Applied cryptography

The PhD student will join the Surrey Centre for Cyber Security, and will be supervised by Professor Liqun Chen who is currently doing research on cryptography applied to a broad range of areas in secure systems, such as trusted computing, hardware security, 5G, cloud computing, distributed ledger and Internet of Things.

Application deadline
Funding information

The Studentship consists of a fee waiver and a stipend of £16,000 per annum, and is available to students of UK/EU residency. PhD student positions are limited to three years. 


We are looking for an excellent, motivated, self-driven doctoral student to work on applied cryptography, developing necessary cryptographic theory and putting it into practice. The major responsibilities of the role are to pursue the designated doctoral studies. The PhD student will be free to choose and develop their own research programme, one that is ideally aligned with one or more of these research areas (under the direct guidance of their supervisor) and to communicate the results of their research verbally and in writing (in English).

Related links
Surrey Centre for Cyber Security (SCCS)

Eligibility criteria

Eligible candidates will hold at least an upper second class honours degree or preferably a masters degree in mathematics, computer science, information security or similar discipline. Students who are expected to receive their MSc degree (or equivalent) in 2018 are also encouraged to apply. Candidates whose secondary level education has not been conducted in the medium of English should also demonstrate evidence of appropriate proficiency in the English language, normally defined as 6.5 in IELTS (with not less than 6.0 in any of the individual elements).

Open to European/UK students only.

Basic knowledge of computer science and information security is required. Experience in one or more of the following areas would also be desirable: cryptography, programming and formal analysis. As for all PhD studies, a genuine interest and curiosity in the subject matter and excellent analytical and communication skills, both oral and written, are needed.

How to apply

The application process requires the submission of a CV, two letters of recommendation or contact information of two referees, attested copies of degree certificates and transcripts from all university-level courses taken. More information on how to apply can be found on the Computer Science PhD course page under the Apply tab.

In addition to the above, as part of your application, you are also required to upload the following documents:

  • Statement of purpose (1-3 pages) where you introduce yourself, explain why you want to pursue a PhD degree, present your qualifications and describe your future research plans.
  • Research proposal describing your research area of interest and motivation. Are there any specific projects and research issues you are primarily interested in? Previous research fields and main research results should also be mentioned. It is important to include parts of your own work such as theses and articles that you have authored or co-authored.

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted directly to arrange a suitable time for an interview.

For any questions regarding the application process or an informal discussion about the position, please contact Professor Liqun Chen.

Application deadline

Contact details

Liqun Chen
11 BB 02
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 684615
A student smiling

Studentships at Surrey

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