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AI in Libraries & Knowledge Organisations- PhD Scholarship

AI in Libraries and Knowledge Organisations: Exploring Usage, Roles, Impact, Privacy, and Security for Library & Information Science Professionals

University: University College Dublin
School: Information and Communications Studies (ICS)
Supervisor: Dr. Stefanie Havelka (stefanie.havelka@ucd.ie)
Starting date: September 2024
Deadline for application: 31st May 2024
Interviews with short-listed candidates: 10-14 June 2024
Position: 100% full-time, tuition fees waived by the School of Information and Communication Studies (ICS).
Remuneration: PhD studentship is renewable for up to four years and consists of:
- PhD student stipend of €22,000k per annum (tax free)
- Scholarship students will be prioritised when applying for travel funding from ICS.
- Some equipment will be provided.
Eligibility: EU and non-EU students are equally eligible under this award,
Requirement: Students accepted under this scheme must meet the university entry standards.

Description of the Post
The School of Information and Communication Studies (ICS) at University College Dublin (UCD) is inviting applications for one fully funded PhD scholarship under the supervision of Dr. Stefanie Havelka. The successful candidate will be interested in developing an in-depth study of Artificial Intelligence in library and information studies theory, libraries, knowledge, information organisations, and/or the library and information professions.

The candidate will complete a project of their own design. Suggested topics of focus include:

  • AI literacy (including data and algorithmic literacy)
    Long and Magerko (2020) "define AI literacy as a set of competencies that enables individuals to critically evaluate AI technologies; communicate and collaborate effectively with AI; and use AI as a tool online, at home, and in the workplace." AI literacy also includes AI privacy, security, and ethical issues.
  • AI in Organisation of Information, Cataloguing & Metadata
    This focus includes making collections into machine-readable data, enhancing or creating metadata, and describing them at scale with the help of AI. Fostering accessibility issues to make digital collections available to all kinds of learners with the help of AI is part of this area of focus.

Candidates are encouraged to modify and build upon one or more of these topics or to propose their own PhD topic.

Supervisor Research Area
The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Stefanie Havelka, and will contribute to research on AI and LIS theories and professional applications. Dr Havelka’s research interests include human-computer interaction related to privacy and security in ubiquitous computing, digital literacies (including information and mobile literacy), equity, equality, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion in LIS theory and practice, critical librarianship, and metadata in knowledge organisation. She has published articles on mobile privacy, apps, behaviour, mobile information literacy, and Universal Design for Learning. She will present with her colleague Dr Claire McGuinness at the forthcoming CILIP/LAI conference on the ongoing ICS project “Students’ Perceptions and Uses of ChatGPT: Implications for Educators.

The candidate will be expected to write and successfully defend a PhD thesis focused on one of the areas listed in the description above and meet the degree requirements set by UCD to advance through the PhD programme. The candidate is also expected to produce research outputs in relation to their doctoral research and attend conferences to disseminate the research findings. They will collaborate closely with their supervisor to produce outputs on their combined research areas and will participate in seminars, workshops, and events organised within ICS and across UCD that are relevant to the project. The post-holder will be expected to contribute to intellectual life in ICS and UCD and participate in research, teaching, and outreach activities to the level and extent of their qualifications. The candidate will also be expected to complete a total of 30 ECTS credits spread across the post as part of the university's structured PhD path. Finally, the candidate will engage in teaching and tutor training and module support during their studies.

Role profile
The topic requires that the successful candidate be familiar with and/or proficient in (or willing to learn) the necessary research and, if needed, technical skills. For PhDs which mostly have a non-technical focus, candidates are expected to be familiar with and/or be proficient in qualitative methodologies, including but not limited to site-specific fieldwork, case study, ethnographic and desk research, discourse, and policy analysis. However, as there is a possibility for projects with some technical aspects, the successful candidate must be willing to learn any necessary technical skills and quantitative methods.

Post Requirements
Strong written command of English is required. English proficiency at the C2 or C1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is advised.
Candidates are expected to hold a strong Master's degree of 2:1 and above (or equivalent GPA) in Library and Information Studies/Science or a related area. The candidate should be able to demonstrate exceptional organisational experience and skills.

The candidate will apply qualitative and/or quantitative methods used in Library and Information Studies and Human-Computer Interaction, including (but not limited to) interviews, in-depth observation, on-site fieldwork, policy analysis, critical discourse analysis, and web usability testing.

Preference will be given to candidates who:
- Can demonstrate experience and skills that match their proposed PhD topic - i.e., Those who propose a non-technical PhD should demonstrate an understanding of social science and qualitative methods and an ability to integrate or build upon robust theories from the literature. Those who propose a quantitative or data focused project should be able to demonstrate that they are technical, analytical, detailed and process-orientated.
- Have read some of the main literature related to their proposed topic.

Applications are open to students of all nationalities and backgrounds. Women, people of colour and people with hidden and visible disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Dr. Havelka with the following before submitting a formal application.
1. A one-page cover letter describing how you meet the mandatory/desired requirements.
2. A detailed curriculum vitae (CV) including education history, relevant work experiences in the Library and Information Studies organisation field, previous research projects, presentations, publications and other relevant information.
3. A one- or two-page outline of a proposed research topic, which may be based on one of the two topics above or be of their own design.
4. Scanned copies of relevant academic transcripts.
5. English Language Proficiency for non-native English speakers, in line with UCD requirements.

How to Apply
Applications need to be submitted via UCD's application portal: https://www.ucd.ie/registry/prospectivestudents/admissions/graduateapplicants/applying/ 
The candidate should apply to Programme Code W139 using the UCD Admissions online application portal (a €50 application fee applies). Please see the main ICS and UCD Graduate Studies sites for detailed application requirements:
https://www.ucd.ie/ics/study/phdresearchprogrammes/ and https://www.ucd.ie/graduatestudies/studywithus/applicationprocess/ 
The School of Information and Communication Studies ( https://www.ucd.ie/ics/ ) requires PhD applicants to submit their curriculum vitae, an applicant statement (500-700 words), and a personal statement (up to 32,000 characters). Candidates are advised to describe their research interests, explain why they believe this position fits their profile, and include a brief description of the topic they would like to explore in their PhD project. In addition to that, applicants should submit a writing sample, preferably a piece that has been published or a chapter of a thesis, as additional information. Applications will be reviewed through our system of open, transparent, and merit-based recruitment of researchers. Short-listed candidates will be invited to an interview for the position, which will be held online. Candidates will be given at least five days' notice if selected for the interview.

For any questions related to this post, please contact Stefanie Havelka (opens in a new window) (opens in a new window)https://people.ucd.ie/stefanie.havelka at (opens in a new window)stefanie.havelka@ucd.ie


UCD School of Information and Communication Studies

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