REPHRAIN Launches Fourth Strategic Funding Call to Tackle Online Harm

Funding from the EPSRC-funded National Research Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence Online (REPHRAIN) to support projects relating to REPHRAIN’s missions and research challenges.

The National Research Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence Online (REPHRAIN) is an EPSRC-funded research centre that forms part of the wider UKRI investment focusing on protecting citizens online. The Centre explores how to keep people safe online while allowing them to fully participate in digital technologies and the contributions they make to an innovative, inclusive and healthy economy and society.

REPHRAIN has now launched the fourth round of its Strategic Funding Call to support multiple proposals that are not currently being addressed by active REPHRAIN projects. Projects should relate to REPHRAIN’s missions and research challenges, namely:

  • Mission 1: Deliver privacy at scale while mitigating its misuse to inflict harms.
  • Mission 2: Minimise harms while maximising benefits from a sharing-driven digital economy.
  • Mission 3: Balance individual agency vs. social good.

REPHRAIN will consider larger proposals that address more than one topic area.

Proposals that focus on the following themes are particularly encouraged:

  • Remediation of data breaches in terms of privacy and harmful impacts on citizens.
  • Regulation, transparency and governance for Generative AI with regards to privacy and online harms.
  • Research methods and data sources ‘toolkits’ for studying online harms.

Applications are accepted from Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) who can demonstrate a capability to deliver a high-quality programme of research. The call will follow the standard EPSRC eligibility criteria.

Applications are encouraged from researchers in all disciplines. Interdisciplinary proposals are also encouraged, as well as those that involve strong engagement and partnerships with non-academic stakeholders.

Proposals that involve engagement with external stakeholders including SMEs are welcomed, although direct funding to SMEs cannot be provided.

Up to £340,000 is available for this call issued at 80% full Economic Cost (fEC), meaning the total available to applicants is £272,000. REPHRAIN does not anticipate awarding more than £100,000 to a single project.

Projects should last no longer than 12 months and must be conducted between 1 November 2023 and 31 August 2024.

Applications should be submitted by the 1 September 2023 (16:00 BST) deadline.

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)