PhD studentships in “Safe and Privacy-Preserving Interactive Technologies”

Deadline: 15 March 2024 (or until position is filled)

One fully funded, full-time PhD position to work with Dr. Jingjie Li in the School of Informatics, The University of Edinburgh, on a project titled “Safe and Privacy-Preserving Interactive Technologies.” 

The aim of this project is to understand users’ and stakeholders’ safety, security, and privacy perceptions and requirements, design technical solutions, and inform regulations for interactive technologies in smart home, AR/VR, and digital entertainment. Potential topics include (but not limited to): 

  • Understanding users’ privacy perceptions by online measurement 

  • Evaluating the safety and privacy interactive systems  

  • Designing AI systems to automate privacy control  

Candidate’s profile

  • Research experience in human-computer interaction and cyber security and privacy, especially usable security and privacy, is highly desirable 

  • Solid skills in programming (Python, C/C#, etc.), natural language processing, or user study methods  

  • 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) 

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 (£29,700 per annum) 

  • A tax free stipend of £18,622 per year for 3.5 years

  • Additional programme costs of £1000 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 with a start date of September 2024.

Applicants should state “Safe and Privacy-Preserving Interactive Technologies” and the research supervisor (Dr. Jingjie Li) in their application and Research Proposal document.  

Complete applications submitted by 15 March 2024 will receive full consideration; after that date applications will be considered until the position is filled. The anticipated start date is 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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