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PhD Studentship in Cyber Security: Hardware and Embedded Systems Security for the Internet of Things

   School of Computing

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  Dr Carlton Shepherd  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project


We are seeking candidates to develop hardware-assisted mechanisms for securing Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Relevant directions include:

·      Enhancing CPU designs, e.g. RISC-V, to support instruction-level encryption and authentication.

·      Methods for file-based and full-disk encryption, and establishing trust in constrained devices.

·      Building ‘encryption by default’ into general and real-time operating systems (RTOSs), e.g. Linux and Zephyr.

The candidate will develop prototypes combining theory and practice; strong low-level skills (Assembly, C/C++/Rust) are essential. Experience in FPGA development, microcontrollers, and system security would be advantageous.

A capacity to conduct independent theoretical/computational work is essential in addition to a strong background in Computer Science and/or Electronics Engineering. Ideally, this will be evidenced through relevant work, e.g. degree projects, industrial experience etc.

The successful candidate will join the Secure and Resilient Systems (SRS) group at Newcastle University. SRS's work has been recognised as an NCSC Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR).

Number Of Awards


Start Date

January 2024

Award Duration

3.5 years


School of Computing


Dr Carlton Shepherd

Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to gain, a minimum 2:1 Honours degree or international equivalent in Computer Science or related subject relevant for this project.

The studentship covers fees at home rate (UK and EU applicants with pre-settled/settled status and meet the residency criteria). International applicants are welcome to apply but will be required to cover the difference between Home and International fees.

Applicants whose first language is not English require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subsection.

International applicants may require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate prior to obtaining their visa and to study on this programme.

How To Apply

To apply apply using the Apply to Newcastle Portal 

Once registered select ‘Create a Postgraduate Application’.  

Use ‘Course Search’ to identify your programme of study:  

  • please apply for 2023 academic year for January 2024 start       
  • search for the ‘Course Title’ using the programme code: 8050F
  • research Area: Computing Science
  • select PhD Computer Science (full time) as the programme of study 

You will then need to provide the following information in the ‘Further Questions’ section:  

  • a ‘Personal Statement’ (this is a mandatory field) - upload a document or write a statement directly in to the application form  
  • the studentship code COMP2150 in the ‘Studentship/Partnership Reference’ field  
  • when prompted for how you are providing your research proposal - select ‘Write Proposal’. You should then type in the title of the research project from this advert – you do not need to upload a research project. 

 The application must include

  • A brief statement on how your goals and experience are matched with the required skills and goals of this project.
  • A CV including the contact information for two references.
  • Degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualification if already completed.

Contact Details

Dr Carlton Shepherd

Computer Science (8) Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

100% Home fees covered and a minimum tax-free annual living allowance of £18,622 (2023-24 UKRI rate).