GCHQ to partner with researchers to tackle fake news & AI threats


Cheltenham-headquartered intelligence, security and cyber agency GCHQ has launched a prestigious fellowship scheme to research national security priorities such as deep fakes, fake news and AI.

The new partnership programme will offer applicants from academia, science and industry the opportunity to work with GCHQ on some of the trickiest technology challenges. By engaging with a GCHQ mentor, it is hoped that participants can develop new techniques which support national security priorities and help keep the country safe.

GCHQ uses the latest technology, technical ingenuity and world leading partnerships to identify, analyse and disrupt threats in an increasingly complex world.

The research fellowship: “Research Fellowship Programme for National Resilience”  has a theme of “Digital Excellence: Leveraging Expertise’’ and is a further example of how the agency is committed to working with others to address the ramifications of new technology such as AI.

A GCHQ spokesperson said: “GCHQ operates at the cutting edge of technology, whether that’s artificial intelligence, quantum computing, or machine learning. New technologies present fresh challenges, and this fellowship provides us with a great opportunity to work with the many experts in these fields.

“Only by working together can we devise the ingenious solutions needed to capitalise on the opportunities these technologies present, secure the UK’s future prosperity, and keep the country safe from those who wish to do us harm.”

The Research Fellowship Programme for National Resilience is being run from the intelligence agency’s new Manchester offices. It also has its headquarters in Cheltenham, and offices in Bude in Cornwall, and Scarborough. In 2017, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is part of GCHQ, opened its new headquarters in London Victoria.

Applicants will be judged on their research track record, novelty of approach, vision and the potential impact of their proposal. If successful, a GCHQ adviser will be assigned to their project for an initial six-month period as they develop their security solutions.

To assist in the application process, GCHQ has partnered with Manchester-based facilitator The Landing. Those interested in applying should head  to https://www.thelanding.org.uk/fellowship/  before the submission deadline of midnight 30 August 2020.