The Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR) of De Montfort University, Leicester UK, is the only research centre in the UK specialising in ethical and social issues of computing and information systems. Members of the Centre have been supervising research students since 1993. The Centre has established the Information Society Doctoral Programme (ISDP) to concentrate the research student / supervision efforts.
The purpose of the programme is to capitalise and continue to grow our already existing research base. It will attract high quality research students by advertising our research strengths and supervision capabilities. By providing information to students, applicants, members of staff, internal and external stakeholders and observers, ISDP will raise the visibility of the CCSR and streamline procedures. It will allow us to improve our experiences which will then feed into further research avenues and thereby provide students with an enriched research experience.
All students on the Information Society Doctoral Programme are research students of De Montfort University and are subject to all university regulations and procedures (see http://www.dmu.ac.uk/research/degrees/index.jsp).
The members and researchers of CCSR cover a wide area of research disciplines, topics, and approaches. The common thread is that all our research is interested in social, organisational or ethical aspects of (information) technology. The following table gives some indication of these areas. The table is neither comprehensive nor exclusive. Novel combinations within and/or between the columns of the table are welcomed. Other areas are also conceivable.
Supervision in the ISDP is done in teams consisting of at least a first and a second supervisor. In many cases we will have another second supervisor and external advisors. This is due to the interdisciplinary nature of our research, which often requires different areas of expertise.
Students accepted on the programme will be enrolled on a variety of research training courses according to university regulations and requirements and faculty requirements. CCSR's contribution to these courses lies in the area of research ethics.
Additional to university regulations, members of the ISDP will participate in the following activities:
student research seminars (where students present their research and discuss it with other research students)
reading groups (where students can suggest topics and texts for collective deliberation and discussion)
mock vivas (as preparation for the final examination)
participation in ETHICOMP conferences
other appropriate activities defined by the current research student needs
CCSR has a lively research culture, which includes research seminars by recognised scholars in the field. These are often linked with guest lectures in the undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes we are involved in. In the academic year 2005/6, for example, we had research seminars on privacy (Andrew Adam, Reading University), technology and anthropology (Daniela Cerqui, Reading / Lausanne), IT and gender (Alison Adam, University of Salford), and the ethics of games technology (Andy Bissett, Sheffield Hallam University).
CCSR has a tradition of providing students with a work space, and access to computers and other necessary resources for research within the Centre.
Students will not only be taught but they will also normally be given the opportunity to present their research in progress to appropriate audiences. CCSR is the organiser of one of the major conferences in computer ethics (ETHICOMP) and students will normally be expected to present at least one paper on their research at an ETHICOMP conference or other relevant conferences given the specific combination of disciplines, topics and approaches. Also, students will usually be invited to present their research findings during a lecture to the undergraduate students of the Centre.
Some of our students have even developed their own taught modules for undergraduate studies and had the opportunity to teach these.
Supervisors of ISDP include:
Name: Mohammed Begg
Interests: IT/IS impacts on faith and culture, e-democracy, e-government, e-commerce.
Name: Ben Fairweather
Interests: E-democracy, e-government, identity cards & databases, privacy & surveillance, environmental impacts of computing, computing and the military, ethics education, ethical aspects of computer games & children?s computing, censorship and free speech, hacktivism, codes of ethics, telework, disability, globalisation & language dominance, consequences of media audience fragmentation.
Name: Chris Fidler
Interests: Decision support, management strategy, e-commerce, e-government.
Contact: Tel: +44 116 257 7499 | email@example.com
Name: Richard Howley
Interests: Privacy and data protection
Contact: Tel: +44 116 207 8268 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Name: Neil McBride
Interests: IT Service Management, Culture and Information Systems, Theoretical Approaches to Information Systems, Application of biological concepts to information systems.
Contact: Tel: +44 116 207 8500 | email@example.com
Name: Steve McRobb
Interests: Privacy online, relationship of technology to culture, use / abuse of technology in organisations, ontological / epistemological issues.
Contact: Tel: +44 116 257 7472 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Name: Ivor Perry
Interests: The relationship between workflow management systems (WFMS) and organisational culture.
Contact: Tel: +44 116 207 8500 | email@example.com
Name: Mary Prior
Interests: Electronic surveillance (particularly in the workplace); ethical attitudes of IS practitioners & students; impact of technology on social inequalities, including what post-colonial theory has to offer in this context.
Contact: Tel: +44 116 255 1551 extn 6747 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Name: Simon Rogerson
Interests: Social impact of technology, E-democracy, e-government, identity cards & databases, privacy & surveillance, technology assessment, IT/IS strategy and project management, professionalism, e.learning.
Contact: Tel: +44 116 257 7475 | email@example.com | http://www.ccsr.cse.dmu.ac.uk/staff/Srog/srog.html
Name: Bernd Carsten Stahl
Interests: Philosophical questions in computing, including ontology and epistemology, privacy, intellectual property, critical research in IS.
Name: Terry Bynum
Interests: Philosophical questions of computer ethics, history and teaching of computer ethics, computing and society
Name: Don Gotterbarn
Interests: Professionalism, codes of ethics, ethics in software engineering and systems development, social impact analysis
Applicants should complete the application form and submit it to De Montfort University. Reference forms should be passed to the two referees for completion.? Admission onto the ISDP will normally be through the MPhil/PhD transfer route which is the standard offer of De Montfort University. More information on the University rules and procedures regarding all aspects of being a research student can be found on the Research Office website (http://www.dmu.ac.uk/research/degrees/index.jsp)
The admission points onto the ISDP are 1 October, 1 January, 1 April and 1 July.
Applications are accepted for full time (typically 36 months) and part-time (typically 60 months) modes. It is possible for students based overseas to study under the 'six week rule' where the overseas students spend 6 weeks in the UK per academic year and are expected to conduct the remainder of their research in their home country?
ISDP research students have to complete several milestones. They will have to register for their research degree (within 6 months of enrolment if full time). They will then have to submit a transfer report (after 12-15 months if full time). Finally they will submit their thesis and undertake an oral examination (after 36 months if full time). Additionally, ISDP research students will have an annual assessment review.
Dr Bernd Stahl
Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility
School of Computing
De Montfort University
The Gateway, Leicester
LE1 9BH, UK
Tel: +44 116 207 8252