Cybersecurity ethics training simulations using values-based design

Cybersecurity ethics training simulations using values-based design

Programs Available


Reference Number


Opening Date

26 Feb 2020 12am AEDT 

Closing Date

30 Apr 2020 12am AEST 

Scholarship available to



This Project aims to investigate ways to train reflective ethical decision making in cybersecurity professionals through the design of interactive social simulations.

The Project will advance understanding and management of human factors in cybersecurity breaches and the field of serious game design for cybersecurity training by using new techniques for building artificially intelligent virtual agents, drawing on interdisciplinary expertise in ethics, artificial intelligence and serious game design.

Expected outcomes of the Project include new frameworks and technologies for cybersecurity training that take into account organisational norms and policies and the values of individuals that influence day-to-day decision-making in the context of ethical dilemmas relating to cybersecurity.

The PhD scholar would work with the supervisory team to identify a specific topic aligned with one or more areas of research focus in this project, such as modelling and evaluating ethical behaviour, design of interaction modality in serious games, agent-societies for modelling cybersecurity policy and risk management, and intelligent agents for reflection-based training and education.

Applicants with a background in computer science, artificial intelligence, games design, philosophy or related research areas are encouraged to apply. Prior expertise with game development, computer programming and artificial intelligence are considered a plus. The candidate must be available to enrol and commence studies no later than 27th November 2020.

This grant involves multidisciplinary collaboration of researchers from the Departments of Computing and Philosophy at Macquarie University and Umea University in Sweden.

Project team members are affiliated with the Cybersecurity Hub; Virtual Reality and Interactive System group; Macquarie University Serious Games Research Network; Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics (CAVE) and WASP-HS the research program on AI humanities and society ( This grant involves external collaboration with Optus through affiliations with the Cybersecurity Hub and WASP-HS


This scholarship is available to eligible domestic and international candidates to undertake three-year PhD scholarship, in accordance with the entry requirements for this programs.

Scholarship Components

The scholarship is comprised of a Living Allowance Stipend and a Tuition Fee Offset scholarship. The value and tenure of the stipend scholarship is at the full-time rate of $28,092 per annum (2020 rate, tax exempt for up to 3 years and indexed annually).

Contact Details

Name: Prof. Deborah Richards
Phone: 61 2 9850 9567

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