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FAME - Flexible dynamic Access control with ML-powered policies and Explanations

   Department of Informatics

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  Prof Maribel Fernandez  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

A fully funded 3.5-year PhD position is available to work with Professor Maribel Fernandez (Software Systems Group, Department of Informatics, King’s College London) and Dr Asad Ali (Identity Methods Ltd.). The project is supported by an EPSRC CASE DTP-conversion award and the successful candidate has the benefit of spending 6 months working with Identity Methods Ltd. during the PhD.

Research Theme

The pandemic, alongside mega-trends including IoT and Cloud, is causing an explosion in connected devices. It is increasingly difficult to design policies to effectively control access to sensitive resources; errors can be extremely costly. The project objective is to enable highly flexible dynamic authorisation through a novel access control model, CBAC, infused with Machine Learning to suggest appropriate policies. It will learn policies from historical data, compare them with an existing policy and suggest improvements to policy. This will significantly reduce the burden on human administrators to identify and remediate gaps or errors in policies.

Candidate profile

Applicants will normally be expected to have an MSc or MSci in computer science or a related discipline, or an outstanding BSc qualification, but all applications will be considered on merit as appropriate to the individual case. Applications from individuals with non-standard backgrounds are encouraged, as are applications from women, disabled and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, who are currently under-represented in the sector. All applicants will need to demonstrate enthusiasm and aptitude. 


The studentship will start in October 2021, is funded by an EPSRC CASE DTP-Conversion award and will be funded for 3.5 years in the first instance. It includes a tax-free stipend at the standard UKRI rate (which was £17,285 per annum including London Allowance for 2020/21), full time (UK) PhD tuition fees, and a generous allowance for research consumables, additional training, conference attendance, etc.

Application Information

Early applications are encouraged. Applicants are strongly encouraged initially to contact the supervisor, Professor Maribel Fernandez ([Email Address Removed]) to discuss their interest.

Formal applications should include a short (3-4 page) research proposal based on the brief outline above. Anyone making a formal application is advised also to inform Professor Maribel Fernandez that they are doing so.






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