PhD Position in Children’s online safety and protection of LGBTQ+ groups

DCU Law and Tech regularly publishes news posts discussing the topics Law and Technology written by a variety of authors.

DCU Anti-Bullying Centre and DCU School of Law & Government are advertising a Multi-disciplinary PhD (4 years, full time).


Many countries around the world are considering regulating children’s online safety by introducing obligations requiring social media platforms to filter and restrict access to specific types of content. The combined effect of the emergence of these new regulatory frameworks and the interpretation of these rules at platform level has been criticized for its capacity to potentially censor online content and discriminate against LGBTQ+ groups. Social media have proved to be a unique instrument to access, transmit and receive information within LGBTQ+ communities, especially in countries still discriminating against these societal groups. Preventing children from accessing these types of content has a profound impact on their education and personal development, and more generally risks representing a disproportionate compression of their fundamental rights.

The Role

We are looking for an excellent PhD applicant willing to work in this area from a multidisciplinary and/or comparative perspective. Applicants are required to possess at the time of application a bachelor’s degree in an area related to the main PhD theme. Having completed a master’s degree is a plus.

The selected candidate will receive an annual non-taxable stipendium of €22,000. EU full time fees will be covered. This role is part funded by the Equinix Foundation and the Law and Tech Research Cluster. The PhD will start in September 2024.

The applicant will be supervised by Prof James O’Higgins Norman, UNESCO Chair in Bullying and Cyberbullying and Director of DCU Anti-Bullying Centre, Dr Edoardo Celeste, Associate Professor of Law, Technology and Innovation and Coordinator of the DCU Law and Tech Research Cluster, and Dr Sinai Asci, postdoctoral researcher at DCU AntiBullying Centre. The selected candidate will be based at the DCU Antibullying Centre and will also be a member of the DCU Law and Tech Research Cluster.

The selected candidate will be required to work full time on their PhD and to contribute to selected research and teaching activities in the context of DCU Antibullying Centre and DCU Law and Tech Research Cluster. The selected candidate will also be part of the European PhD in Law, Data and AI (EPILDAI) network and will have the opportunity to complete a visiting stay of 3-6 months in one of the partner universities.

The PhD candidate’s specific duties will include:

  • Undertake research leading to a PhD;
  • Produce academic papers and reports throughout the course of the PhD;
  • Identify and make funding applications for further research on related topics;
  • Collaborate with colleagues in the Centre and the cluster;
  • Attend meetings and produce reports.

In order to apply, please send your CV and a PhD proposal of maximum 3000 words to by 31 May 2024. The PhD proposal should illustrate your research question, state of the art, methodology and proposed timeline. Interviews will be held on 11 June 2024. Informal inquiries can be sent to

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