Applications invited for ESRC Scottish Graduate School of Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership studentship competition 2018

Esrc_logoThe Science, Technology, Innovation, Information and Communication Studies pathway of the ESRC Scottish Graduate School of Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (SGSSS-DTP) is currently inviting applications for the 2018 studentship competition. Successful applicants will start their doctoral studies in October 2018.

Academic staff at each of the pathway member institutions – including those within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University – would be pleased to hear from eligible candidates who would like to apply for a PhD place under this scheme.

Full applications are due for submission to the SGSSS-DTP by Monday 12th February 2018. The application process is detailed at: The first step is to secure an offer of a PhD place, so initial contact must be made to the pathway representative at Edinburgh Napier University (Dr Laura Muir: by Monday 15th January 2018.

Applicant interests should align with the focus of the pathway research. At Edinburgh Napier University this places emphasis on the relationship between the use of information and societal development within the broader context of the ESRC SGSSS-DTP. The key areas of research interest are:

  • Democratic digital engagement
  • e-Government
  • Information Policy
  • Information seeking behaviour and use
  • Knowledge Management
  • The Information Society
  • Online communities
  • Open data and open government

Applicants should meet the following requirements:

  1. Hold a good first degree (first class or 2.1).
  2. Hold a Masters degree in a social science subject that includes significant coverage of qualitative and quantitative research methods (at least 60 credits of appropriate research methods training), or be on target to complete such a Masters degree before the start of the academic year 2018/19.
  3. Be a United Kingdom citizen, or be a resident of another European Union country.
  4. Submit a research proposal that aligns with the key areas of interest listed above.

Further details on these requirements can be found on the eligibility page of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science web site.

If you are interested in making an application for a studentship at Edinburgh Napier University under this scheme, you should make initial contact with Dr Laura Muir ( by Monday 15th January 2018 (or preferably sooner) to check your eligibility to apply. Dr Muir will then arrange a telephone or Skype call to discuss research proposal ideas, and potential supervision arrangements at Edinburgh Napier. (Possible supervisors include Professor Hazel HallDr Laura Muir, Dr Colin Smith, Dr Gemma Webster and Peter Cruickshank.) This conversation will also provide an opportunity to discuss in further detail the application process.

The next stage will be for you to complete the Edinburgh Napier research degree application form to be submitted directly to Dr Laura Muir by email at (and not to the general research degrees admissions e-mail address) by midday on Wednesday 17th January 2018.

Interviews will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday 24th January 2018 at the Merchiston campus of Edinburgh Napier University. Decisions on who will be invited to take their applications to this next stage of the process (following submission of the application form) will be made by Friday 19th January 2018.

Candidates who pass the internal Edinburgh Napier application process will then be nominated to start the application process on the ESRC SGSSS-DTP system: nominations will be made by universities to the SGSSS by Wednesday 7th February; initial registration needs to be made by candidates by Friday 9th February 2018. Following ESRC eligibility checks, candidates will then be invited to submit their full applications to the ESRC SGSSS-DTP system by Monday 12th February 2018. The outcome of these applications is expected to be known by Wednesday 9th May 2018.

Candidates who are considering making an application to Edinburgh Napier University through this scheme are encouraged to explore how their research interests align with those of the staff and research students within the Centre for Social Informatics. We carry out research that is broadly concerned with the intersection of people, communities and technologies (incorporating the themes as listed above).

Our recent and current research students engage in a range of doctoral studies on topics that include:

Practitioner research: value, impact, and priorities #libresearch17

This Wednesday 8th November I will be the opening speaker at ‘Themes and trends in library and information research‘, a one-day conference hosted by CILIP in Kent at Canterbury Christ Church University. Entitled ‘Practitioner research: value, impact, and priorities’ my presentation covers four mains themes:

  1. The long-identified (and debated) research-practice gap in library and information science research
  2. The case for research-led practice and practitioner-led research
  3. Access to current research in library and information science research in the UK
  4. Means of generating new research ideas

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Themes and trends in library and information research: a one-day conference by CILIP in Kent #libresearch17

Two weeks today on Wednesday 8th November I will be the opening speaker at a one day conference entitled ‘Themes and trends in library and information research‘. The event is hosted by CILIP in Kent, and takes place at Canterbury Christ Church University in the Frederic Mason room of the grade II listed St. Martin’s Priory. Continue reading

Centre for Social Informatics at #ASIST2017

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The 80th Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology  takes place from October 27th to November 1st 2017. Centre for Social Informatics PhD student Frances Ryan will be travelling to Washington, DC to present a poster at the conference. This work, which Frances has developed with the members of her supervision team (myself, Peter Cruickshank, and Alistair Lawson), is entitled ‘Building identity in online environments: an Information Science perspective‘. Continue reading

Professor Jim Al-Khalili speaks on future science to commemorate #Napier400

Professor Jim Al-Khalili speaking

Professor Jim Al-Khalili (photo credit Allan Shedlock)

2017 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of John Napier after whom Edinburgh Napier University is named, and whose former home – Merchiston Tower – is situated on the campus where I work. Over the course of 2017 a series of events has commemorated John Napier and his work. Continue reading