PhD Opportunity in Multi-Factor Authentication

University of Surrey

This is a “rolling advert” with a nominal closing date of 31 March 2018. Applications are welcome at any time and the timing of the selection process will be dependent on the applications received. The start date will vary depending on the successful candidate but must begin before October 2018.


This position is funded by HM Government and is available only to UK citizens. Applications are welcome from UK citizens who are prepared to undergo security vetting conducted by respective UK authorities. The initial stage of vetting may last up to 3 months and needs to be accomplished successfully before the applicant can commence with their PhD studies and become eligible for the stipend.

Surrey Centre for Cyber Security (SCCS) at the University of Surrey invites applications for a fully-funded PhD position in Cryptography to work on a research project focusing on the design, analysis and development of multi-factor authentication protocols. The project is supported by industrial partners and aims at enriching the functionality, security and privacy properties of multi-factor authentication in single-server and federated authentication scenarios, while taking into account existing authentication frameworks such as FIDO UAF/U2F, OAuth 2.0, etc. The successful candidate will be working under supervision of Dr Mark Manulis (Principal Supervisor, and Dr Thanassis Giannetsos (Co-Supervisor).

Entry Requirements

Successful applicants are expected to hold Bachelor degree or Master degree in Information Security, Computer Science, Mathematics or related discipline accomplished with at least 2:1 honours and have strong background knowledge and technical skills (incl. programming skills) in cryptography and/or information/cyber security. A related research-oriented BSc final year project or MSc dissertation will strengthen the profile of the candidate. We particularly welcome applications from ongoing students who are projected to fulfil the above criteria and complete their degree in 2018.


The appointed candidate will receive a tax-free PhD stipend of GBP 22,000 per year for 3.5 years of PhD studies within which the candidate is expected to submit their PhD thesis. This stipend is significantly higher than an average PhD stipend in the UK. Moreover, additional funding is available to support presentation of research results at international conferences, participation in PhD summer schools and other scientific events, and engagement with industry.

How to apply

Applicants should submit their applications through our Computer Science programme page.

Application/project enquiries

It is strongly recommended that prior to submitting their applications, candidates inquire with Dr Mark Manulis (

The University of Surrey is committed to equality of opportunity in employment and offers many opportunities to help researchers develop as independent researchers.

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