Apply for a funded PhD position

We offer a range of PhDs funded by different sources, such as research councils, industries or charities.

To apply for a funded PhD please read the advertised project information carefully as requirements will vary between funders. The project information will include details of funding eligibility, application deadline dates and links to application forms. Only applicants who have a relevant background and meet the funding criteria can be considered.

1. Current PhD Opportunities

Accordion

  • Pi-3D: Investigating perception and interaction related effects during the use of 3D-capable displays
  • PhD Studentships in AI and Multi-Agent Systems

    Artificial Intelligence is an exciting area of research, with a tremendous potential impact on our society. In particular, Multi-agent Systems is a vast field, encompassing:

    • robotics
    • digital games
    • machine learning
    • economics
    • optimisation

    In our laboratory, we aim at developing and analysing real systems, where groups of agents collaborate in accomplishing useful goals; or even compete when their goals differ. These groups may be composed of robots, of artificial software agents, or also of a mixture of artificial and human agents.

    The School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University has studentships available for exceptional PhD students, from the UK, the EU, and overseas. In particular, Dr Marcolino supports applications for CoLab, our Artificial Intelligence and Multi-agent Systems laboratory. Interested applicants should check Dr Marcolino's page or contact him directly at l.marcolino@lancaster.ac.uk to discuss your application. Please write "PhD Application" in the Subject header.

    We are looking for students that are passionate and excited about research. Previous research experience (even if informal), and a strong background in Mathematics are particularly welcome.

    More Details

    • Qualification: PhD
    • Hours: Full Time
    • Application Deadline: 30 June 2019
    • Starting date: October 2019 preferred, but January 2020 or April 2020 is possible
    • Academic Requirement: First-class or 2.1 (Hons) degree, or Masters degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject
    • Studentship duration: 3.5 years for UK/EU students or three years for overseas students
    • Stipends: £14,777 per year + £800 training bursary (e.g., for conference travelling)

    Application Process

    Candidates should apply to the School of Computing and Communications, following the instructions at http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/scc/study/phd/. Please contact Dr Marcolino (l.marcolino@lancaster.ac.uk) before-hand, and do mention your interest in working with him in your application. The application package includes:

    • Two Referees
    • Official Academic Transcripts
    • Detailed C.V.
    • Research Proposal
    • Personal Statement

    More information about these documents is available at http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/scc/study/phd/#tabs-343317-3. We will interview candidates that we consider for the studentship.

    We invite all interested candidates to apply, regardless of gender, age, religious affiliation or ethnic background.

  • 2 x PhD Studentships – Next Generation Converged Digital Infrastructure (NG-CDI)

    Details

    • Closing Date: 30th September 2019
    • Start Date: October 2019
    • Interview Date: TBC
    • Academic Requirements: First-class or 2.1 (Hons) degree, or Masters degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject.

    Description

    Three PhD Studentships are available to work on Next Generation Converged Digital infrastructure (NG-CDI), an exciting, cross-disciplinary research project led by Lancaster University. NG-CDI is a five year, £5M programme of research funded by EPSRC and BT. It will forge the next generation converged digital infrastructure for the UK, delivering a radically new data-driven architecture for the autonomous operation of future telecommunications infrastructure. The consortium brings together leading research groups from the Universities of Lancaster, Cambridge, Bristol and Surrey working alongside BT, one of the world's leading communications service providers

    What's in it for you?

    Become part of a challenging team that’s working to revolutionise the infrastructure of the internet in the UK. Create an agile, resilient network capable of meeting the future needs of our rapidly changing society.

    Develop links with external organisations

    This project benefits from linkages with BT, one of the world's leading communications service providers.

    Join an exciting research environment

    The School of Computing and Communications offers a highly inclusive and stimulating environment for career development, and you will be exposed to a range of further opportunities throughout this post. We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis. We are committed to the Athena SWAN Charter, which recognises and celebrates suitable employment practise undertaken to address gender equality in higher education and research.

    Who should apply?

    We are seeking applications from graduates with a good degree in a relevant discipline such as Computer Science or Electrical Engineering. You must have the demonstrable potential for creative, high-quality PhD research.

    Studentship funding

    Full studentships (UK/EU tuition fees and stipend (£17,000 2017/18 [tax-free])) for UK/EU students for 3.5 years. Unfortunately, funding is not available for International (non-EU) students.

    For further information

    For an informal discussion about the position, please contact Professor Nick Race.

    Application process

    Please apply online via Lancaster University Postgraduate Admissions Portal.

    Please note if English is not your first language you will be required to provide evidence of your proficiency in English - see here. We only need this evidence if we offer you the funded position. We don't expect it as part of this application process.

  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Computing and Technology

    We welcome PhD applications in a new and exciting research area that arises from Lancaster's involvement in the Institute of Coding. This research includes our work on building a broader participation base for computer science and reducing the inequalities both in computing education and in the computing industry. This work opens up the opportunity to draw on existing research to understand barriers to participation and to further develop this understanding through quantitative and qualitative research and analysis techniques.

    Potential proposals from applicants could include, but are not restricted to, working on the following projects:

    • Diversity and Inclusion in Computing Education
      Investigating the construction of computing education at a variety of levels (e.g. Key Stages 1-5 to Higher Education), and engaging with policy documents, appropriate curricula, and practitioners - to promote an inclusive computing education for diverse student cohorts.
    • Collaborative Research into Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Technology
      Understanding and addressing barriers and motivators to engaging in computing careers and the implications of workforce diversity for innovation, decision making and performance in the technology industries. "Companies with a broad, diverse employee base outperform others" - IBM, 2016. "Diversity + Inclusion = Better decision making at work" - Forbes, 2017
    • The Role of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) for Equality in Computing
      Scope and pursue opportunities to promote diversity and inclusion through HCI, focusing on issues such as feminist HCI, social justice, and activism for equality and empowerment in computer science.
    • Learning from Advocates of Diversity and Inclusion in Computing
      Discovering why minority groups have pursued computing education and careers, alongside understanding the fundamentals of their empowerment and any barriers they have overcome. Researching the steps made by schools, colleges, universities or companies to encourage diversity in computing and examine the deployment of successful tools or mechanisms more widely.

    If you are interested in this opportunity and would like to discuss forming an application that suits your interest, please contact Dr Lynne Blair at l.blair@lancaster.ac.uk.

  • Data-Centric Systems Cyber Security - ICS

    Details

    Start date October 2020 (an early start is an option for interested students)
    Deadline September 2020
    Interview date TBC
    Academic requirements First-class or 2.1 (Hons) degree, or Masters degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject

    ICS Security

    Cyber-attacks targeting Industrial Control Systems (ICS) can result in widespread Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) service disruption. Such attacks have become increasingly prevalent over recent years. This has been recognised by ICS operators, with over three-quarters of those recently surveyed believing attackers are either very or quite likely, to target core operations. However, only less than a quarter believe that they are compliant with the baseline security guidance/regulations.

    Although legislation has been recently introduced as a mechanism to improve the cybersecurity posture of CNI, research is required towards the continued development and evaluation of incident response techniques, delivering support and guidance for operators in their preparations, should the worst happen. However, the use of appropriate facilities, tools, and techniques, to conduct evaluations of this nature are limited. Captured under the umbrella term of Cyber Exercising, this project will seek to better understand the legal, industry, and practical requirements, aligned to the testing of cyber incident response techniques and processes for ICSs, including their application within CNI. Utilizing our existing iDiD testbeds, this project will explore the practical application of cyber exercising, and develop new benchmark models, supporting frameworks, and tooling, to posit new and innovative solutions towards the enhancement of existing approaches. The appointed candidate will contribute to the continued development of Security Lancaster’s iDiD testbeds, and related projects aligned to the core research theme of ICS Cyber Security.

    Supervisors

    Professor Neeraj Suri and Dr Benjamin Green will co-supervise and welcome informal enquiries.

    Security Lancaster

    The appointed candidate will reside in the School of Computing and Communications Cyber Security Group, which forms part of the Security Lancaster Institute. The overarching aim of the institute is to derive additional capability for collaborative, multi-disciplinary research and education. The research in the Centre will be driven by an ethos of undertaking theoretically rich, use-inspired research. The latter will be achieved through close collaboration between the scientists in Security Lancaster and our industry and practice partners.

    Further Details & Application Process

    • Each PhD positions is for a three and a half years duration. Tuition fees are covered (for EU/UK citizens) along with a tax-free stipend (15K/year circa 2020-2021) for the duration of the PhD.
    • Candidates should submit an application following the application instructions.

    Please note if English is not your first language you will be required to provide evidence of your proficiency in English. We only need this evidence if we offer you the funded position. We don't expect it as part of this application process.

  • Data-Centric Systems Cyber Security - Network Security

    Details

    Start date October 2020 (an early start is an option for interested students)
    Deadline September 2020
    Interview date TBC
    Academic requirements First-class or 2.1 (Hons) degree, or Masters degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject

    Network Security

    The Cyber Security research group at Lancaster University solicits applications for a PhD Student position in the detection and mitigation of traffic misdirection attacks against the Internet routing system. To student is expected to leverage the science and technology of Internet measurements and analysis, and develop novel network monitoring and machine-learning techniques to tackle the existing security vulnerabilities.

    Traffic misdirection attacks exploit the fact that the Internet's core routing protocol, the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), lacks built-in security mechanisms to protect the integrity of the exchanged routing information, and to provide authentication and authorisation of the advertised IP address space. Any adversary with access on the routing system can inject fraudulent routes and execute an array of attacks, including Denial of Service (DoS), impersonation and eavesdropping [1]. We are now witnessing an alarming number of such traffic misdirection incidents that result in comprised critical infrastructure and services. The rise of cyber-warfare, namely politically motivated state-sponsored attacks have increased the severity of routing exploits, and combined with the current difficulty of preventing such attacks has attracted the attention of government agencies and international media [2]. Successful completion of the studentship research has the potential for broad impact, since developing the necessary cyber-intelligence on the security of the routing system can benefit all Internet stakeholders.

    The ideal candidate would be familiar with Internet routing and network measurement techniques, possess strong computer programming skills and have a solid background in algorithm design, big data analytics and machine learning.

    References

    1. A. Mitseva, A. Panchenko, and T. Engel. The State of Affairs in BGP Security: A Survey of Attacks and Defences. Computer Communications, 2018.
    2. Sherman, Justin. "It's far too easy for countries like Russia and China to hijack Internet traffic." Slate Magazine, Slate, 16 Nov 2018.

    Supervisors

    Professor Neeraj Suri and Dr Vasileios Giotsas will co-supervise and welcome informal enquiries.

    Security Lancaster

    The appointed candidate will reside in the School of Computing and Communications Cyber Security Group, which forms part of the Security Lancaster Institute. The overarching aim of the institute is to derive additional capability for collaborative, multi-disciplinary research and education. The research in the Centre will be driven by an ethos of undertaking theoretically rich, use-inspired research. The latter will be achieved through close collaboration between the scientists in Security Lancaster and our industry and practice partners.

    Further Details & Application Process

    • Each PhD positions is for a three and a half years duration. Tuition fees are covered (for EU/UK citizens) along with a tax-free stipend (15K/year circa 2020-2021) for the duration of the PhD.
    • Candidates should apply following the application instructions.

    Please note if English is not your first language you will be required to provide evidence of your proficiency in English. We only need this evidence if we offer you the funded position. We don't expect it as part of this application process.

  • Data-Centric Systems Cyber Security - Cloud Security

    Details

    Start date October 2020 (an early start is an option for interested students)
    Deadline September 2020
    Interview date TBC
    Academic requirements First-class or 2.1 (Hons) degree, or Masters degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject

    Cloud Security

    The pervasiveness of Cloud computing [1] also implies our increasing dependence on it to provide for the reliable and trustworthy delivery of services. As the Cloud infrastructure and its services are exposed to attacks, the need is to (a) analyse the Cloud’s vulnerability to varied classes of attacks, (b) to develop mechanisms (access control, authorization, attestation…) to provide for resilience to attacks, (c) to develop techniques to assess and measure the degree of potential disruptions, and (d) conduct testing and validation across the entire technology stack of architectures, middleware and services.

    We seek candidates for exploratory research in all areas of design, analysis and assessment of Cloud security.

    Reference

    1. Distributed Systems Security, CyBOK

    Supervisors

    Professor Neeraj Suri and Dr Antonios Gouglidis will co-supervise and welcome informal enquiries.

    Security Lancaster

    The appointed candidate will reside in the School of Computing and Communications Cyber Security Group, which forms part of the Security Lancaster Institute. The overarching aim of the institute is to derive additional capability for collaborative, multi-disciplinary research and education. The research in the Centre will be driven by an ethos of undertaking theoretically rich, use-inspired research. The latter will be achieved through close collaboration between the scientists in Security Lancaster and our industry and practice partners.

    Further Details & Application Process

    • Each PhD positions is for a three and a half years duration. Tuition fees are covered (for EU/UK citizens) along with a tax-free stipend (15K/year circa 2020-2021) for the duration of the PhD.
    • Candidates should submit an application following the application instructions.

    Please note if English is not your first language you will be required to provide evidence of your proficiency in English. We only need this evidence if we offer you the funded position. We don't expect it as part of this application process.

2. Create your application

You will need to put in an application to the University's online application system. Please follow the University's guidance regarding the required documentation.

Please make sure to include a CV (mandatory, maximum of two pages) including your previous degrees and graduation grades, as well as any relevant skills. Where it applies, also include awards of excellence, publications, and links to code releases, such as through GitHub.

Please follow all of the requirements. Not adhering to these requirements may at best delay the processing of your application, and at worst might result in immediate rejection. The preferred format for all supporting documents is PDF.

2.1. Your Research Proposal

Please note that even if you are applying for a funded PhD position, you will need to develop a proposal.

At the top of the first page of the Research Proposal, please include the following information:

Mandatory

  • A clear indication of the SCC research group(s) you want to work with.
  • A list of two or three works that are similar to your proposal. This list is in addition to any other references you may wish to include.

Optional

  • The names of the SCC academic(s) you want to work with. Please also indicate if you would like us to consider your application if your preferred supervision team is not possible.

2.2. Your Personal Statement

A personal statement is mandatory and should be a maximum of two pages. The document should explain your motivation to work on this project and a little about your background.