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Large-Scale Analysis Of Online Political Debates In The Age Of Ubiquitous Disinformation at University of Sheffield

Applications are invited for an EPSRC-funded studentship at The University of Sheffield commencing on 1 October 2018. 

The PhD project will examine the intersection of online political debates and misinformation, through big data analysis. This research is very timely, because online mis- and disinformation is reinforcing the formation of polarised partisan camps, sharing biased, self-reinforcing content. This is coupled with the rise in post-truth politics, where key arguments are repeated continuously, even when proven untrue by journalists or independent experts. Journalists and media have tried to counter this through fact-checking initiatives, but these are currently mostly manual, and thus not scalable to big data.

The aim is to develop machine learning-based methods for large-scale analysis of online misinformation and its role in political debates on online social platforms.

Application deadline: 5pm, Friday 18 May 2018  

Interviews: interviews will take place week commencing 4 June 2018  

Supervisory team: Professor Kalina Bontcheva (Department of Computer Science), Professor Piers Robinson (Department of Journalism)

Award Details

The studentship will commence on 1 October 2018. The studentship will cover tuition fees at the EU/UK rate and provide an annual maintenance stipend at standard Research Council rates (£14,777 in 2018/19) for 3.5 years.

Eligibility

The general eligibility requirements are:

  • Applicants should normally have studied in a relevant field to a very good standard at MSc level or equivalent experience.
  • Applicants should also have a 2.1 in a BSc degree, or equivalent qualification, in a related discipline.
  • ESRPC studentships are only available to students from the UK or European Union. Applications cannot be accepted from students liable to pay fees at the Overseas rate. Normally UK students will be eligible for a full award which pays fees and a maintenance grant if they meet the residency criteria and EU students will be eligible for a fees-only award, unless they have been resident in the UK for 3 years immediately prior to taking up the award. 

How to apply

To apply for the studentship, applicants need to apply directly to the University of Sheffield for entrance into the doctoral programme in Computer Science  

  • Complete an application for admission to the standard computer science PhD programme http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/apply
  • Applications should include a research proposal; CV; academic writing sample; transcripts and two references.
  • The research proposal of up to 1,000 words should outline your reasons for applying to this project and how you would approach the research including details of your skills and experience in both computing and/or data journalism.
  • Supporting documents should be uploaded to your application.

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