Student Role: The project will deal with privacy and security aspects of technology from the human (user) perspective. The student will have the opportunity to take a leadership role and be creative about shaping the specifics of the chosen project. The work involves: collecting and understanding existing research on the topic, designing and conducting a study about people's use of technologies, analyzing qualitative and quantitative data collected in the user study and/or obtained from online sources, developing prototypes or proofs of concept to demonstrate of novel UX designs, etc. To that end, the student can choose to be involved in any or all of aspects of the work, including but not limited to: literature review, study design, data collection, data cleanup, data analysis, writing scripts and programs, developing prototypes of user interfaces and user experiences, writing papers, etc. Creativity, desire to learn new things, and willingness to accept challenges are essential.
Student Benefits: The main learning outcome are: (i) developing the ability to formulate a useful research question on a topic; (ii) making methodological choices suited to addressing the question; (iii) conducting quantitative and/or qualitative data analysis; and (iv) communicating the results and implications of the findings of the analysis in a professional manner. In addition, the student will undergo the required CITI training for conducting human-subjects research in an ethical manner.
The target product of the learning experience is a research paper submitted to a high-impact conference or journal in the fields of cybersecurity or Human-Computer Interaction. In addition, there may be other deliverables connected to the paper, such as a poster, a video presentation, a prototype app and its source code, etc. Any software code and/or data produced as part of the research will be shared openly and can serve as tangible demonstration of skills developed during the experience. Apart from contributing novel and original knowledge to these research fields, the project experience will provide the student with practical hands-on knowledge about cybersecurity and the important professional skills of collaboration and communication.
The experience can serve as a foundation for a career in the technology industry in general and cybersecurity industry in particular. In addition, the experience can be useful for a career in government, defense, or non-profit sectors, especially on matters of cybersecurity-related public policy. Alternatively, the experience can be a steppingstone for graduate or professional education (Master’s or Ph.D.).
Project Duration: 35-40 hours per week on research and program-related activities, begins May 25, 2022, and ends August 4, 2022
Opportunity Type: This is a paid research position
Is this a paid opportunity: Yes
Minimum Requirements: Admission to the program is competitive. Applicants must meet all of the following criteria: 1) be a matriculated, degree-seeking undergraduate student in the Fall 2022 semester (beginning or continuing college career in Fall 2022 and not graduating before December 2022; concurrent enrollment while in high school does not meet this eligibility requirement). Applicants do not need to be a University of Utah student. 2) eligible to work in the United States: If you are a University of Utah Dreamer (with or without DACA), you are eligible to participate. U Dreamers with DACA will be hired and paid through U payroll. U Dreamers without DACA who graduated from a Utah high school will be compensated via a different mechanism. If you are a Dreamer from a different institution: If you have DACA, you are eligible to participate and will be hired and paid though U payroll. If you do not have DACA, you are able to participate and gain research experience, but we do not currently have a mechanism that allows us to compensate you. For more information, please contact Megan Shannahan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-581-2478. If you are an international student or scholar, you must either a) be a degree-seeking undergraduate student at the University of Utah, OR b) possess documentation that establishes your eligibility to work in the United States (if you hold US citizenship, it is likely you have these documents). 3) able to commit to approximately 35-40 hours per week of employment at the University of Utah for the entire duration of the program (May 25-August 4, 2022). 4) at least 18 years old by May 23, 2022 (required if you wish to use on-campus housing; preferred if you will not be using on-campus housing).