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PhD in Computing Science: Scaling Agile in Large Scale Regulated Organisations

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Craneware are a large and growing organisation that develops software solutions for US healthcare providers, a highly regulated environment. Their software developers are organised into small teams and follows many modern agile methods and current best practices, allowing them to respond quickly to demands for new features from end users. Within this context, Craneware are anticipating the need to adapt and enhance their organisation’s software process, as their growth continues.

Therefore, the aim of the PhD will be to investigate novel software development practices and tools that can enable Craneware to continue to scale their agile software development processes, meeting demands from end users within highly regulated environments. Following a design science research method, the objectives of the PhD will be to:

1.) Conduct a study of the current software process and practices within Craneware as a case study of developing software within the constraints of the regulated environment. This will also be an opportunity for the student to familiarise themselves the constraints within the organisation.
2.) Identify opportunities for enhancement to the software process that fit within the constraints of development within the domain, in collaboration with Craneware engineers.
3.) Identify and develop prototypes of one or more novel tools, practices or methods that address the identified challenges.
4.) Deploy, trial and evaluate the prototype in collaboration with Craneware engineers.

To facilitate the project, Craneware will host the student within their software teams in Edinburgh for substantial periods of time. The student will study and measure the software processes as they exist in Craneware and identify opportunities to develop novel practices and tools for development, deployment and evaluation.

We anticipate that the research knowledge generated during the research project will be beneficial to other software organisations working in similar contexts (such as in other highly regulated or safety critical industries adopting agile methods). Craneware recognise the project as an opportunity to further develop their reputation for software engineering innovation.

The ideal candidate should:
• Have a strong first degree in Software Engineering, Computing Science or a related discipline.
• Experience of the practice of agile methods in the software industry (through internships, part time work, or a graduate role, for example).
• Be able to quickly master new technologies and methods.
• A demonstrable interest in the practice of software engineering and the associated tools and methods.
• An understanding of research principles and methods, through an undergraduate or postgraduate dissertation project.

In addition to the University process, candidates will undertake Craneware’s technical assessment process.

This position will be advertised until filled. The successful applicant will be invited to begin their studies as soon as is practical.

Funding Notes

Funding is available to cover tuition fees for UK/EU/International applicants for 3.5 years, as well as paying a stipend at the Research Council rate (£14,777 for Session 2018-19).

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