Newly published: version 10 of the Centre for Social Informatics flyer (February 2020)

Centre for Social Informatics bannerWe have a newly updated Centre for Social Informatics flyer (version 10, no less!) Please follow the link to read about the work of our group, including details of research expertise, funders, recent PhD completions, and recent publications. The flyer includes profiles of the academic and research staff within our group: Continue reading

Fully-funded PhD studentship opportunity: Natural language interfaces to support career decision-making of young people

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ESRC-SDS-Napier studentship logos

Updated with new deadline: midday 30th April 2020

We are currently advertising a fully-funded PhD place within the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University for an October 2020 start date.

The scholarship is a Skills Development Scotland Collaborative award offered through the ESRC-funded Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS). It is for a doctoral study on natural language interfaces to support career decision-making of young people. The practical work to be undertaken for this PhD centres on the development of a dialogue system utilising existing data held by Skills Development Scotland, for young people to engage ‘in conversation’ about their career interests, aspirations, and strengths. The system to be developed is anticipated to take the form of an interactive avatar with identifiable human characteristics.

The doctoral study will supervised by staff from two research groups within the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University: (1) the Centre for Social Informatics (Professor Hazel Hall), and (2) the Nature-inspired Intelligent Systems group (Dr Dimtra Gkatzia). A third supervisor from the Social Sciences Research Group in the School of Applied Sciences completes the team (Dr Pete Robertson). Our group has a strong track record of supervising SDS collaborative studentships, with two completions to date (in 2018 and 2019) and three on-going studentships on this scheme.

This fully-funded studentship is offered full-time either as a three year programme (all spent on the doctoral project at Edinburgh Napier University), or a four year programme (one year on the MSc by Research in Science and Innovation Studies at the University of Edinburgh, followed by the three year doctoral project at Edinburgh Napier University). The length of programme to be undertaken by the successful candidate will depend on their existing qualifications. (These ESRC studentships can also be held on a part-time basis, subject to a minimum time commitment of 50%. In practice, this means that successful candidates who undertake the part-time route are permitted to work 18.75 hours in paid employment over the course of a week.)

We are keen to receive applications from Computer Science or Software Engineering graduates (or those due to graduate in these or other relevant subjects in summer 2020), who have some experience of studying Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, or Machine Learning (e.g. as part of a module, or in a project), and have achieved (or are on target for) a 1st class or 2.1 degree. The successful candidate will be interested in developing their skills in research methods and interdisciplinary approaches to tackling research problems, and in the application of computing in the social sciences (e.g. in Education, Information Science, Psychology), as well as to the core themes of this studentship.

  • Applications for this studentship should be submitted to GradHub by Thursday 30th April 2020 at midday
  • Interviews will take place in the week beginning 4th May (either online or at Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston campus)
  • The start date for the successful candidate is Thursday 1st October 2020

Full details of eligibility criteria and the application process (through GradHub) can be found on the Current studentship opportunities page of the SGSSS web site at https://www.sgsss.ac.uk/studentship/natural-language-interfaces/.

After successfully completing the SGSSS application process (i.e. submission of application documents to GradHub, successful interview in the week beginning 4th May, and studentship offer from SGSSS), the candidate to be appointed will be admitted to the PhD programme at Edinburgh Napier University.

For further information about this studentship, please contact Professor Hazel Hall (h.hall@napier.ac.uk) or Dr Dimitra Gkatzia (d.gkatzia@napier.ac.uk).

Social Informatics colleagues at the School of Computing New Year research conference 2020

Yesterday, on 15th January 2020, the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University held its annual New Year research conference. The format of the event included sessions on REF2021 led by Professor Ben Paechter and Professor Emma Hart, good practice in PhD supervision led by Professor Ahmed Al-Dubai, data management plans led by Dr Lindsay Ramage, research culture led by Dr Frances Ryan, and a series of short presentations on on-going research projects within the School. There were also good opportunities for networking in the breaks. Continue reading

Newly published: autumn 2019 edition of the Centre for Social Informatics flyer

We have a newly updated Centre for Social Informatics flyer for autumn 2019. Please follow the link to read about the work of our group, including details of research expertise, funders, recent PhD completions, and recent publications. The flyer includes profiles of the academic and research staff within our group: Continue reading

An award and an appointment at ASIST in Australia #asist2019 #asist19

Last week many members of the worldwide Information Science community gathered in Melbourne, Australia for the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST). I was sorry not to be there myself. This was due to my teaching commitments this semester, in particular my final year undergraduate Knowledge Management module.

Abebe Rorissa, Brian Detlor, #asist2019, #asist19, Hazel Hall, Clarivate, teacher, award

Dr Abebe Rorissa presents Dr Brian Detlor with Hazel’s ‘Outstanding Information Science Teacher’ award (Photo credit: Becky Willson)

Despite my lack of physical presence at the conference, I kept an eye on the hash-tagged tweets from the event (#asist2019; #asist19). I was particularly interested in the Twitter stream around breakfast time (in the UK) on Tuesday 22nd October when the delegates in Melbourne were sitting down for the conference dinner and awards ceremony. This was because Visiting Professor to the Centre for Social Informatics Dr Brian Detlor had kindly agreed to step up to the stage to accept the 2019 Clarivate Analytics Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award on my behalf.

The award was presented by Abebe Rorissa of the University of Albany – thank you! I should also thank Rebekah (Becky) Willson of McGill University for taking photographs during the presentation. Continue reading

Congratulations to Katherine Stephen for an excellent Masters dissertation on metaskills

Katherine Stephen

Katherine Stephen

Congratulations to our PhD student Katherine Stephen, who last week learnt that she was awarded 80% for the Masters dissertation component of her 1+3 PhD. Katherine’s studentship is a collaborative award funded by the ESRC and Skills Development Scotland, and comprises a Masters year at the University of Edinburgh (2018/19) prior to three years of doctoral study at Edinburgh Napier University (2019/22).

Katherine’s Masters dissertation took the form of an extended PhD proposal, and thus has the same title as her doctoral study: Metaskills maturity for future workplaces. The work that she completed for the dissertation last year included a small pilot study entitled Metacognitive experiences of artificial intelligence in the workplace.

In her dissertation Continue reading

Social cognitive theory literature review article now in print

‘Applications and applicability of Social Cognitive Theory in information science research’ is now available in issue 51(4) (December 2019) of the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (JoLIS). The article covers the origins and key concepts of Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and its value to Information Science research. Particular reference is made to the applicability of SCT – and its applications – in studies of information-seeking behaviour and use, and knowledge sharing. Continue reading