT +1.

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process

After deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.

The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at


For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website:

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position. 


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 27-03-2023
Employment start: 01-07-2023
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Computer Science

In your application, please refer to


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