ESSENTIAL: Research Support Officer (PhD Candidate) - Tools and methods for measuring citizens’ perceptions of security and intelligence issues

University of Malta - Department of Cognitive Science

This position is for a full-time Research Support Officer to work as an Early Stage Researcher (PhD candidate) on the European Joint Doctorate grant “Evolving Security SciencE through Networked Technologies, Information policy And Law” (ESSENTIAL) financed by the European Union as part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks Programme in which the University of Malta is a partner.

Security is a field of study capable of diverse applications in daily life yet security science is a young discipline which requires much larger inter-disciplinary effort than is dedicated to it to date. ESSENTIAL seeks to address the fundamental problem of developing security science in a way which is theoretically sound and yet maximizes opportunities for applied training in security. The key challenge in this field and the reason behind building a joint PhD research programme dedicated to Security Science is the need to address security challenges systematically across their life cycle. This requires developing a systematic body of knowledge with strong theoretical and empirical underpinnings, which incorporates both the computer science and information security dimensions and the social, legal and organizational aspects of security. More information about the ESSENTIAL project is available at

The Early Stage Researcher appointed to this post will carry out a three-year research programme towards a PhD that will focus on the tools and methods for measuring citizens’ perceptions of security and intelligence issues that can best assist policy makers and legislators in their decision-making processes. The supervisors of this research are Professor Noellie Brockdorff (University of Malta) and Professor Irena Chiru (“Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy, Romania). The Early Stage Researcher will be expected to work on the substantive part of the research effort and should very preferably have expertise and/or experience in designing and conducting quantitative and qualitative research, experimental research involving EEG, eye-tracking and non-invasive biomedical data acquisition.

This full-time post is offered within the Department of Cognitive Science, University of Malta (Malta) for a three-year period during which the Early Stage Research will also be seconded for a period of time to the “Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy (Romania), the University of Groningen (Netherlands) and Økokrim (Norway). 

Applicants must be in possession of a first degree in any field, and a Master degree ideally in one or more of the following areas: psychology, cognitive science, sociology, political science or security science.

Eligibility criteria for Marie Sklodowska-Curie awards may be found at

More information about this post is available at

A letter of application accompanied by a curriculum vitae, list of publications, letter of motivation/statement of claims against the criteria, and a copy of certificates should be sent to  by no later than 4th January 2017.

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