This vital PhD at the University of Strathclyde is supervised by Prof Wendy Moncur. It focusses on how people can continue to use their online accounts after a cognitive impairment – for example, a brain injury or the onset of dementia. Online accounts include social media, government and council services, banking, email, and gaming. It will concentrate on the development of digital technologies to help people to remain online after cognitive impairment, and creation of online ‘Power of Attorney’ protocols which would enable a named person to help them. 

This studentship is open to UK students only

PhD Focus

Areas of potential exploration sit at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction, Cybersecurity and Law. For example:

  • What are people’s experiences of trying to access their online accounts after they are cognitively incapacitated? What are carers’ experiences?
  • What are the differences in user requirements between temporary and permanent incapacity?
  • How can ISPs and online platforms enable other people – or a technology-based tool – to access a user’s accounts on their behalf, when that user is incapacitated?
  • How should online POA be activated? For example, through submission of medical evidence? How might global platforms manage this when POA may be different in each national jurisdiction?
  • Should a user’s profile signal to others that their online account is operated under POA?
  • How can online Power of Attorney be incorporated into current legal and governmental practices and protocols regarding Power of Attorney?
  • What formal legal approaches to recognising Power of Attorney in online spaces exist, in the UK and internationally?

Click here for more information, to apply, and to ask informal questions.