Early Stage Researcher Position: Cyberattacks in the Metaverse

Updated: 24 days ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND

Early Stage Researcher Position: Cyberattacks in the Metaverse (
Job Number:
Faculty of Business
Grade 7: - £38,592.08 - £51,348.73 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 3 years
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Working Arrangements: The ESR position will be 3 years full-time. You will also be enrolled on a 4 year PhD programme at Durham University Business School
Closing Date
: 31-Mar-2024, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable. 

Durham University Business School is very pleased to offer a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher position as part of the MSCA AGORA (Training young researchers on shaping metaverse for business and social value) doctoral network (Grant agreement: 101119937, https://agora-mariecurie.eu/ ). 

We are looking to recruit a motivated candidate to study Cybersecurity, new forms of attacks and the Metaverse. The successful candidate will be employed for 36 months at Durham University Business School and as part of the position they will be seconded to Innov-Acts LTD in Cyprus for 15 months, and Aegis in Germany for 3 months. 

The  ESR will focus on how Metaverse may enable a generation of new types of cyber-attacks or transform the nature of existing types of cyber-attacks. The successful candidate will also explore whether cyberattacks in the immersive virtual environment of the Metaverse can cause physical harms to Metaverse users in real life. The aim is to propose and validate strategies and techniques for the mitigation of such cyberattacks. 

The successful candidate is expected to complete a rigorous training program, participate in research and networking events, orchestrate the content creation and social campaigns for the project, and deliver research excellence. A career development plan will be prepared for the successful candidate, which will include training, planned placements/secondments and outreach activities.

We are committed to diversity. We understand that some under-represented groups may feel less confident applying if they are not certain they meet all criteria. We encourage all candidates to think broadly about their strengths, including transferable skills. Ultimately, we will choose the best candidate for the position.

With regards to researchers with refugee status, time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status (under the 1951 Geneva Convention and the 1967 Protocol) are not considered (for mobility rules). It should be noted, however, that any time spent in your host university country after refugee status has been obtained is then counted when determining eligibility. Researchers at risk are especially encouraged to apply. ‘Researchers at risk’, under the current MSCA work programme refers to “researchers who are either at risk in their origin countries (due to discrimination, persecution, suffering and/or violence), or are seeking refuge out of these reasons or have recently found refuge in Europe”.

What are we offering?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. The annual salary is £38,592.08 to £51,348.73, depending on eligibility for Family Allowance and inclusion in pension scheme. The position is funded through UKRI EP/Y032454/1 within the framework of the Horizon Europe guarantee funding.  . In addition to your salary you will also have access to funds to pay for travel and other expenses related to your position. The ESR position will be 3 years full-time.  You will also be enrolled on a 4 year PhD programme at Durham University Business School.

For further details, and to discuss suitability with this position, please contact Dr. Efpraxia Zamani, [email protected]

We reserve the right to re-advertise or extend the closing date for the position. Additionally, we reserve the right to start the recruitment process anytime, even if the deadline of the advert has not passed yet. This position is recruited in line with open, transparent, merit, and competency-based recruitment. By applying the applicant approves the sharing their application with the other consortium members.

Contact information for technical difficulties when submitting your application 

If you encounter technical difficulties when using the online application form, we prefer you send enquiries by email.  Please send your name along with a brief description of the problem you’re experiencing to [email protected]  

Alternatively, you may call 0191 334 6801 from the UK, or +44 191 334 6801 from outside the UK. This number operates during the hours of 09.00 and 17.00 Monday to Friday, UK time.  We will normally respond within one working day (Monday to Friday, excluding UK public holidays).  

University contact for general queries about the recruitment process 

[email protected]

How to Apply  

To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification below. It will be at the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether they will also consider any desirable criteria, but we would urge candidates to provide evidence for all criteria.  

While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview.  

Submitting your application 

We prefer to receive applications online.   We will update you about your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to make sure you have not missed any of our updates.

What to Submit 

Deadline for application is 31/03/2024 at 23:59 (London Time).  

Applications should include the following documents:

  • A detailed CV listing education, work experience, publications, and relevant other activities.
  • Names and contact information (address, email, phone) of between two to four referees.
  • Academic transcripts.
  • A copy of academic works such as papers or thesis (if available).
  • Demonstrated English proficiency.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.durham.ac.uk/about-us/governance/information-governance/privacy-notices/privacy-notices/job-applicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.   

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.

Working at Durham University  

A globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a warm and friendly place to work, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other.

As one of the UK’s leading universities, Durham is an incredible place to define your career.The University is located within a beautiful historic city, home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and surrounded by stunning countryside. Our talented scholars and researchers from around the world are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.  

We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things in the world. Being a part of Durham is about more than just the success of the University, it’s also about contributing to the success of the city, county and community.

Our University Strategy is built on three pillars of research, education and wider student experience, but also on our keen sense of community and of inspiring others to achieve their potential. 

Our Purpose and Values

We want our University to be a place where people can be free to be themselves, no matter what their identity or background. Together, we celebrate difference, value one another and are each responsible for creating an inclusive community that is respectful and fair for all.

Find out more about the benefits of working at the University and what it is like to live and work in the Durham area on our Why Durham? information page.   

Durham University Business School  

Dynamic and vibrant, Durham University Business School is one of Durham University’s four Faculties and is comprised of four research-intensive departments: Accounting, Economics, Finance, and Management and Marketing. Known for its global reputation, its impact on policy and practice and its strong focus on ethics, responsibility and sustainability, the School aims to be a leading European business school with a strong global presence by 2027. The School currently has  circa 200 academic and teaching staff, with plans and resource commitments to grow to 230 by 2027. In addition, 12 funded research centres (https://www.dur.ac.uk/business/research/research-centres/ ) blend leading theoretical perspectives with a strong emphasis on impact and engagement with practice, noted in www.durham.ac.uk/business . The school’s student population is around 4000, across undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes.   

Our vision is to lead business thought and practice to improve global society and well-being. Our associated mission is to create, share and use knowledge to deliver equitable and sustainable futures around the world. We pursue this mission by advancing world changing knowledge and securing global impact through increasingly collaborative research across disciplines and around the world. 

The Business School is preparing for a future where disciplines combine and converge, disrupting business models, changing the relationship between economies and societies. Faculty investment targets candidates with transformative perspectives on their disciplines, who are highly connected to the world of practice and who have regard for the ethical, sustainable and responsible impact of their research and teaching. Our focused strategy covers research, education and student engagement, building on multi-disciplinary academic excellence, internationally-rated research and superb student support services. Our research is published in leading international journals, is increasingly funded by a broad mix of bodies, including research, government and commercial organisations. We seek to elevate further the status and influence of our research activity and environment through the support and delivery of influential research publications, building enhanced research capacity through income generation and the proof of economic and social value through documented impact on policy and practice. 

Over the next ten years, Durham University Business School will pursue its mission across three core domains to become a recognised Top European Business School: Research, Education and Student Engagement. In addition, three transversal themes - internationalisation; ethics, responsibility and sustainability; and external engagement and impact - will shape further our direction of travel. 

We have invested heavily in new colleagues over the past three years are continuing this investment journey, to be able to publish even more frequently in world leading journals, secure higher levels of (including Research Council) funding and develop our impact and engagement further. These ambitions are further supported by appropriate support for world-class conference attendance, pump priming, seminars and research network building activities and incentives for research publication and impact case studies.  

As part of the School’s education strategy, our focus is to ensure that our programmes are intellectually leading, transformative and challenging. Further, we wish to ensure that learning allows students to develop as global citizens with a cross-cultural perspective, fosters connection to worlds of practice and facilitates engagement in the area of ethics, responsibility and sustainability. The School continues to support and recognise faculty members in these areas, for example through our mentoring policy and Enhancing Learning and Teaching Awards. The School has a high-quality portfolio of programmes at undergraduate, masters and doctoral level, across all subject areas – Management, Marketing, Economics, Accounting and Finance – attracting a talented and diverse student intake (with over 130 nationalities). Recent pedagogic developments include the launch of an on-line MBA, two MOOCS, an international MBA with the European Business School in Weissbaden, and two joint DBA with Fudan University and EmLyon. 

The current School building houses several state-of-the-art lecture theatres providing flexible options for teaching, new breakout spaces for individual and group projects, and a contemporary dining area – alongside numerous sustainable features – which make it a truly world-class facility. Improved business facilities enable us to engage with more corporate partners and host events ranging from small groups to conferences for several hundred delegates. We are also investing in the technology infrastructure to support online and blended approaches to education. 

For more information, please visit the Business School pages at https://www.dur.ac.uk/business  



  • Obtained (or be about to obtain) an MSc/MRes/MPhil (or equivalent) in a relevant field.
  • Evidence of independent research experience (e.g., an empirical master’s thesis).
  • Ability to work independently, to prioritize tasks, manage time and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent written and spoken English.
  • Interest in extended reality technologies and environments (e.g., virtual/augmented reality)
  • Affinity with new technology and forms of collaboration.
  • Working knowledge of the Greek/German language is welcome but not mandatory.


Successful candidates need to satisfy the eligibility requirements set for an Early Stage Researcher funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie and you must be eligible to be appointed as an Early Stage Researcher in the UK, which means:

  • You must not hold a doctorate degree.
  • You must not have resided or carried out your main activity in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to your start date.
  • You must satisfy the eligibility requirements to enrol on a PhD degree. This includes acceptable English language requirements if English is not your first language.
  • Researchers must be enrolled in a doctoral programme in at least one EU Member State or Associated Country.


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