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Privacy and Security by Design for Internet of Things [Self-Funded Students Only]

   Cardiff School of Computer Science & Informatics

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  Prof O F Rana, Dr C Perera  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The design process for Internet of Things (IoT) applications is more complicated than for desktop, mobile, or web-based platforms. IoT applications require both software and hardware to work together across multiple different types of nodes (e.g. micro-controllers, systems-on-chip, mobile phones, miniaturised single-board computers, cloud platforms, etc) with different computational capabilities under different conditions.

IoT applications typically collect and analyse personal data that can be used to derive sensitive information about individuals. Thus far, privacy concerns have not been explicitly considered in software engineering processes when designing and developing IoT applications, partly due to a lack of tools, technologies, and guidance.

The engineering complexities in the IoT have also forced engineers to focus most of their efforts on addressing other challenges such as interoperability and modifiability, resulting in privacy concerns being largely overlooked. Without proper privacy protection in place, IoT applications could lead to serious privacy violations. Over the last few years, we have seen a number of privacy violations (e.g., Baby monitor, Google smart speaker eavesdropping).

Traditionally, privacy challenges are addressed in an isolated manner by different research communities (e.g. networking, database, software engineering). Such independently developed solutions are complicated to adopt and require significant expert knowledge, time, and resources to incorporate them into an IoT application design.

In contrast, this project aims to develop techniques that can assess a given IoT application design and produce a report that highlights weaknesses (e.g., privacy issues) to augment the software development lifecycle (SDLC).

Please contact Dr Charith Perera ([Email Address Removed]) to discuss your research proposal before submitting your application.


A 2:1 Honours undergraduate degree or a master's degree, in computing or a related subject.

Applicants for whom English is not their first language must demonstrate their proficiency by obtaining an IELTS score of at least 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each skills component.

How to apply:

Please contact the supervisors of the project prior to submitting your application to discuss and develop an individual research proposal that builds on the information provided in this advert. Once you have developed the proposal with support from the supervisors, please submit your application following the instructions provided below

This project is accepting applications all year round, for self-funded candidates via 

In order to be considered candidates must submit the following information: 

  • Supporting statement 
  • CV 
  • In the ‘Research Proposal’ section of the application enter the name of the project you are applying to and upload your Individual research proposal, as mentioned above in BOLD
  • Qualification certificates and Transcripts
  • Proof of Funding. For example, a letter of intent from your sponsor or confirmation of self-funded status (In the funding field of your application, insert Self-Funded)
  • References x 2 
  • Proof of English language (if applicable)

Please contact Dr Charith Perera ([Email Address Removed]) to discuss your research proposal before submitting your application.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

This project is offered for self-funded students only, or those with their own sponsorship or scholarship award.

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Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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