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CSRI Wins £450k Sêr Cymru Research Award To Tackle Security Challenges in the Digital Information Environment

25 February 2021

Three new research staff join the Open Source Communications, Analytics Research (OSCAR) team to build technical expertise.

To future proof research excellence in Wales, the Sêr Cymru Capacity Building Accelerator Awards are designed to strengthen research capacity in smart specialisation areas such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medicine as well as applied social science.

The Crime and Security Research Institute (CSRI) was chosen by the programme to build upon its innovative evidence and insights into the security challenges and applications associated with open source communications data and the new digital information environment.

The funding has enabled the institute to bring on three researchers who will extend the OSCAR team’s capacity to explore the causes and consequences of disinformation. These new researchers bring with them a distribution of skills and expertise at the interface between social and data science.

The new additions to the OSCAR team include: Research Fellow Dr Nora Jansen, who has a background Management of Information Systems and has carried out a PhD titled Real-time Detection of Buzzes in Online Social Networks; Research Associate David Tuxworth, a Cardiff University graduate Master of Science degree in Computer Science and undergraduate degree in International Politics; and Research Assistant Viorica Budu, who has previously worked as a journalist and has a Master of Arts degree in Digital Media and Society.

Funding these roles for three years, the Sêr Cymru award will allow the CSRI longer term development capacity to develop new tools, techniques and technologies to maintain the institute’s work pushing at the boundaries of the current ‘state-of-the-art’.

Dr Nora Jansen notes “The ever-increasing volume of social interactions and transactions taking place online has led to an increase in both the real and perceived threats that people are exposed to. It is fantastic that schemes such as the Sêr Cymru award recognise the importance of research in this area and I am delighted to have been selected.”

I’m really pleased that through the Sêr Cymru funding, I have the opportunity to continue my highly applied research within an institute focused on contemporary real-world events that have local and global impacts.
Dr Nora Jansen Research Fellow

The new Sêr Cymru programme is a suite of schemes part funded by the European Commission, through the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) COFUND scheme and the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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