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PhD Studentship - Next Generation of Maritime Skill Development: Future Problems and Technologies

University of Plymouth

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Plymouth
Funding for: UK Students, International Students
Funding amount: £19,088 - please see advert
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 19th January 2024
Closes: 15th March 2024

DoS – Dr. Rory Hopcraft (rory.hopcraft@plymouth.ac.uk, tel.: +44 1752 586 189)

2nd Supervisor – Dr. Kimberly Tam (kimberly.tam@plymouth.ac.uk, tel.: +44 1752 586305)

3rd Supervisor – Dr. Ji-Jian Chin (ji-jian.chin@plymouth.ac.uk, tel.: +44 1752 584522)

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1st October 2024.

Funding amount: The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home tuition fees plus a stipend of £19,088 per annum 2024/25 rate (TBC).

Project Description

It is argued that the maritime sector is behind others in terms of cybersecurity skills, with training needed to fill that gap (Hopcraft & Martin 2018, Stoker et al. 2022). In 2021 a change in international requirements stipulated shipping organisations must include cyber risks within their risk management practices, which includes utilising appropriate training methods (IMO 2017).

Simulators have long formed part of maritime training due to high levels of immersion and fidelity (Wahl 2020). Allowing users to apply theory into practice in safe environments whilst reflecting and building upon their knowledge (Oommen 2020). In cybersecurity, cyber ranges (particularly cyber-physical ranges (Tam et al 2021)) offer many of the same benefits as simulators, just focused on cyber skills. These technologies ensure high-value cost-effective training (Cheng et al 2023).

Working alongside Cyber-SHIP Lab (a world-leading maritime cybersecurity research facility) this project will set out to explore the effectiveness of digital education technologies in maritime cybersecurity training. The project should explore how next-gen technologies like cyber-physical ranges, virtual reality, augmented reality and gamification, can be used to create immersive training environments that complement or improve upon current pedagogical methods. Consideration should be given to operational requirements, technological capacity and cost implications. There should be a strong focus on multi-disciplinary learning that includes the full skills spectrum including low-skilled operators, technology professionals and management staff. The project should result in the development of a range of training artefacts to assess and analyse the effectiveness of these technologies in skill development and retention.

Eligibility

Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant Masters qualification. Applications from both UK and overseas students are welcome.

The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home tuition fees, Bench fee plus a stipend of £19,088 per annum (2024/25 rate TBC). The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover International fees will have to cover the difference between the Home and the International tuition fee rates. The international component of the fee may be waived for outstanding international applicants.

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Dr Rory Hopcraft (rory.hopcraft@plymouth.ac.uk)

To apply for this position please click the Apply’ button.

Please clearly state the name of the DoS and the studentship title that you are applying for on the top of your personal statement.

Please see here for a list of supporting documents to upload with your application.

For more information on the admissions process generally, please contact research.degree.admissions@plymouth.ac.uk

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 15th March 2024. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview shortly thereafter. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received a response within six weeks of the closing date should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

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