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Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action Joint Doctorate project ESSENTIAL granted to the Faculty of Law

07 June 2016

The Security, Technology and e-Privacy (STeP) Research Group at the Faculty of Law of the University of Groningen has been granted the coordinatorship of a prestigious European Joint Doctorate project funding 15 PhD positions under the Horizon 2020 programme for Research and Innovation.

Researchers from the STeP Research group have successfully built up a network of partners in and outside Europe that will jointly provide a training and networking programme for PhD researchers that will lead to the awarding of 15 joint doctorates in the field of Security Studies. The coordinating person of the ESSENTIAL project is Prof. Jeanne Mifsud Bonnici.

The ESSENTIAL project

The ESSENTIAL project is a unique programme that brings together academic institutions, governmental organisations and private companies in the field of Security Science. Security is a field of study capable of diverse applications in daily life yet security science is a young discipline which requires much larger inter-disciplinary effort than is dedicated to it to date. ESSENTIAL seeks to address the fundamental problem of developing security science in a way which is theoretically sound and yet maximizes opportunities for applied training in security.

The key challenge in this field and the reason behind building a joint PhD research programme dedicated to Security Science is the need to address security challenges systematically across their life cycle. This requires developing a systematic body of knowledge with strong theoretical and empirical underpinnings, which incorporates both the computer science and information security dimensions and the social, legal and organizational aspects of security.

ESSENTIAL has set itself two main goals: a) to train inter-disciplinary security experts and professionals, to tackle security threats in a systematic manner and b) to increase societal resilience and security by addressing in an interdisciplinary manner 15 research topics, each associated with long-standing problems in the field of security science ranging from modeling security perception and democratizing intelligence to improving security and privacy in data ecosystems.


The ESSENTIAL Joint Doctorate programme is a 4 year project starting

1 January 2017 that will receive a total funding from the EU of € 3.756.497. ESSENTIAL brings together 7 beneficiaries: The University of Groningen – Faculty of Law, the Security, Technology and e-Privacy Research Group (Coordinator), the Norwegian University of Science and Technology - Center for Cyber and Information Security, the University of Malta - Faculty of Media & Knowledge Sciences, the Italian National Research Council - Institute of

Legal Information Theory and Techniques, the Romanian “Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy – National Institute for Intelligence Studies, the Edith Cowan University – Security Research Institute in Perth, Australia and the Netherlands Forensic Institute – Digital Technology and Biometry department. The consortium of 7 beneficiaries is complemented with 6 partner organisations from governmental organisations and private companies that will host placements and provide practical training for the PhDs.


For further information concerning the ESSENTIAL project and other activities see the STeP Research group webpages or contact Bettina Zijlstra via b.zijlstra .

This article was published by the Faculty of Law.

Last modified:13 March 2020 1.41 p.m.
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