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Research Studentships and Fees-only Bursaries

Doctoral Studentships in The Faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology

About the Programme
The Faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology offers a unique environment for integrating research across a range of areas covering culture, creativity, design, sustainability and digital domains. This environment provides opportunities for developing exciting multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research projects.

The Faculty is offering 6 fully funded Doctoral Studentships for an October 2016 entry. The studentships will be for a maximum of 4 years duration. Each studentship has an annual stipend of £14,296. The additional Doctoral tuition fees will be waived. The studentships are available in the following areas.
1. Doctoral Studentship in Computer Security
The Cybercrime and Security Innovation Centre (CSI Centre) aims to improve and incorporate an evidence-based approach into the frontline policing of digital forensics and cybercrime investigations, and to advance human factors of computer security and forensics mechanisms and practice. The Centre acts as a collaborative hub for high quality research, with a collegial, supportive and cooperative research-intensive group, aimed at high-impact outputs. The CSI Centre has a close working relationship with West Yorkshire Police force; working directly with the Digital Forensics Unit (DFU) and Cyber Crime Team (CCT) to investigate and improve the way cybercrime and digital evidence is processed. Our diverse and complementary academic team includes those that specialise in computer security, digital forensics, privacy and surveillance, artificial intelligence and analytics, and criminology. We have a portfolio of research projects (leading £1.5m in recent research funding), and benefit from great links with many partnering organisations and associates. 

We welcome research proposals in any area of computer security (including systems security, cybercrime, and digital forensics). In particular, we are interested in applicants interested in working to propose, design, develop and evaluate novel technical solutions. For example (but by no means exclusively): by extending the Android/Linux platform with new usable security and privacy features; new methods for digital forensics analysis or support for police officers; or new methods for automating or reasoning about security audits/vulnerability assessments/hacking.

The successful candidate should have an Honours Degree at 2.1 or above, or equivalent, in an ICT-related degree, will have a strong interest in security, and will have experience in software development, preferably with programming experience using Java, C and/or C++. 

This position involves some teaching in the areas of digital security and forensics, computer science, and/or computing.

Candidates are encouraged to contact Dr Z. Cliffe Schreuders to informally discuss their application or research ideas.

2. Doctoral Studentship in Ambient Assisted Living
An important area of research within the School of Computing, Creative Technologies and Engineering at Leeds Beckett University is ambient assisted living (AAL). The goal in AAL is to develop systems and tools to support independent living. The school wishes to further develop its existing strengths in AAL by attracting outstanding doctoral candidates that are willing to work on state-of-the-art research projects, making an original and novel contribution to the field. 
Expressions of interest in the following research areas will be considered:
1. Sensor-based human behaviour understanding to assess performance
2. Adaptive task sequencing to support people with cognitive problems
3. Serious games and action recognition to support rehabilitation
4. Real-time fault detection and system recovery for a smart home sensor network.
The research will employ modern pattern recognition methods to identify patterns in complex data and information fusion methods to combine information from multiple sensor modalities.
Your background
Good first degree in computer science, software engineering, computer engineering or other numerate discipline e.g. electronic engineering with a significant computer programming content or MSc in computer science / artificial intelligence, …
Good scientific programming skills (C++, C#, Python, …)
Some familiarity with Artificial Intelligence specifically machine learning techniques, computational modelling techniques…

Candidates are encouraged to contact Professor Dorothy Monekosso to informally discuss their potential application or research ideas.

3. Doctoral Studentship in Machine Intelligence based optimisation of Flying Ad Hoc Networks for disaster management applications

This project will investigate, select and apply appropriate machine intelligence (particularly nature-inspired paradigms) and multi-criteria evaluation techniques for the optimisation of Flying Ad Hoc Networks (FANETS) in disaster scenarios, within a simulated environment. 

A key scientific challenge will be to achieve high level of optimisation performance based on multiple objectives, in such a dynamic environment.

This research project will build on an existing collaborative project (with University of Seville, Spain) which involves the use of artificial intelligence methods for the efficient and dynamic adjustment of the location of drones for natural disaster management and emergency purposes, using simulation scenarios. 

The candidate will normally be expected to have a computer science or electronic engineering educational background with a particular interest and competency in machine learning/optimisation algorithms and a good programming experience. 

Experience in network simulation, Matlab and/or Python will be particularly desirable as will be the aptitude to work effectively as part of a collaborative research project.

Project supervisor: Professor Hissam Tawfik

Candidates are encouraged to contact Professor Hissam Tawfik to informally discuss their potential application or research ideas.

4. Doctoral Studentship in the School of Art, Architecture and Design: Demarco Archive Scholarship

A fully funded PhD scholarship is available for research, utilising the archive of Richard Demarco in Edinburgh. The Demarco archive consists of a mass of material relating to the Edinburgh Festival and Richard Demarco's promotions, from 1947 to the present. The archive includes over 4500 contemporary artworks, one million photographs and over fifty years of correspondence with artists and galleries across the globe. The archive is an entry point to all the artists Demarco brought to Scotland and could provide the scholar with links to museums in Germany, Poland and Romania. 

Demarco is noted for his close collaborations with world leading artists; Joseph Beuys, Tadeusz Kantor, Paul Neagu and Marina Abramović. Since the sixties, Demarco has presented several thousand art exhibitions, plays, music, conferences, and various other performances, often in association with the Edinburgh festival, involving artists from at least sixty countries. His work in the arts has promoted cultural links, collaborations and dialogue between Scotland and the rest of Europe. In recognition of this work, Demarco was awarded the European Citizen’s Medal in 2013. The successful applicant may choose to research on any aspect of this rich archive. The researcher should find a particular issue of interest and should be able to articulate ways in which this issue could be presented. There could be both a written and practical outcome offered, at the discretion of researcher and supervisor. At present there is a PhD student examining ways in which the performance aspects of this archive can inform contemporary performance practice, with appropriate practical outcomes. This second PhD postgraduate opportunity will enable further scholarship in to this large creative resource. There is no obligation to move to Edinburgh as there are many ways in which the Demarco archive can be accessed online. Supervision will be provided at Leeds Beckett University under the guidance of Professor Simon Morris.

Candidates are requested to contact Professor Simon Morris to informally discuss their potential application or research ideas.

5. Doctoral Studentship in Smart Online Monitoring of Nuclear Power Plants
Both existing and new design Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) strive to improve safety, maintain availability and reduce the cost of operation and maintenance. However, plant life extensions and power updates push the demand for the new tools of diagnosing the health of NPP.

A PhD student will be required to build a reliable monitoring tool used in the control room operator desk setting of nuclear plants. The aim is to employ computational intelligence methods to monitor accident progression, predict the onset and evolution of an accident, and support operators in their decision-making process using available information from the plant’s online monitoring database. The tool will improve safety, maintain plant availability and reduce accident handling costs in nuclear power plants.

Candidates are encouraged to contact Professor Jiamei Deng to informally discuss their potential application or research ideas.

6. Doctoral Studentship in the history of British cinema since 1945
The candidate's proposal should be based on the history of British cinema since 1945 and focus specifically on either of the following:
1. Children's cinema and/or depictions of childhood;
2. The representation of women or the work of key female practitioners - this might include actors as well as those behind the camera.

Candidates should have an MA in film, media or cultural studies, or a related area.

Candidates are encouraged to contact Professor Robert Shail to informally discuss their potential application or research ideas. 
Timeline and How to Apply
The closing date for bursary applications is midnight 26 June 2016 for entry in October 2016

A PhD application pack is available here.

The Faculty is always happy to discuss other innovative proposals for research on a case by case basis.

Five full time Postgraduate Research Studentship Bursaries in collaboration with Suffolk County Council starting October 2016

About the Programme

The University has recently won a major contract worth £18 million over five years, to deliver a new and highly innovative Integrated Healthy Lifestyles Service right across Suffolk County Council (some 730,000 people, in urban, rural and coastal communities). This is a major, long-term programme, with services being provided by Leeds Beckett in partnership with MoreLife, Quit 51 and Tobacco Free Futures. The new service was launched on 1st April 2016 right across the whole of Suffolk, a population of some 730,000 people. 

We will be providing a range of services including: 

·         Health promotion and messaging
·         Children, young people’s and adult weight management
·         Specialist behaviour change
·         Support to increase physical activity
·         Tobacco use prevention, harm reduction and cessation
·         NHS Health Checks outreach
·         Screening of high risk groups for cardiovascular risk factors.
Through this programme, the University and its partners will be developing and delivering a wide range of activities and services, with a strong focus on learning and innovation throughout as we generating new material and lessons that we can then apply to strengthen the programme. We will be engaging with local authority, NHS, communities, voluntary sectors and businesses of all sizes. The programme will generate huge amounts of valuable data and other insights that can underpin research work, which in turn can inform the programme locally and for all local authorities nationally.

Because of the scale and importance of this major new contract, the University is offering five fully funded PhD studentships starting in October 2016. This is a great opportunity for the University and for the successful students to be part of this highly significant programme and to generate new learning and research which can really contribute to better ways of working, particularly as many more local authorities are looking to commission integrated services on this type of scale. 

Studentship information and application process
Each studentship will have a bursary of £14,296 per annum (pro-rata into 12 monthly payments) plus UK/EU Fees paid for a period of three years. Normally, candidates will be based in Leeds with a possible requirement to travel to Suffolk. 

We welcome PhD research proposals based on the research themes listed (please see below). Informal enquiries should be addressed to either the project contact or email Professor Paul Gately.

Research Proposal

Applicants must submit a research proposal, developed from one of the research themes listed below. 

  •  Applicants are asked to complete the research student application form
  • A Research Proposal.  The proposal of the research can be up to four A4 pages in length (with references as an addition to the 4 page proposal) using type Arial 12 point.
  •  Applicants are asked to include at the start of the proposal the research theme and the research centre their proposal relates to.
  •  Please scan in all certificates and transcripts for your qualifications.
  •  Please scan in your passport and any visas for the UK if applicable.   
The criteria listed below will be used in selecting those applicants who will be called for interview and those who will be successful in securing a PhD Studentship.

a) Qualifications, expertise and experience relevant to undertaking study for a PhD.
b) Knowledge of the subject area that will ensure the development of a focussed line of enquiry.
c) Knowledge and understanding of research methods appropriate to undertaking a PhD in the area of research.
d) Clarity on the original contribution that the completed PhD will make to the body of knowledge.
e) Scale and scope of the proposed research in terms of delivery within the three year studentship.   

The closing date for applications is midnight 5th June 2016.
Interviews will take place on 15th July and 20th July 2016 at Leeds Beckett University (Headingley Campus).

Research Themes
1. Integration - Local authorities are increasingly moving to commissioning integrated lifestyles services – in other words, commissioning services including smoking, weight management, physical activity promotion and health checks as a package of interventions to ensure greater integration. It is believed a more holistic workforce with behaviour changes skills can more effectively support service users. However, there is little evidence of the impact of integrated services.  The research would evaluate the impacts of integrated services across Suffolk and be at the forefront of understanding how this important development in commissioning is working. 
For further details please contact Professor Jim McKenna tel: +44(0)113 81 27483

2. Digital tools - Digital tools that support dietary and physical activity behaviours are becoming increasingly used by the general public.  Many of these tools are not evaluated so it is unclear what tools work or in what circumstances, and for which groups of users. This research would evaluate the use of digital tools by service users in Suffolk, to get a stronger understanding of which tools could be promoted and what the benefits could be, for service users. 

For further details please contact Professor Dorothy Monekosso tel:+44(0)113 81 27556

3. Rurality - The influence of the wider environment is now recognised as important in the delivery of public health programmes.  Suffolk is a rural county, and this geography creates both opportunities and challenges in delivering effective public health programmes.  Despite the importance of responding to the rural character of the local area, little is understood about the influence on public health programmes of the rural nature of counties like Suffolk.  Therefore this research will explore the influence of rurality on the Suffolk integrated healthy lifestyles programme.
For further details please contact Professor Paul Gately tel:+44(0)113 81 23579

4. Balancing prevention and treatment – There is an important and on-going discussion about balancing limited resources between primary prevention activity and more treatment focused interventions. Primary prevention offers greater reach due to its relatively low cost across a community, however the individual impacts may be small and may not reach those most in need.  In contrast, treatment interventions are relatively more expensive and their reach in terms of numbers is more limited, but they are effective and can better reach those most in need.  At this time there is little guidance for local authorities on how they can balance these seemingly competing priorities to achieve the best local health outcomes for the resources available.  This study would use local prevention and treatment data in Suffolk to explore this question.
For further details please contact Dr Zoe Rutherford tel:+44(0)113 81 24021

5. Meeting the needs of overweight and obese people - Despite evidence of the importance of meeting the needs of service users, most weight management programmes follow a “one size fits all” approach.  Little is understood about the impacts of client led interventions that offer a variety of pathway options.  Little is also understood about the cost effectiveness of such models.  With significant service user throughput expect in Suffolk weight management services there is an opportunity to explore different models of interventions to determine their efficacy and cost effectiveness.
For further details please contact Professor Paul Gately tel:+44(0)113 81 23579

6. Using Community Asset based models to promote health - Community asset based approaches continue to grow as part of public health programme plans, and the Suffolk model proposes a community asset based approach. However, little is understood about the strengths and challenges of such models.  This research would evaluate the use of a community asset based approach in Suffolk.  
For further details please contact Dr Andy Pringle tel:+44(0)113 81 27409

7. Workplace health interventions - Much evidence including NICE guidance recognises that the workplace is recognised as a key location to promote health and wellbeing.  However, there is limited evaluation of workplace health programmes run as part of local public health programmes.  This research would evaluate the implementation of a range of workplace health interventions in Suffolk.
For further details please contact Professor Paul Gately tel:+44(0)113 81 23579

8. Irresponsibility or ignorance - the role of State and Commerce in the healthy eating debate(s): Businesses recognize their role and responsibility in the healthy eating debate.  They, like state actors, spend much time, effort and resource attempting to respond to the issue and to get their message across.  Frequently this fails, is confused or is perceived as distrustful and self-interested marketing of the corporate brand by consumers, government, the media and NGO groups. This research will explore the role of the state at both a national and local level on the debate as well as the important but often misdirected and misunderstood attempts by business to respond appropriately to government as well as consumer and pressure group demands and expectations for a ‘responsible’ approach.  The research may explore the efforts of business to respond to this agenda to build a framework of understanding from a local level and potentially in partnership with actors on the ground.  Processes of communication will be analysed and evaluated to support and build deeper and more meaningful engagement with stakeholders at all levels. 
For further details please contact Professor Ralph Tench tel:+44(0)113 81 27539

9. Smoking interventions during pregnancy - A recently published RCT provided Scottish evidence for using incentives for smoking cessation in pregnancy but recommended wider UK implementation and evaluation. Since 2010 several schemes in the North West of England have replicated these outcomes.  A 2012 Scheme supported 403 women to set a quit date - 69% were quit at 4-weeks and of those 71% were quit at delivery and 51% at 12-weeks post-partum.  There is a need to understand more about these interventions therefore an evaluation of this scheme in Suffolk presents opportunities for longer-term engagement of all those involved to fully understand the short, medium and long term benefits of the scheme eg the impact of social support on quitting outcomes, birth weights and wider community benefits. 
For further details please contact Professor Paul Gately tel: +44(0)113 81 23579