PhD Studentships X 4

The School of Computing
Job Type
Full Time
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Job Summary



Applications are invited for 4 fully funded 3 year PhD studentships within the School of Computing. The studentship will cover tuition fees and will include a standard living allowance (stipend), (at current RCUK rate).
The studentship is expected to start in the first or second quarter of 2016.  All applications must be received by 15th January  2016. Interviews will be scheduled for mid or late February 2016.
If you are successful in being shortlisted for interview you will be sent a letter of invitation by email at least 2 weeks in advance of the interview date. Those who have not be contacted by 15th February should assume that they have been unsuccessful.

The School of Computing undertakes research across a broad range of areas in computing and informatics including: bio-inspired computing; cyber-security; e-Government; e-Health; future interactions; make-believe; interactive graphics and simulation; information science; information society; information visualization; networks & distributed computing; social informatics, software engineering & systems and urban interaction design.
Details of the research areas and research centres can be found at

We have recently made significant recent investments in research and have recently recruited additional academics with strong research capabilities. Applications in the research areas in which these people have a specific interest would be particularly welcome. These areas are:
Topic: Logical and usability aspects of diagrams
Visualisation & Logic: Topics in the broad area of proof theory and visual representations of logic; empirical evaluation of the efficacy of diagrammatic systems; visual representations of logic, specifically using diagrammatic notations to encode logical propositions and proofs; visualisations of ontologies to reduce the cognitive load on ontology engineers.
Topic: Coevolution of population structure, social behaviour, emergence of cooperation

Projects in the broad area of evolution of cooperation within large populations
and the coevolution of population structure and social behaviour.  This covers both social institutions and evolutionary robotics. Areas of interest include the origin of cooperation in large groups, the origin of sociality, the effect of individual social behaviours and group size on the emergence of population structure and cooperation. Potential applicants should have an interest in evolutionary computing, agent-based modeling.
Topic: Hyper-heuristics and Machine Learning
Topics that explore the potential for machine-learning techniques to be used in conjunction with search-based optimisation techniques such as meta-heuristics or hyper-heuristics for tackling difficult optimisation problems, for example in algorithm selection, feature-mapping, tuning or algorithm design.
Topic: Privacy, Security and Disaster Recovery Within Cloud-based Infrastructures
As we become more reliant on cloud-based systems, there are still many issues especially related to privacy of data and in recovering from disaster situations. This PhD will examine block chain and novel cryptography methods in order to create distributed data architectures which are secure and which can be used to recover data when faced with large-scale Cloud failure.
Topic: Anomaly-detection within Health Sensor Networks
One of the key areas of application for The Internet of Things is within health care. This PhD studentship aims to define normality within a health care network, and use this to detect diagnose anomalies, especially to identify things such as clinical incidents, sensor problems, device failures, and device misconfiguration.
Topic: Information systems for organisational effectiveness
Proposals are invited for experimental research on user interaction and satisfaction with information systems/technology which aim to improve the skills of user groups, or the performance of organisations. Examples include studies of the use of technology/systems for knowledge discovery or decision making, and the use of technology makerspaces for innovation and creative activity.
Topic: Digital media for widening cultural engagement
Access to cultural experiences is valuable to individuals and communities.  Innovative technologies allow citizens to engage with cultural resources in new ways. However, how new technology widens engagement is unclear. Research proposals are invited on the theme of widening cultural engagement through the use of digital media.
Topic: Formal models of personal and interpersonal reasoning
Formal models of personal and interpersonal reasoning based primarily upon argumentation. These are applied to social software, automated reasoning, and complex distributed systems. The goal is to build flexible, adaptive, and personalised approaches to large-scale, robust, secure, distributed,
intelligent computation.   Research could include making justifiable decisions in the presence of incomplete, dynamic, and incorrect information, Strategic Argumentation & Dialogue, Using rational argument to increase motivation for behaviour change and Increasing scrutability of automated decision making.
Topic: New interaction Techniques
This area deals with developing new interaction techniques for the Internet-of-Things (e.g., interactive lights, smart watches). It does so by exploring novel multimodal solutions that combine physical computing, gestural interfaces, or even gaze interaction, so as to enhance the user experience and to improve the accessibility of these products.
Topic: Sustainability and HCI
This area proposes to explore, illustrate and synthesize thinking on cross-media user-experience and sustainability with the main objective of understanding how tensions between the two communities can be overcome and to suggest ways cross-media user-experience can be re-made a sustainable design approach.
Topic: Natural Language Generation
This area concerns language technologies for interaction with devices, such as wearables, robots, mobiles or a cluster of devices (Internet of things). There is a need to explore how natural language statements can be generated by devices taking account of the context of the interaction and personalized to individual users.
Topic: Advanced Cloud-based Security  Architectures for Large-Scale Outage and Data Loss Protection
This industry-funded PhD is partially funded by Payfont and aims to create secure and robust data infrastructures which are robust in terms of large-scale failures and data loss.  The work will apply into large-scale processing infrastructures such as in financial payment and into health care, and use methods such as privacy preserving technical, multi-party computation, anonymous credentials and verifiable voting to protect data at its source, while supporting break-glass methods on a critical incident.
Candidate Profile
Interested applicants should:
• Have a first class or upper second class Honours degree, or a Masters degree, in a discipline relevant to the area of study.
• Demonstrate excellent level of spoken and written English (applicants whose first language is not English must meet the University's English language requirements)
• Prove highly motivated to tackle challenging research problems
• Possess good interpersonal skills and show willingness to work as part of a team
• The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a prescribed period of study

Date Added
2015-12-18 00:00:00
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Job Title
PhD Studentships X 4

Closing Date

StipendHow to Apply


An application form (RD1 form) and more general details on research can be found at

Along with the application, applicants should submit the following:

• Research proposal for their research programme that demonstrates an understanding of the background to the area and outlines the questions that the applicant is interested in researching. The proposal should demonstrate how it fits within the existing research in the school.
• Curriculum vitae
• Cover letter explaining the candidate's background, qualifications and research interests
• Names and contact details of two referees
Please send your application to:
Postgraduate Admissions Team
Admissions & International Support
Room E8, Merchiston Campus
Edinburgh Napier University
EH10 5DT
Contact Details

​Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Ahmed Al-Dubai, telephone: 0131 455 2796.