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Doctoral Centre for Safe, Ethical and Secure Computing

Doctoral Studentship Opportunities


The Doctoral Centre for Safe, Ethical and Secure Computing (SEtS) is a new initiative within the Department of Computer Science at the University of York.

It aims to train doctoral students in areas that rely on and extend the Department’s research strengths, and supports its strategic vision to be internationally-leading on education and research in the engineering of safe, ethical and secure computational systems.

The Centre will engage students and their supervisors in a community that shares the view that computers can be entrusted with critical tasks. There is already a significant body of research in computer science applied to critical systems, with a notable portion of it developed here at York. However, as computing plays a more prominent role in society at large - for example, with robotics, autonomous vehicles and personal assistants - many challenges continue to emerge.

The research performed within the Centre will address these challenges and will enable computer systems to be safe, ethical and secure:

  • Safe for people to use, whether these are large scale infrastructure systems like air traffic control or personal devices like medical infusion pumps;
  • Ethical in that they improve individual and social conditions through effective use of information and computation;
  • Secure in terms of protecting people, organisations and nations from the misuse of such systems whether intentional, accidental or inadvertent. 

The Centre's research directions are in line with the University of York’s vision of being a university that exists for public good.

"Doctoral training provides valuable skills that foster innovation with rigorous scientific foundations. These skills are extremely important in a world where computing plays a key role in so many aspects of everyday life, and there are many challenges in ensuring the technology is safe, ethical and secure."

Dr Leandro Soares Indrusiak - Director of SEtS

The studentships

We expect that every graduate of the Centre will produce original research with significant academic and societal impact, and will have developed the skills to communicate and apply the results of their research to industry, policy makers and other researchers.

The Doctoral Centre for Safe, Ethical and Secure Computing aims to provide a number of studentships (covering fees and stipend) to a strong cohort of Home and International students to fund specially-tailored doctoral training activities. We seek to attract highly capable and motivated PhD students and prepare them to contribute towards the Department’s research strategy.

Application for doctoral studentships is open to individuals who wish to study for their PhD on-campus at the University of York. The next cohort of students will commence their studies in September 2022. Unfortunately, this funding opportunity is not available to individuals wishing to study for a PhD via distance learning

Training programme

As well as the regular postgraduate training available to all doctoral candidates in the Department of Computer Science, the Centre will offer its students additional activities in line with the topics of safe, ethical and secure computing.

Activities will include interdisciplinary sandpits, mentored teaching and app jams, as well as workshops on ethics, scientific storytelling and policymaking. In addition to weekly supervision meetings, the Centre’s students will also have end-of-the-week cohort meetings to reflect on the activities of the past and coming week, and to share good practices in research productivity, resilience and overall well-being.


Find out more about eligibility criteria, key dates and how to apply


Contact details

Dr Leandro Soares Indrusiak
Doctoral Centre for Safe, Ethical and Secure Computing (SEtS)
Department of Computer Science