Debate afternoon

On Tuesday 11 January, there will be a stimulating debate afternoon where teams will debate for and against several security-based statements, judged by expert researchers and academics.

Like last year, this is an online event, with a renewed emphasis on participation and interaction within the UK PhD community. One of the afternoon sessions (Tuesday 11 January) is a debate where we invite you to enter a team or sign up to join a team.

The session begins with a round-robin competition, where each team will debate for and against several topics in Cyber Security.  Each round will be chaired and judged by UK academics who will award points based on aspects such as clarity of explanation, directly addressing the topic, persuasiveness of case, responses to critiques, etc.  After these rounds the two highest scoring teams will go head-to-head in a final round.

Example statements would be “Ransomware should never be paid”, or “It is unrealistic to expect privacy on the internet.”

The statements will be publicised in advance, however you will not be told which side, for or against, you are debating until the Winter School.  Your team will have 10 minutes before each round to plan your argument and decide who is presenting. There will be instructions sent to you in advance and a live briefing with an opportunity to ask questions held the day before (Monday 10 January, lunchtime).

The teams who reach the final round will be given an unseen statement on the day and will have 20 minutes to prepare their arguments before going into the final debate.

If you have any questions, please contact

With thanks to the judges and chairs: Irene Anthi, Keith Martin, Pete Burnap, Shujun Li, Lynne Coventry, Ian Johnson, Pascal Berrang, and Alan Woodward.

Enter a team

We suggest around 5-8 people per team which can be a mix of students from the same or different universities. Only one person from your team needs to register. You can also sign up individually and we will assign you a team. The deadline to sign up is Thursday 6 January 2022.