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12 fully-funded 3-year PhD scholarships

University of Kent

The School of Computing at the University of Kent invites applications for 12 fully-funded 3-year PhD scholarships (for UK/EU students). The studentships are up to a value of £19,336 per annum and are available by competition.

Applications are due by the 26th April 2019.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the School was ranked 12th out of 89 by intensity, with all our research impact ranked world leading or internationally excellent. You can apply for a PhD in any of the topics of our five research groups: Programming Languages and Systems, Cyber Security, Data Science, Computational Intelligence, and Computing Education.

We provide a supportive environment for research and we have a vibrant postgraduate population. We encourage our students to engage with the wider research community through attending conferences and taking internships with leading industrial companies. Our Data Science group is based at our new and modern campus in Medway; our other groups are located in Canterbury, a lively and cosmopolitan historic town. Both sites offer convenient travel links to London and Europe.

Programming Languages and Systems (PLAS). The PLAS group is one of the largest programming languages research groups in Europe. It is ranked 9th worldwide by the independent CSrankings website over the current REF period. PLAS researchers work across the full spectrum of problems in programming languages from the philosophical and mathematical aspects of their design, through the development of type systems and rigorous models for concurrency, to low-level aspects of implementation and memory management. The group also has significant expertise in developing tools which support the programmer, whether in tracing and debugging, refactoring or verifying program correctness.

Cyber Security. This group leads the Kent Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Cyber Security (KirCCS), a UK government recognised Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) from 2018-2022. Academics in this group work on a wide range of topics in cyber security, covering four research themes: Authentication and Authorisation, Communication and Network Security, Security Testing and Verification, and Socio-technical Security. A number of academics are also working on some cross-cutting topics including applications of AI technologies to cyber security, digital forensics and cybercrime, information hiding, and quantum cyber security.

Data Science. Data science is an interdisciplinary field that utilises computing technology to derive obvious and non-obvious relationships in data by developing the appropriate scientific algorithms and implementation of these methods to extract useful knowledge or insights from the data. Our researchers apply techniques such as signal processing, machine learning, text mining and information retrieval, security and statistics to real problems. Our research is cross-disciplinary working with researchers in Business, Engineering, Pharmacy, Psychology, Sociology and Sports Science. The group has particularly strong collaborations  with industry.

Computational Intelligence. The group’s research focuses on developing new computational intelligence methods and interdisciplinary research at the interface of computer science and other disciplines such as biology, neuroscience, finance and music technology. Regarding novel computational methods, our research includes areas like machine learning (mainly supervised and reinforcement learning, and text mining), probabilistic planning, spiking neural networks, information visualization, evolutionary algorithms, swarm intelligence, and computational creativity. Our interdisciplinary research includes modelling of biological processes (e.g. gene expression), modelling of neuroscience and cognitive processes (e.g. human attention), neural network models of the brain, analysis of complex biomedical data, machine learning for the biology of ageing, and the quantum thermodynamics of computation. Our research is often done in collaboration with experts from other disciplines, like biologists and psychologists.

Computing Education. The longest-established Computing Education Research group in the UK. Our work falls into two main areas: the design of tools to support novice learning of object-oriented programming with special focus on the data they generate; and multi-institutional – often multi-national – investigations of educators’ approaches and attitudes to practice.

Application process:

Select a potential supervisor (see below) and send them an informal project proposal as well as a brief CV (preferably by the first week of April 2019). Information on available PhD supervisors, their expertise, and links to their contact details can be found at the page of each group:

Submit your formal applications through the university admission system by the 26th April 2019. Your application should include a completed online admission form; the name and contact details of two referees; an original document providing confirmation of your degree (or a transcript if the degree is not yet awarded). For non-native English speakers, a certificate of competence in English is required at IELTS 6.5 or higher, with no element less than 6.0 (or equivalent).

We are open to any PhD topics falling within any of our areas of expertise. See below for a list of suggested PhD topics that we may, for example, support.

Applications process:

For general inquiries about the process, please e-mail:

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Canterbury, Chatham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £19,336
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 13th March 2019
Closes: 26th April 2019
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