BITlab: Behavior Information Technology

404 Wilson Rd. Room 249
Communication Arts & Sciences
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824

Postdoc in Usable Security

The Michigan State University BITLab ( seeks a Postdoctoral Research Associate to conduct research with Dr. Rick Wash ( on projects related to usable cybersecurity. Prof. Wash is working on understanding general properties of how people make security-relevant decisions and how we can better train end users to improve those decisions. He’s recently been examining how people identify phishing messages, and how narrative stories can be used to improve security training. These studies also provide opportunities to study the cognitive and social aspects of cybersecurity.

Our group’s recent research papers in this space include:

The research associate will have access to state-of-the-art research facilities, undergraduate research assistants, and an engaging community of scholars interested in human-computer interaction, social computing, cybersecurity, technology in society, and technology policy. The pos­ition does not have a teaching requirement, but will have opportunities to teach and mentor both undergraduate and grad students. The postdoc will be viewed as a colleague, and with mentorship, will be launched to the next stage of their career.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate requires a terminal degree Human-Computer Interaction, Information Science, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, or a related field, and should possess skills and interests related to human aspects of cybersecurity. Applicants should have interest in publishing research related to human factors in cybersecurity at top venues like SOUPS, CHI, or the big 4 security conferences, but experience publishing research in other high-quality peer-reviewed venues is also welcome. The ideal postdoctoral fellow will be skilled at executing high-impact research, have experience with qualitative research methods, and have a strong understanding of both technical and human issues in cybersecurity.

Applicants should be excited about participating in collaborative, interdisciplinary research at MSU, and willing to move to East Lansing, Michigan. Applicants must have defended their PhD by the time of employment.

How do I apply?

To apply, please prepare 1) a cover letter stating your background, experiences, skills, interest in the position, and career objectives; 2) a curriculum vitae or resume; 3) names and contact information for two references who can write a letter on your behalf and discuss your research skills; and 4) a relevant sample of research output. Please submit these materials using the MSU careers website to job 561011. If you have any questions, please email Rick Wash

How much does this position pay?

The University classifies this as a Research Associate position. This Research Associate will receive a salary of approximately US $55,000/year for full-time employment as well as full benefits (Benefits). Additional funds are available for equipment and professional travel. The position will be for one year.

What is the timeline?

Review of applicants will begin on March 1, 2019 and continue until the position is filled.

The preferred start date for the position is August 15th, 2019, but we can be flexible (earlier or later) depending on other factors.