Leverhulme Interdisciplinary Network on Cybersecurity and Society (LINCS)

The Leverhulme Interdisciplinary Network on Cybersecurity and Society (LINCS) at Queen’s University Belfast was established in 2015, to support pioneering research at the interface between the social sciences and electronic engineering & computer science.  

LINCS brings together the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice (Mitchell Institute) and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) to develop a distinctive cohort of doctoral students working across the boundaries of their disciplines who will open up new avenues of enquiry centred initially on the priority themes and specific PhD projects. 

LINCS opens up new avenues of enquiry on Cybersecurity through 4 priority research areas:

  1. Cybersecurity: Technology and Ethics
  2. Cyberspace, Privacy and Data Protection
  3. Debordering and Rebordering in Cyberspace: Technological, Legal and Political Aspects
  4. Borders, Security Technologies, Data Gathering and Data Sharing

Please contact the named supervisor in the first instance to discuss any of the specific PhD projects outlined below. (Please see the lead supervisors indicated beside each project below.)


There are 7 Leverhulme LINCS Doctoral Scholarships available in 2017, to outstanding eligible candidates, for full-time study over 3 years. Full details on the research projects are provided in the next section - Available Scholarships.

The Scholarship covers

  • Full tuition fees at Standard UK Rates (£4,121 per annum) for three years (based on 2016/17 rate – 2017/18 rate to be confirmed).
  • A maintenance award at the Research Councils UK Rates (£14,296 for 2016/17) for three years
  • Research Training and Expenses £1,000 per annum for three year


  • Applicants must hold a minimum 2nd Class Upper Degree (2:1) or equivalent qualification in a relevant Technology, Social Science or Humanities Based subject.
  • Applicants must be a UK or EU citizen.
  • Applications from non-UK or non-EU citizens may be accepted on an exceptional basis but additional funding to cover International student fees is not available and must be secured by the applicant prior to starting.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both writing and speaking in English.
  • Successful applicants must be prepared to live and work in Northern Ireland for the duration of their studies.

Interested candidates must consult the main topic contact at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss their research plans and application, or Professor John Morison in relation to an Open Proposal. 


The deadline for applications is 5:00pm, Monday 16 January 2017. 


If you meet the eligibility criteria and wish to apply for any of these posts, you will need to complete an on-line application via the Queen's University Applications Portal.

You must include the code LINCS17on your application form to indicate that you wish to be considered for a LINCS award.

Applicants should chose the option “I wish to be considered for external funding” and then enter LINCS17 in the free text box which follows. 


  • All applicants must provide an up-to-date CV; this should be uploaded to the Admissions Portal as a separate document.[1]
  • All applicants are required to provide a 100-400 word statement detailing how their PhD will address the interdisciplinary aspects of the LINCS programme.
  • Applicants wishing to propose an interdisciplinary PhD topic of their own, that aligns with one or more of the LINCS priority themes, must upload a 400 word research proposal that describes the topic as a separate document. [2] This research proposal must clearly identify a potential supervisory team and which of the themes it relates to.
  • Applicants must provide the name of an Academic Referee in support. Failure to provide a referee will result in the application being rejected.

Please note, failure to include the reference LINCS17 in the free text box may result in your application not being allocated or considered for funding.

[1] Please note that only one document can be uploaded, you must combine your CV and Research Proposal into one document (word or PDF).

[2] As above note.

Contact Information


LINCS Programme Coordinator Professor John Morison
Training & Skills Coordinators

CSIT - Dr Philip O'Kane

AHSS - Professor Brice Dickson

Internationalisation Coordinator Professor Weiru Liu
Placement and Partnerships Coordinators

CSIT - Dr Kieran McLoughlin

AHSS - Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh

Pastoral Support Coordinator Professor John Morison
Programme Reporting Coordinator Professor John Morison
Supervisory Team Coordinators

Cybersecurity: Technology and Ethics
Professor Sakir Sezer

Cyberspace, Privacy and Data Protection
Dr Tom Walker

Debordering and Rebordering in Cyberspace: Technological, Legal and Political Aspects
Dr Debbie Lisle

Borders, Security Technologies, Data Gathering and Data Sharing
Professor Hastings Donann

Research Ethics Officer Dr Tom Walker
Programme Administrator Ms Valerie Miller

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