Dr Roisin Vize announced as the recipient of the DIT Hothouse Discovery Fund College Award

19 November 2018

Dr Roisin Vize from the School of Marketing at DIT College of Business is the recipient of the college award from DIT Hothouse Discovery Fund. The competitive funding stream was established to support innovative early stage research that has significant impact potential.

Successful applicants receive a discovery package valued at up to €20,000 and obtain the honorary position of Discovery Advisor to their college.  There was a strong response to this competition and Roisin Vize's award was selected from many good quality applications.

This project aims to develop a digital trust index (DTI) which measures an individual’s propensity to  trust digital technology as a means to accomplishing personal and business goals.  The motivation  for Roisin’s project is in collaboration with her colleagues in the School of Marketing – Dr Lesley Murphy and Dr Tara Rooney.  All three have looked at the issue of trust during their PhD studies with Roisin’s work focussing on the digital sector.  From the industry perspective there is a lack of trust about digital especially in light of the high profile issues that are happening in cases such as Facebook and  data breaches such as British Airway and Mariott Hotel. We are seeing EU wide responses to this such as GDPR coming into effect early this year.  Trusting the web is a major contemporary issue as it becomes ever more integrated into our lives yet there is no comprehensive measurement of digital trust.  Actually there is no agreed definition of what digital trust is. Studies have looked at the technology argument, the opinions have splintered. The study will define how digital trust can it be measured along core dimensions relevant to the contemporary environment.  The project will focus on digital trust in Ireland but its scale will be developed in a way that will be transferrable across countries. 

There is clear potential for policy impact of this work as it addresses the Irish governments Enabling Digital Ireland (2017) agenda. Government policy emphasises not only fostering digital entrepreneurship but also the need to build trust.   The work can deliver impact for businesses as well.  The team have tight links with the Marketing Institute of Ireland who will shortly run a trust workshop connected to digital technology.  A pathway for broader societal impact will develop for consumers as well through the development of tools that can help build consumer trust and understanding when engaging with digital media.

The DTI will also have broad transdisciplinary appeal.  It will inform different sectors within retail services, media, technology/innovation and basically wherever people plug in to data. The team also envisage significant impact on digital wellbeing – crossing over into health and sciences.

As a starting point the DTI research team are building a research group with the potential to link in with the Arthur Ryan retail centre at TU Dublin City Centre Aungier Street Campus and other centres outside the college such as  NDRCC – the National Digital Research Centre.  It is planned that this work will lead to larger scale research work dipping into national and EU funding sources over time.  

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