Dr. Monica Bulger recently completed a Research Fellowship at the Oxford Internet Institute and is currently a consultant on child protection and digital media literacy for multi-national organisations including UNICEF and the BBC.

Monica Bulger leads the Enabling Connected Learning initiative at the Data & Society Research Institute. She serves on the International Advisory Board for Global Kids Online, a collaboration between UNICEF, LSE and international partners to study the risks and opportunities of children’s use of the internet. She additionally serves on the advisory board of the International Child Redress Project helping child victims of sex crimes in Southeast Asia access civil justice. A 2014-2015 Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, she is a Research Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute and a fellow of Fundación Ceibal studying impacts of educational technologies on children’s everyday experiences. Monica contributes policy research UNICEF, EU Kids Online, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the European Commission. She holds a PhD in Education with an emphasis in cognitive science and social dimensions of technology. Her recent work focuses on issues of equality and children’s rights in digital and learning spaces.

At the Oxford Internet Institute, Dr. Bulger’s work focused on three key areas and their interrelationships: digital literacy, information use, and online child safety. Within these fields, she contributed to the development of indicators for measuring media literacy across the EU for the European Commission, which has resulted in a practical, modular framework for national media literacy assessment as well as an examination of the methodological and political challenges of measuring national levels of media literacy. Dr. Bulger simultaneously, studied information use practices among scholars in the humanities and physical sciences to determine how technology was affecting their research, collaboration, and dissemination practices. In particular, she examined how the interplay between technical skills and scholarship affected practice, namely, who was increasing their use of technology, who wasn’t, and the significance of these choices for their practice.

In 2011, Dr. Bulger and Dr. Victoria Nash received a grant from the John Fell Fund to study the extent of harms children experience as a result of being online. Together with Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova, they completed a critical synthesis of documented evidence of harms, drawing from studies across disciplines and including practitioner studies and charities reports. This work is ongoing, with current research focused on an analysis of international policy related to online child protection and an evaluation of the efficacy of interventions in reducing children’s online risky behaviors.

Please visit slideshare to view recent presentations and Dr. Bulger’s blog for links to recent publications.

Research interests

digital literacy, online child protection, online child safety, information use, child development, learning and cognition, teens and Internet

Positions held at the OII

  • Research Associate, November 2012 –
  • Research Fellow, January 2011 – October 2012

Current projects

  • Child Protection

    Participants: Dr Victoria Nash, Dr Monica Bulger, Dr Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova

    Work and activities by OII faculty and associates on issues surrounding online child safety and protection.

Past projects

  • Data-driven economic models: challenges and opportunities of big data

    Participants: Professor Ralph Schroeder, Dr Greg Taylor, Dr Monica Bulger

    The aim of this study is to identify key challenges to the realisation of benefits from big data in the UK economy, along with pathways to overcoming these challenges.

  • Interactive Visualizations for Teaching, Research, and Dissemination

    Participants: Professor Helen Margetts, Professor Mark Graham, Dr Scott A. Hale, Dr Monica Bulger, Joshua Melville

    "InteractiveVis" aims to support easy creation of interactive visualisations for geospatial and network data by researchers: it will survey existing solutions, build currently missing features, and smooth over incompatibilities between existing libraries.

  • Knowledge Exchange Networks: A Case Study in the Efficacy of Interactive Visualization

    Participants: Dr Bernie Hogan, Dr Monica Bulger, Joshua Melville

    Knowledge exchange implies forging, facilitating and fostering social connections. Oxford's Knowledge Exchange Network addresses this need among university staff and external stakeholders. We assist the KE Network through interactive network mapping.

  • EINS: Network of Excellence in Internet Science

    Participants: Dr Anne-Marie Oostveen, Professor Ian Brown, Dr Cristobal Cobo, Dr Monica Bulger, Ben Zevenbergen

    EINS aims to strengthen scientific and technological excellence by developing an integrated and interdisciplinary scientific understanding of Internet networks and their co-evolution with society.

  • ULab: European Laboratory for Modelling the Technical Research University of Tomorrow

    Participants: Professor William H. Dutton, Professor Rebecca Eynon, Dr Monica Bulger

    ULab will work as a University Laboratory, systematically reviewing, evaluating and experimenting with current practice in research, valorization, entrepreneurship and outreach activities in each of the five partner universities.

  • Physical Science Information Practices

    Participants: Professor Ralph Schroeder, Dr Marina Jirotka, Dr Annamaria Carusi, Professor Eric T. Meyer, Dr Lucy Power, Dr Monica Bulger, Dr Andrea Scharnhorst, Dr Will Venters, Dr Monica Bulger, Dr Melissa Terras, Dr Sally Wyatt, Avgousta Kyriakidou, Peter Williams

    Exploring the information seeking, organizing, archiving and communicating capacities of physical sciences communities as a study case (and role model) for effective information processing regimes and behaviours in complex problem-solving tasks.

  • Media Literacy: Testing and refining criteria to assess media literacy levels in all EU Member States

    Participants: Professor William H. Dutton, Dr Monica Bulger, Emilie Normann, Kristian Pederson, Paolo Celot, Agnes Bruszik

    This project aims to develop and validate indicators of adult media literacy levels, in response to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive requiring that the European Commission report levels of Media Literacy in all EU Member States by December 2011.

  • Humanities Information Practices

    Participants: Professor Ralph Schroeder, Dr Marina Jirotka, Dr Annamaria Carusi, Professor Eric T. Meyer, Dr Christine Madsen, Tim Davies, Dr Kathryn Eccles, Dr Monica Bulger, Grace de la Flor, Dr Tim Webmoor, Dr Claire Warwick, Dr Melissa Terras, Dr Sally Wyatt, Smiljana Antonijevic, Dr Anne Beaulieu

    Many humanities scholars are enthusiastic users of digital resources, however there is a potential mismatch between what (and how) resources are offered, and how scholars might use them. How should they be designed to ensure maximum use by scholars?

  • Online tools are ‘distraction’ for science

    25 January 2012 Physics World

    Eric Mayer and Monica Bulger are authors of a new report by RIN looking at information practices in the physical sciences. They find that physical scientists "are still fairly conservative when it comes to adopting new communications technologies".

  • Managing research information: one size does not fit all

    25 January 2012 Physorg.com

    Eric Mayer and Monica Bulger are authors of a new report by RIN looking at information practices in the physical sciences, and highlighting the richly varied ways in which physical scientists work, collaborate and share information.

  • Talk less, text more

    10 January 2012 Oman Tribune

    Monica Bulger suggests that technology makes us more literate in a feature article by BBC correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones about his Today programme report on whether technology is stopping us talking.

  • Does technology stop us talking?

    29 December 2011 BBC Radio 4 Today Programme

    Guest editor, Viktor Blank asks the BBC technology correspondent to investigate whether technology helps or hinders communications. The OII's Monica Bulger suggests that emails can improve literacy and encourage more thoughtful communication.