Funded Scholarships: Research Degrees

If you are interested in any of the below scholarships, please apply via our normal Programme links (Full time or Part Time) but ensure that you very clearly indicate on your cover letter or personal statement that you would like to be considered for a particular scholarship.


PhD studentship: "AI methods for public health"

We are seeking to appoint a PhD student in UCL's Department of Computer Science. This 4-year, fully funded, PhD post is associated with the EPSRC project i-sense ( and will focus in research proposing AI solutions (predominantly based on machine learning and natural language processing) for addressing open problems in the domain of health.

The successful candidate will be co-supervised by Prof. Ingemar J. Cox ( and Dr. Vasileios Lampos (

To apply, please go to and indicate clearly on your application that you are applying for this Scholarship ("AI methods for public health") under the scholarships section, or in your personal statement.

Eligible candidates must be UK nationals or EU citizens that have been in the UK for 3 or more years.

For an informal discussion, please contact Ingemar ( or Vasileios (

PhD Studentships: Interface Reasoning for Interacting Systems

We are seeking to appoint 4 PhD students in UCL’s Programming Principles, Logic, and Verification group (PPLV, associated with the EPSRC-funded project, “Interface Reasoning for Interacting Systems (IRIS)”, led by Prof. David Pym, with James Brotherston, George Danezis, Byron Cook, and Peter O’Hearn. The project also involves Will Venters (LSE, Management), Alastair Donaldson and John Wickerson (Imperial College), and Edmund Robinson (QMUL). Joint supervision with LSE may be possible for suitable candidates and projects.

The IRIS project aims to deliver formal reasoning about the behaviour of complex systems at all levels --- from computer code and security protocols to distributed systems and business organisations --- by reasoning about the interactions between their components. For more information, see Topics of interest include: 

  • Logic: basic theory, foundations of verification
  • Verification: basic theory and tools 
  • Automated reasoning: theory and tools
  • Logic: foundations and tools for systems modelling 
  • Systems security: logical theory and modelling tools
  • Tools for modelling and reasoning about organizational architectures.  

It is possible that two of these positions will be supported, for qualified and interested students working on suitable projects, by Amazon AWS. 

We are looking for students with an excellent first degree in mathematics, computer science, information systems, philosophy, or another mathematical discipline, have a strong background and interest in logic, verification, security, or organizational architecture and management. Ideally, candidates will also have an excellent, relevant Master’s degree and strong programming skills. 

The positions are available from 23 September 2019 for 4 years. Amazon-supported positions may be available at an earlier date. The starting stipend will be approximately £17,000, with an approximate annual uplift of 3%.  

For an informal discussion, please contact David (, James (, or Will ( 

To apply, please apply here and indicate clearly on your application that you are applying for this Scholarship (" Interface Reasoning for Interacting Systems") under the scholarships section, or in your personal statement.

PhD Studentship: A Coalgebraic framework for reductive logic and proof-search

We are seeking to appoint a PhD student in UCL’sProgramming Principles, Logic, and Verification (PPLV, group,to work alongside the EPSRC-funded project “A coalgebraic framework for reductive logic and proof-search (ReLiC)”.


The project is led by David Pym (PI), Alexandra Silva and Simon Docherty (Co-Is). Facebook (Peter O’Hearn) is a partner in the project.

The position is available from 23 September 2019 for 4 years. The starting stipend will be approximately £17,280, with an approximate annual uplift of 3%.

We are looking for a talented, highly motivated student interested in working on some aspects of the project. Here is a description of the project.

The traditional treatment of logic is that of a deductive science: from axioms, conclusions are deduced according to formal proof rules. However, in practice many applications of logic and mathematical reasoning proceed in the opposite direction: from a putative conclusion, one finds sufficient axioms from which it may be concluded. This proceeds not by a step-by-step application of proof rules, but instead by the systematic reduction of the space of possible (deductive) proofs. We call this the reductive approach to logic. Archetypal examples of reductive reasoning in computer science include automated theorem proving, logic programming languages such as PROLOG, and precondition inference in program verification.

The ReLiC project aims to produce a uniform mathematical foundation for reductive logic via the framework of coalgebra and coinduction. Coalgebra can fruitfully be seen as a unifying formalism for stateful systems, while coinduction is a closely connected proof principle based on the reduction of goals into subgoals. In doing so we aim to
(1) deepen the theoretical understanding of reductive logic, facilitating a broadening of the applicability of such techniques;

(2) implement prototype provers and automated reasoning support based on a clear, principled semantics; 

(3) interface with state-of-the-art coalgebraic and category theoretic approaches to the semantics of programs and probabilistic inference to understand and export shared features of key applications of reductive reasoning like Facebook’s program verification tool Infer and the machine-learning paradigm inductive logic programming.

We are looking for a student with an excellent first degree in mathematics, computer science, philosophy, or another mathematical discipline, who has a strong background and interest in logic. Ideally, candidates will also have an excellent, relevant Master’s degree and strong programming skills.  
For an informal discussion of the position, please contact David (, Alexandra (, or Simon ( 

To apply, please apply here and indicate clearly on your application that you are applying for this Scholarship ("A Coalgebraic framework for reductive logic and proof-search") under the scholarships section, or in your personal statement.

PhD Studentship: EPSRC project - Automated Software Specialisation Using Genetic Improvement

A fully-funded PhD studentship is available under the supervision of Dr. Justyna Petke ( The student will be required to undertake research in software engineering that is relevant to Dr. Petke's fellowship on automated software specialisation.

The project will utilise and develop novel methods in the field of software engineering, called genetic improvement. GI is a novel field of research that only arose as a standalone area in the last few years. Several factors contributed to the development and success of this field, one of which is the sheer amount of code available online and focus on automated improvement of non-functional properties of software, such as energy or memory consumption. Work on automated software transplantation using GI had already gathered multiple academic awards and media attention with coverage in BBC Click and the Wired magazine, among others.

The goal of the project is to transfer the challenging and time-consuming task of software specialisation from human to machine. It will develop novel approaches for specialising and improving efficiency of generalist software for particular application domains in an automated way. More details are available at the following website:

Informal enquiries can be made by email to Dr. Petke (

Prospective PhD students must apply through the standard UCL admission process (

Open Ended Deadline for Applications: Applications accepted until a suitable candidate is found


PhD scholarship: Analytics-driven Software Engineering and Search-based Software Engineering

A fully-funded PhD scholarship is available under the supervision of Dr. Federica Sarro ( at the Computer Science Department of University College London (UCL), UK.

The successful applicant is expected to research novel methods equipping software engineers with search-based and analytics techniques and tools to better drive their day-to-day decisions and to switch from a “gut feel” to an “evidence-based” approach in crucial Software Engineering activities including, but not limited to, project management, requirements elicitation, and software testing.

This PhD scholarship represents an exciting opportunity to delve into an important and timely research area on a border of software engineering, optimisation and data science, and are well-suited to students with a strong interest and aptitude in the application of artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, machine learning and optimisation techniques to software engineering problem. A PhD within this area will prepare the candidate to undertake academic research career and industrial research and development IT career in Software Engineering.

Skills and Prerequisites

We look for a highly motivated candidate with a bachelor’s degree with first or upper second-class Honours, and/or a distinction at master’s level in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Machine Learning or a closely related subject, and preferably with a strong interest and background in software engineering, data analytics or optimisation, and solid programming skills. Applicants with other qualifications and sufficient relevant experience and background knowledge may be considered. All the applicants should meet the admissions criteria for the UCL Department of Computer Science (CS) PhD programme:

What We Offer

The successful PhD candidate will receive a strong career development support, will have access to a robust doctoral research training programme, dedicated research resources, training in transferable skills, visiting speaker seminar programme, conference allowance, and will be associated with well-renowned research centres and groups at UCL (CREST,SSE,UCLAppA). In addition, PhD students will be encouraged to undertake training and development in teaching and deliver teaching/research assistantship duties on a paid basis to further enhance their experience in preparation for their future career.

The student will also enjoy a very welcoming and multicultural community: UCL is proud of its longstanding commitment to equality and to providing a learning, working and social environment in which the rights and dignity of its diverse members are respected. For more information about UCL and its CS Department, you can watch short videos about the life as a student at UCL and our research vision, and have a look at the CS web site.

How to Apply

Applications should be made formally by following the standard UCL admission process:

Please apply here and indicate clearly on your cover letter or personal statement that you are applying for this studentship specifically and name Dr. Federica Sarro as the potential supervisor.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to include in their personal statement a description of the research they aim to carry out in any of the following areas: Predictive Models and Data Analytics for Software Engineering, App Store Mining and Analysis, Search Based Software Engineering.

Informal enquiries and expression of interest can be made by e-mail to Dr. Sarro (

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is appointed but for full consideration, applications need to be received by January 2019. The expected starting date is September 2019

GRS, ORS & CSC Scholarships 2019

The Department of Computer Science UCL is eligible to nominate up to two applicants per year for the UCL Graduate Research Scholarship and Overseas Research Scholarship. We are also permitted to submit one nomination for the UCL-China Scholarship Council Research Scholarship.

We invite applicants interested in any of our available research areas in the Department of Computer Science to apply; in order to do please please visit our webpage and follow our application process. Please note that due to the size of our department our deadline for applications for these scholarships is 14th December 2018.

It strongly recommended that prior to formal application you first contact an appropriate supervisor within the department with your CV and Research  Proposal.

Deadline for applications: 14th December 2018

References required by: 4th January 2019

PhD Studentship:Understanding, Measuring and Improving the Security of Collaboration Tools

Whenever you communicate with someone electronically there are intermediaries that process and carry your communication, helping it reliably get to the intended destination, or storing it until the recipient goes online to collect it. We hope that these intermediaries behave properly, but sometimes they get hacked, or the people running them act maliciously, and your communications can then be tampered with and eavesdropped, with potentially severe consequences. End-to-end encryption is designed to protect against such threats and has been available for decades, but it’s still rarely used because it interferes with modern ways of working. For example, if the company that provides your email service can’t read it, you can’t search it without downloading it all; with collaboration applications, like Google Docs or chat applications, current end-to-end encryption approaches won't even work. Even if data is encrypted end-to-end, analysis of the meta-data can still violate privacy, for example disclosing who is working with whom. Anonymous communication systems like Tor can help protect meta-data but the delay that the most secure systems (e.g. Loopix) introduce would prevent standard collaboration technologies from working properly. This project will develop techniques to build collaboration applications that are end-to-end secure, and protect privacy. We will quantify how secure and effective they are, working with investigative journalists who need high levels of security in their collaboration applications.



Funding is available for a 4-year PhD studentship working on this project, providing a standard stipend and fees (at UK/EU rate). The project will be supervised by Dr Steven Murdoch and will start in October 2018 (unless agreed otherwise).


To apply click here and indicate your interest on your cover letter. To be considered for this scholarships, please submit your application no later than the 5th August 2018, with References required by the 12th August 2018.


PhD Studentship: Networking and Systems

A PhD studentship is available under the primary supervision of Dr. Stefano Vissicchio. The position is fully funded for 3.5 years.

Following a tradition of the group, the studentship will be co-supervised by Mark Handley or Brad Karp.

The position is not bound to any specific grant or project.

We therefore invite applications from talented, highly motivated students eager to work on any topic of interest for the group, including modern network architectures and paradigms like SDN and NFV; distributed, centralised and partially centralised network management systems; inter- and intra-domain routing; network monitoring, testing and security; Internet measurements.

Prospective PhD students must apply through the standard UCL admission process, in which a committee of academics drawn from the breadth of the department evaluates the entire pool of applicants.

For a September 2018 start, the next and last deadline for applications is April 27th.

More information about the application process are reported at

Interested candidates are also welcome to contact Dr. Stefano Vissicchio at for further information, and to discuss about more concrete project proposals.

Please apply here indicate clearly on your personal statement or research proposal that you are applying for this studentship specifically.


PhD Studentship (x3): European research Council EPIC (Evolving Program Improvement Collaborators) project

The UCL CREST centre ( is offering up to three fully funded PhD studentships in the general area of Search Based Software Engineering (SBSE ( to start September 2018.

The studentships will be on the European Research Council (ERC) Advanced fellowship grant EPIC (Evolving Program Improvement Collaborators) project, held by Mark Harman.

The key idea is that evolutionary computation can evolve software  improvement collaborators; automated tools that offer specifically-evolved, explained and experimentally-justified  advice on software improvements that optimise operational performance, while maintaining and/or extending functionality.

This "Epi-Collaborator" will make suggestions, including transplantation of code from a donor system to a host, grafting of entirely new features grown (evolved) by the Epi-Collaborator, and identification and optimisation of tuneable deep parameters. A key feature (and an important scientific and technical challenge for the project) is that these suggestions need to be backed by automatically-constructed quantitative evidence that justifies, explains and documents improvements.

EPIC thereby aims to introduce a new way of developing software, as a collaboration between human and machine, integrated into typically continuous integration code review repo frameworks. Rather than seeking to replace human intelligence with artificial intelligence, EPIC thus seeks to understand and exploit the complementary strengths of each: humans' domain and contextual insights and machines' ability to intelligently search large search spaces.

The EPIC project and these studentships are funded by the award of an ERC Advanced Grant to Mark Harman, who will supervise the students, together with a supervisory team, including Dr. Federica Sarro ( and Dr. Earl Barr (, both also eminent software engineering researchers at UCL.

Prof Harman is a professor of Software Engineering at UCL but also an engineering manager at Facebook London (, where he manages the team working on the application of SBSE to automated software test design. Prof. Harman’s joint appointments foster the collaboration between academic research and industry application, where students may see the impact of their research at Facebook scale.

The closing date for applications is 27th April 2018.

Any enquiries to Professor Harman (

To apply click here and indicate your interest on your cover letter.