Posted on: 30 November, 2018
Application deadline: February 15, 2019

ESRC Collaborative PhD Studentship: Policing Everyday Cybercrime, University of Dundee, Scotland

ESRC Collaborative PhD Studentship, in Partnership with Police Scotland: ‘Policing Everyday Cybercrime: the Geographies and Culture of Local Cybercrime Policing’

University of Dundee

Qualification Type: PhD, Integrated Masters / Doctorate
Location: Dundee
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 29th November 2018
Closes: 15th February 2019

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The University of Dundee is delighted to announce a prestigious ESRC collaborative PhD studentship, in partnership with Police Scotland.

Title: Policing everyday cybercrime: the geographies and culture of local cybercrime policing’.

The supervisors are Dr Megan O’Neill and Dr Jonathan Mendel (University of Dundee), leading researchers in policing and cybercrime studies, and Police Scotland supervisor, DSupt Nicola Burnett.

  • This studentship is being offered as a 1+3 (Masters and PhD) or +3 (PhD only) format.
  • The studentship will commence on 16th September 2019
  • The studentship will cover tuition fees at the UK/EU rate plus an annual stipend of £14,777 and research costs.


Online spaces are increasingly part of everyday life. It is therefore unsurprising that cybercrime is also an everyday occurrence: the internet is used to facilitate everything from harassment to fraud to labour exploitation. However, there is a lack of empirical research on the policing of cybercrime. Much of the literature on cybercrime is focused on ‘cutting edge’ technical attacks, and neglects the more ‘everyday’ and less technically sophisticated cybercrime to which members of the public are more often subject. These crimes may not require specialist policing skills but do require an informed response. Research on policing also often neglects the increasing importance of cybercrime in local policing.

This PhD studentship will explore how everyday cybercrime is manifest, is reported to the police and how the police culturally interpret and operationally respond to these calls. It is thus a study of the local policing of cybercrime and will reveal the lived geographies of policing cybercrime as well as how the occupational culture is adapting to the growing role of the online environment in policing.

The research questions are:

  • How does cybercrime, especially low-level cybercrime, currently come to the attention of the police and how do they respond to it?
  • How does local policing engage with the geographies of cybercrime?
  • How does the policing of everyday cybercrime develop our understanding of police occupational culture?

Criteria for selection

For the 1+3 format, applicants must have a 1st or upper 2nd level undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, preferably with some experience of researching policing and/or cybercrime alongside some experience of social science methods.

For the +3 format, applicants must have a level of research training that would allow them to proceed directly to a PhD; this is usually through a Master’s qualification in the social sciences, plus a 1st or upper 2nd class undergraduate degree in a relevant subject. Applicants will preferably have some experience of researching policing and/or cybercrime alongside experience of social science methods.

For full details and the application procedures please email Ms Linn McFarlane (

Deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday, 15th February 2019.

Interviews will be held on 11th March 2019.