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PhD studentship in Cyber Security funded by GCHQ

Posted on 20/12/2013

Dr Johannes Kinder

Supervisors: Dr. Johannes Kinder and Prof. Kenny Paterson
Start date: September 2014
End date: March 2018
Annual Stipend: £23,000

The studentship is subject to finalisation of funding arrangements with GCHQ and is available only to UK nationals who have been resident in the UK for ten years.

Project Overview

We are looking for an excellent student to work on finding cryptographic bugs and vulnerabilities in software. These are often due to subtle programming errors, but can completely subvert the protection offered by standard cryptographic routines. In this project, we will develop methods and tools to automatically analyse program code and uncover such cryptographic weaknesses. We will build on recent developments in systematic test generation, which already allow to automatically find comparatively simple vulnerabilities like buffer overflows.

The student will be hosted at the Department of Computer Science and the Information Security Group (ISG), one of the largest academic security research groups in the world, widely recognised for its research in cryptography. This project will provide the opportunity to build on strong theoretical foundations to work on real problems in real-world software.

The studentship provides an annual stipend of £23,000, and covers tuition fees and travel cost for attending conferences.


Applicants should have a solid understanding of programming languages and compiler techniques, significant programming experience, and an interest in information security. Background in automated test generation, cryptography, and C++ or JavaScript is a plus.

Because security clearance will be required, this GCHQ-funded studentship is available only to UK nationals who have been resident in the UK for ten years. Each year, the student will have the opportunity to spend 2-4 weeks at GCHQ in Cheltenham.

How to Apply

There is no formal deadline for applications, but interested candidates should apply as soon as possible using the University's online application system

For informal inquiries about the position, please contact Dr Johannes Kinder.


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