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Making the Internet a better and safer place for young people

Based on the UNICEF report ‘The State of the World’s Children 2017: Children in a Digital World’, children and adolescents under 18 already account for an estimated one in three Internet users around the World. Although these children and teenagers may be considered digital natives, sometimes they are not fully aware of the risks and threats, or of the benefits and opportunities that technology and the internet offer. In order to tackle this very important issue, it is necessary to identify potential risk profiles, as well as to teach and train minors to make proper use of the Internet and associated technologies. And is there a better way to do so than by playing?

This is the main goal of the EU H2020 project RAYUELA (empoweRing and educAting YoUng pEople for the internet by pLAying).

The project aims to bring together law enforcement agencies (LEAs), sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, legal experts, ethicists, philosophers, computer scientists and engineers, to carry out, first, thorough research on the sociological, anthropological, and psychological factors affecting cybercrimes, such as online grooming, cyberbullying, or trafficking networks (especially focused on sexual exploitation), as well as on the technological threats associated to the use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as connected toys, wearables, or virtual assistants. The main findings of this research will be translated into an interactive story-like game in which these topics will be addressed through different cyber-adventures in which players may end up in a risky or safe situation depending on the decisions they make. Thus, the players may “live” different stories depending on the decisions they make while playing (and learn from them), the same way as the well-known Cortázar novel (Rayuela/Hopscotch) involves different stories depending on the decisions the reader makes while reading it.

As a result, the data gathered through the game will allow modelling, in a friendly and non-invasive manner, online habits and user profiles related to cybersecurity and cybercriminality based on a large and diverse sample covering the most representative geographical areas in Europe, thus providing LEAs with scientifically sound foundations to define appropriate policies and measures. In addition, unlike traditional research approaches where the impact on target users is unclear, in this case the target population will benefit from the main takeaways directly by playing the game.

So the Heaven of this particular hopscotch is none other than contributing to make the Internet a safer and better place for our children. Would you like to join us in this exciting adventure?

We are looking for outstanding researchers with a PhD in Sociology, Anthropology or Criminology, research experience in the cybercrimes being studied in the RAYUELA project, as well as working in national and international research projects.

What we offer:

- Carrying out top-notch research for a good cause in a multidisciplinary environment within the scope of the EU H2020 project RAYUELA
- Participating in the coordination of an international research team
- A competitive 36-months contract starting the 1st of October of 2020
- Working in a friendly and dynamic environment in Comillas Pontifical University
- Enjoying the unrivalled quality of life of the Madrid region

What we look for:

- PhD in Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology or a related field
- Research experience in the cybercrimes being studied in the RAYUELA project, i.e., human trafficking for sexual exploitation, online grooming and cyberbullying. It will be especially valued the research experience in human trafficking for sexual exploitation.
- Experience working in national and international research projects
- Excellent scientific track record
- Excellent spoken and written English
- Passion for multidisciplinary research, in particular for the topic and goals of the project

Contact:
Dr. Nereida Bueno (Dra. Nereida Bueno (nbguerra@comillas.edu),
Dr. Gregorio López (Dr. Gregorio López (gllopez@comillas.edu),

Documents:

Curriculum vitae, academic record, cover letter, and two recommendation letters.

Application deadline: 15th July 2020


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