Fully Funded PhD: Cyber Threats and International Law

This scholarship is for a joint Swansea-Grenoble PhD. During the candidature the successful applicant will spend time studying at the College of Law & Criminology, Swansea University, and at the Centre for International Security and European Studies (CESICE), Université Grenoble-Alpes.

Across the globe, cyberspace is now regarded as a key strategic environment. Cyber threats pose a number of challenges for both national and international legal regimes. The upsurge in national, regional and global initiatives to deal with these threats – resulting in a plethora of (often overlapping and sometimes conflicting) regulatory regimes – creates yet more difficulties. This project will address these challenges by examining: (a) how to address existing deficiencies in legal regulation of cyber threats; and, (b) how regulatory functions should be allocated between different legal systems. By identifying important trends within and between different legal systems, the research will develop a viable, coherent framework for assisting policy makers and legislators to deal more effectively with the multifaceted nature of cyber threats. The project will also enquire about the possible creation of a legal concept of “cyberspace” (as a space additional to land, maritime and air territory) and its legal regime.

The academic supervisors for the project will be:

Dr Stuart Macdonald (http://www.swansea.ac.uk/staff/law/stuartmacdonald/);

Dr Helen Quane (http://www.swansea.ac.uk/staff/law/helenquane/);

Prof Théodore Christakis (http://cesice.upmf-grenoble.fr/le-centre/theodore-christakis-173840.htm?RH=1265281047840); and

Dr Karine Bannelier (http://cesice.upmf-grenoble.fr/le-centre/karine-bannelier-186545.htm?RH=1265281047840).

The successful applicant will join a vibrant community of researchers, and will be encouraged to participate in the activities of the multidisciplinary cyberterrorism research project (www.cyberterrorism-project.org). 

The successful candidate will be expected to start their studentship on 1st July 2016.


Candidates should hold a Master's degree in Law.

Experience of international law and/or cybersecurity is desirable. Candidates should be fluent in English. Knowledge of French is desirable.

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK/EU candidates only.


The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus 50% of the normal RCUK stipend p.a. (currently £14,057 p.a.) There will also be opportunities for the successful candidate to apply for additional funding from Université Grenoble-Alpes during the course of the candidature.

There will also be an additional £550 available for research expenses.

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK/EU candidates only.

How to Apply

To apply for this scholarship, candidates should provide:

The Swansea College of Law & Criminology scholarship application form (available from Stefania Edwards; stefania.edwards@swansea.ac.uk)

  • A copy of their CV; and,
  • A covering letter which includes: (a) a section explaining their motivation and suitability for the project (max: 500 words); and, (b) a section outlining the principal bases for, and challenges to, the regulation of cyber threats under international law (max. 1000 words).

Please send completed applications to Stefania Edwards by email: stefania.edwards@swansea.ac.uk or by post:

College of Law & Criminology
Swansea University
Singleton Park

The deadline for applications is Friday 11 March 2016.

Informal enquiries about this scholarship are welcome and may be directed to Dr Stuart Macdonald by email (s.macdonald@swansea.ac.uk) or telephone (+44 (0)1792 602411).