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LINCS scholars awarded first runner-up at the UK Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge competition

A team of first year LINCS (Leverhulme Interdisciplinary Network on Cybersecurity and Society) doctoral scholars were awarded first runner-up at the prestigious Atlantic Council’s Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge competition on 11-12 February in London.

LINCS students

The LINCS team, from the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics and School of Law at Queen’s, included: Ciara McHugh, Claire Bevan, Olly Donnelly and Rebekah Corbett. Dr Philip O’Kane, lecturer from Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) was their coach.

Commenting on the team’s success in the competition, Dr O’Kane said: “This competition illustrates the importance of understanding the impact of a cyber-attack on a country's economy. It presents university teams with increasingly difficult challenges that demonstrate the complex world of cybersecurity, in terms of technology and managing the multi-facet impact of such attacks.  These challenges required the teams taking part to exhibit the ability to analyse and adapt to a changing scenario. 

“The Queen’s LINCS students demonstrated great determination and skills that eliminated many other top UK universities. Our team reached the final round, and they were pipped to the post by the University of Cambridge.  I add my congratulations to our students and the recognition for an impressive first attempt at a UK wide challenge.”

As part of their prize, the team will take part in a two day visit to the Cyber Defence Alliance offices in London.

LINCS at Queen’s University Belfast was established in 2015 with funding from the Leverhulme Trust and the Department for the Economy.  It builds on the existing interdisciplinary work between the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EEECS) and the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. 

LINCS opens up new avenues of enquiry, allowing researchers to develop new collaborations and offer truly interdisciplinary support to its Leverhulme Doctoral Scholars. 

To apply for LINCS, please visit:



Media enquiries to Zara McBrearty at Queen’s Communications Office on +44 (0)28 9097 3259 or email: