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  3. PhD Position Human Factors in Cybersecurity

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PhD Position Human Factors in Cybersecurity

The offered PhD position is for a research project on human errors in the operation of information systems. The most serious security incidents of the recent …

10 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 40 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


The offered PhD position is for a research project on human errors in the operation of information systems. The most serious security incidents of the recent past occurred simple misconfigurations and human error. Furthermore, the domain of safety science tells us that human-error is also has underlying institutional root-causes. Nevertheless, contemporary work in IT security still focuses on improving the security of systems to mitigate human error, instead of mitigating institutional factors.

The candidate will conduct research on identifying personal, technical, and organizational root-causes for security misconfigurations in IT operations, devise technical and non technical methods for the structured detection of these root-causes, and, technical or procedural methods to reduce the prevalence of identified root-causes. During the PhD, the applicant will conduct this research and prepare scientific articles presenting the research at conferences and in journals. To enable the applicant to do this successfully, TPM and TU Delft offer personal and professional training courses in the form of a graduate school, in which the applicant will participate (the fee is paid by the project and there are no additional costs for this). Furthermore, in addition to her scientific supervisors, the applicant will receive an independent senior research as mentor, to aid her personal career development.


The applicant should have a particular interest in the connection between information system security and human aspects of system administration.
We seek candidates with a personal drive to improve and acquire new knowledge. As the project touches several domains, we do not expect a candidate to be an expert in all of them. Instead, candidates should have an interdisciplinary background or have knowledge in one discipline and should demonstrate their willingness to develop knowledge in other relevant disciplines, especially working with Internet measurement data and/or empirical research design/quantitative methods. Applicants must have completed a master degree or equivalent education. Furthermore, applicants should demonstrate a solid background in articulating themselves in English.


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit www.tudelft.nl/phd for more information.

Additional information

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Tobias Fiebig, Assistant Professor, email: t.fiebig@tudelft.nl, tel.: 0031 15 27 85 700. For information about the selection procedure, please contact Olivie Beek, HR Advisor, email: Vacature-TBM@tudelft.nl. To apply, please e-mail a detailed letter of application and a curriculum vitae by April 3rd to Vacature-TBM@tudelft.nl. When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number ATTBM 18.003.


Faculty Technology, Policy and Management

The Faculty of TPM contributes to sustainable solutions for technological challenges in society by combining the insights from engineering with the humanities and the social sciences. The tenure track assistant professor will be positioned in the Engineering Systems and Services (ESS) department of TPM. The core activity of the department is to model, understand, forecast, and shape emerging technological innovations and user patterns in the increasingly interconnected sectors of energy, mobility and ICT, and use these insights for improved design, regulation and operation of such engineering systems. ESS is rooted in both engineering and social sciences which is reflected in its key modelling paradigms: agent based modelling and choice behaviour modelling.

The ESS department sees information system security as an important and growing area of research for building interoperable, flexible, robust, scalable and secure critical infrastructures. Information system security is about people as much as it is about technology: understanding the behavior of malevolent actors and of potential victims of security-breaches is also crucial for being able to design and operate secure infrastructures. Our research contributes to our understanding of these interactions between the social and technological dimensions of information system security. To further our understanding of system operators' role in the (in)security of information systems, we are looking for PhD candidate interested in research on the simple errors system operators make.