[visionlist] Fully Funded Phd Studentship: Data Analytic Technologies to Combat Human Trafficking

Kerr, Dermot d.kerr at ulster.ac.uk
Wed Feb 5 05:39:21 -04 2020

In the world of human trafficking, the Internet presents ever-new opportunities to exploit increasingly more victims. Organized crime networks can operate remotely to “advertise” trafficking victims anywhere in the world. Use of online forums, message boards and online classified advertisements provide opportunities for law enforcement agencies to identify possible human trafficking activity and the perpetrators within OCGs.

This project will develop software tools that can enable law enforcement agencies to analyse images, videos and text automatically on a large scale from the vast network of websites that advertise such services. The tools will incorporate novel machine learning and data analytic methods to identify both geographical and temporal patterns and links between website postings. With little or no manual intervention large-scale information can thus be extracted rapidly in terms of clustering criminal activities, mapping where victims are being trafficked (often frequently and in groups), and locating and ultimately identifying the perpetrators. The supervisory team combines expertise in image, video and content analytics and machine learning with expertise in criminology, with particular research experience in combatting human trafficking and exploitation.

Essential criteria
*To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.
*Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal

Desirable Criteria
If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.
*Publications record appropriate to career stage
*A comprehensive and articulate personal statement

Applicants will be shortlisted if they have an average of 75% or greater in a first (honours) degree (or a GPA of 8.75/10). For applicants with a first degree average in the range of 70% to 74% (GPA 3.3): If they are undertaking an Masters, then the average of their first degree marks and their Masters marks will be used for shortlisting.

The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

Department for the Economy (DFE)
The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies


Best wishes,

Dr Dermot Kerr


School of Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems
Intelligent Systems Research Centre
Magee College - Ulster University
BT48 7JL

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