PhD studentship in "Secure and Private Software Engineering"

Deadline: 1 June 2024 (or until position is filled)

One fully funded PhD position to work with Dr Adriana Sejfia in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, on a project titled “Secure and Private Software Engineering”.

The aim of this project is to develop automated techniques that help software engineers with their security and privacy tasks (i.e., ensure that the software they deploy is free of vulnerabilities and conforms to privacy protection mechanisms for user data). Applicants from various backgrounds and levels of expertise are welcome to apply.

Candidate’s profile

  • Familiarity with static analysis concepts, algorithms, and tools (Soot, LLVM)
  • Programming skills in Python, Java, and C/C++
  • A good Bachelor’s Hons degree (2.1 or above or international equivalent) and/or Master’s degree in a relevant subject (physics, mathematics, engineering, computer science, or related subject)
  • Proficiency in English (both oral and written)
  • Knowledge of machine learning concepts and frameworks is highly desirable

Studentship and eligibility

The studentship covers:

  • Full time PhD tuition fees for a student with a home fee status (£4,712 per annum) or overseas fee status (£31,500 per annum)
  • A tax-free stipend of £19,237 per year for 3,5 years
  • Additional programme costs of £1,000 per year

Application Information

Applicants should apply via the University’s admissions portal (EUCLID) and apply for the following programme ICSA: Computer Architecture, Compilation and System Software, Networks and Communication PhD with a start date of September 2024.

Applicants should state “Secure and Private Software Engineering” and the research supervisor (Adriana Sejfia) in their application and Research Proposal document.

Complete applications submitted by 1st of June will receive full consideration; after that date applications will be considered until the position is filled. The anticipated start date is 01 September 2024 but later start dates can be considered.

Applicants must submit:

  • All degree transcripts and certificates (and certified translations 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)
  • Two references (note that it the applicant’s responsibility to ensure reference letters are received before the deadline)

Only complete applications (i.e. those that are not missing the above documentation) will progress forward to Academic Selectors for further consideration.


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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