Archive for jobs, June 2018

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[ecrea] Funded PhD studentship in algorithmic bias @ University of Sheffield

Wed Jun 20 22:48:22 GMT 2018

*Title:*Algorithmic bias: patterns, consequences and alternatives

*Lead supervisor:*Professor Helen Kennedy

*Co-supervisors: *Dr Jo Bates & Professor Paul Clough, Information School**

*External partner:*Department for Work and Pensions

*Start date:* October 2018

Data-driven technologies are transforming society, as governments, businesses and other sectors are increasingly adopting automated and algorithmic systems in the search for greater efficiency in the delivery of their services. Among these actors government departments, often resource-poor and in need of effective, streamlined, automated systems, are increasingly turning to digital technologies. But data-driven and algorithmic systems are far from straightforward. As a number of researchers have noted, they can discriminate in opaque ways through bias written into the systems, which can be intentional or unintentional. This is something that government departments providing support and services to the most vulnerable in society wish to avoid, but how to do so is in need of investigation. Similarly, more knowledge is needed about the expectations of citizens and related questions of ethics and trust. Using a combination of methods, this PhD project involves working closely with one such government department to explore algorithmic bias, its risks and consequences, alternative approaches, communicating about algorithmic processes with service users, and integrating alternative, or ‘fairer’, processes into existing workflows. The partner on this PhD project is the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy.

This is a 4-year PhD which incorporates an MSc in Data Analytics. It is funded by the ESRC Data Analytics and Society Centre for Doctoral Training ( It offers an excellent opportunity to develop research methods, data analysis and critical thinking skills while carrying out research with real-world applications. The precise details of the PhD will be agreed with the successful applicant and DWP upon commencement of the project.

The deadline for applications is 8^th July 2018. Interviews will take place in the week of 16^th July. To apply, visit: <>.

Due to funder eligibility restrictions, we can only consider home/UK applicants for a full scholarship, and EU applicants for a fees only scholarship. International applicants cannot be considered.

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