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PhD studentship in Performance Optimization of Distributed Trust System Infrastructure

The University of Edinburgh - School of Informatics

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Edinburgh
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,009 per year for 3.5 years.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 20th June 2019
Closes: 2nd August 2019

One fully funded PhD position to work with Dr Tiejun Ma in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, on a project titled Performance Optimization of Distributed Trust System Infrastructure”.

The aims of the project are to: (i)Adopting the state-of-the-art stochastic optimisation techniques to look at the trade-off among the network overhead and performance requirements of Consensus algorithms underline the distributed systems;(ii) adopt multiple objectives stochastic optimisation with maximise the speed of transactions and minimising the cost of achieving transactions using byzantine fault tolerance or similar techniques. The Award holder will be located in the Centre for Intelligent Systems and their Applications, School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh and collaborate with world leading industry firms.

Studentship and eligibility

The studentship starting in 2019/20 covers:

  • Full time PhD tuition fees for a student with UK/EU fee status (£4,327 per annum, subject to annual increment)
  • A tax free stipend of GBP £15,009 per year for 3.5 years.
  • Additional programme costs of £1000 per year.

Candidate’s Profile

Detailed understanding and knowledge of two of the following:

  • Computer Science/Computing/Programming Skills
  • Mathematics/Probability/Operations Research.
  • Distributed Algorithms and particularly Byzantine Fault Tolerance
  • Mixed Integer Programming, Stochastic Programming, Robust Optimization (e.g. CPLEX).
  • Understanding of distributed systems (e.g. Hyperledge, Corda, distributed data centres).


  • A first-class Bachelors degree (or international equivalent) or Masters degree in a relevant subject (computer science, engineering, mathematics or related subject)
  • Proficiency in English (both oral and written)

How to Apply

If you have any questions about the studentship or application process or enquiries about the project itself, please email: Dr. Tiejun Ma (

Application Information

Step 1

Applicants should initially send application documentation to Dr. Tiejun Ma by 2nd August 2019. Applicants must submit:

  • Degree transcripts and certificates (for both BSc and MSc if applicable)
  • Evidence of English Language capability (where applicable).
  • A short research proposal (max 2 pages)
  • A full CV and cover letter describing your background, suitability for the PhD, and research interests (max 2 pages).
  • Names and contact details for two referees.

Step 2

If applicants are invited to submit a formal application, the above documentation should be submitted via the following programme with a 01 September 2019 start date (although later start dates can be considered). 

Applicants should state “Dr Tiejun Ma” in the supervisor section and title their research proposal

“Performance Optimization of Distributed Trust System Infrastructure”.


The School of Informatics is one of the largest in Europe and currently the top Informatics institute in the UK for research power, with 40% of its research outputs considered world-leading (top grade), and almost 50% considered top grade for societal impact. The University of Edinburgh is constantly ranked among the world’s top universities and is a highly international environment with several centres of excellence.

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