Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship - Integrated Correctness Analysis and Performance Evaluation of Software

University of York - Computer Science

Funding amount: Tuition fees and a stipend of £15,000 with corresponding increases in subsequent years.

Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship - Integrated Correctness Analysis and Performance Evaluation of Software

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD scholarship to be undertaken within the Department of Computer Science ( at the University of York. The successful applicant will join one of UK’s top research departments in Computer Science, and will pursue research under the supervision of Dr. Mike Dodds and Dr. Radu Calinescu, with co-supervision from a researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge.

The PhD student may be offered a paid internship in one of the Microsoft Research laboratories, to work on a project alongside and as part of a team of Microsoft researchers.

Start date: October 2017

Financial Support: In addition to covering the UK/EU tuition fees in full, the scholarship comes with a stipend of £15,000 for 2017/18 (which is above the Research Councils UK standard doctoral stipend level), with corresponding increases in subsequent years. The scholarship also includes a generous provision for research visits at Microsoft Research Cambridge, for travel to conferences and summer schools, and for computing equipment.

Background of the Project: Software model checking and software stochastic verification are techniques for verifying whether software meets its functional requirements and for establishing performance properties of software, respectively. The two techniques and the models they operate with have traditionally been disjoint, yet software must simultaneously ensure a combination of functional and non-functional requirements.

This PhD project will bring the two areas of software verification together. To this end, the project will devise stochastic models, verification techniques and a model checker that will support the integrated analysis of the correctness of software together with the evaluation of its performance. The project will contribute to one of the key research direction identified by the verification research community, addressing a major challenge in the design and verification of software systems.

Person Specification: We are seeking a highly motivated candidate who should have, or expect to be awarded, a first-class or 2.1 degree or a master’s degree in Computer Science, Mathematics or a related area of science. Preferred skills include a strong mathematical background, a keen interest in software engineering and programming, and excellent writing, communication, presentation and organization skills.

The scholarship is open to UK and EU nationals due to funding restrictions.

How to apply: Applications must be submitted online at (please state "MSR Scholarship 2017" in the "Funding Information" section of the form). The deadline for applications is 17:00 on Wednesday, 8 February 2017.

Further information: For informal enquiries about the PhD project and scholarship, contact Dr. Mike Dodds ( or Dr. Radu Calinescu (

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