School of Computing

Funded PhD Project in Human-Machine Teaming in Cyber Security

The School of Computing is currently inviting applications for a three-year PhD scholarship in Human-machine teaming for supporting human decision making to enhance security of cyber-physical systems.

We invite applications for a three year, funded PhD studentship.

The PhD Project

The main objective of the thesis is to verify the idea of how human-machine teaming can help human users to make more informed decisions regarding security of cyber-physical systems, e.g. human operators responding to security incidents in a control room. To achieve this objective, the project will involve work on the design and development of a research prototype, and validation of its performance in a simulated or even real-world environment with human participants.

Funding available:

A stipend: £22,500 per year x 3 years = £67,500
Fees: waived (covered by the University)
Travel and subsistence: £3,000 per year x 3 years = £9,000
Consumables: £2,000 per year x 3 years = £6,000
Other costs: £1,500 for purchasing a laptop


Prof Shujun Li (principal), Director, Kent Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Cyber Security (KirCCS) and Professor of Cyber Security, School of Computing, University of Kent, UK.
Prof Joaquin Garcia-Alfaro (secondary), Télécom SudParis, Institut Mines-Telecom, France


Only UK or French nationals are eligible for the project

Other information

As a joint UK-France project, the student will be registered as a full-time student at the University of Kent but will spend 50% of time at the French institution.

The student will be further supported by Prof Hervé Debar of Télécom SudParis, Institut Mines-Telecom, France, and some advisors from the UK and French funders.

Expected Start Date

Applications are considered as they are received with a rolling deadline of 31 March 2019

The School of Computing, University of Kent

The School of Computing has a reputation for high-quality research, with over 40 current PhD students. Our research activity is wide ranging and takes place within focused Research Groups which provide a vibrant research community for all members, staff or student.

The School of Computing was ranked highly in the recent government run Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise. Our research intensity was ranked 12th out of 89, with superb impact – 100% of our research impact ranked world leading or internationally excellent.

The University of Kent is a leading university with a commitment to excellence in teaching and research. As the UK's European university, it is committed to creating a global student and staff community that advances knowledge and stimulates intellectual creativity, and performs at the highest levels.

Kent is ranked 21st in the Times Higher Education (THE) ‘Table of Tables’ 2017 and it has twice been awarded the highly prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.
The School is committed to the Athena Swan Scheme. This is a national scheme whereby universities commit to advancing and promoting the careers of female scientists.

Scholarships are normally awarded annually for three years (36 months) for a full-time PhD student, subject to satisfactory progression through each year of study. They are awarded on a competitive basis and interview performance will be taken into account.

Support for research students includes:

  • regular supervision meetings
  • a research training programme
  • computer equipment
  • a desk in an office
  • funds for conference travel

How to Apply

Applications should be made through the: University of Kent online admissions form with the PhD Project text, given above, pasted into the "Reasons for study" section.

We will need to receive from you:

  • Certificates and transcripts (with course marks/grades) of all university degree studies,
  • Research proposal on a selected topic including a mini literature review, a proposed methodology, a work plan and a bibliography,
  • Properly formatted CV, including your full list of publications (if any) and
  • The names and email addresses of two academic referees


For technical queries about the project, email Professor Shujun Li (
For queries regarding the application procedure, email the PG-Research admissions officer: Laura Bocchi

School of Computing, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 824180 or contact us.

Last Updated: 12/12/2018