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School of Computing & Creative Technology Studentships


Digital forensics investigation framework with novel image video forgery detection techniques

Start date: 01 February 2020

The PhD studentship will have a 15,009 per annum (pro-rata into 12 monthly payments) plus EU/UK fees paid initially for a period of three years. The closing date for the applications is midnight on Sunday 1st December 2019.

PhD proposal in Forensic image and video processing and investigation

Supervisor: Dr. Pooneh Bagheri Zadeh

This PhD research work will develop novel image/ video forgery detection techniques, in the context of a new digital forensics investigation framework. With the advances in mobile technologies and the new applications developed for smartphones and desktops such as: GNU Gimp, Adobe Photoshop, FaceApp and FakeApp, tampering the content of images or video sequences (known as Deepfake) has entered into a new phase. Deepfake videos or forged images can be used to create fake celebrity pornographic videos, revenge porn or other criminal activities. These videos/images are also a prime sources of fake news, which may feed into creating political tensions. Hence, given the severity of the malicious attack vectors that deepfake images and videos may have caused, developing new image video forgery detection techniques to verify the integrity and authenticity of digital video sequences in the context of digital forensic investigation framework is vital. Image and video forgery detection or Deepfake detection is a challenging area of research. This is due to a number of factors, such as: the source of application used to manipulate / forge the image or video sequences, the possible traces left on the source data by the application and the unknown changes made to the image or individual video frames. In addition, for a forensic investigation to be performed successfully and to be admissible in court, a step-by-step framework from collecting and handling the evidence to processing and presenting the evidence in the court of law should be defined.

In this PhD research, for digital forensics investigations of deepfake images and videos, the existing forensic models should be surveyed and a new framework for deepfake image and video investigation needs be proposed.  The PhD candidate will work with West Yorkshire police and use available datasets to develop new image video forgery detection techniques. The developed algorithms will be further used in different cases, to propose a digital forensic investigation framework for deepfake image and video investigation.

Proposals can be discussed with the overall project lead; Dr Pooneh Bagheri Zadeh (

Funding notes

The PhD studentship will have a bursary of £15,009 per annum (pro-rata into 12 monthly payments) plus UK/EU Fees paid initially for a period of three years.

Overseas applicants must refer to the UKVI regulations on studying in the UK and contact our Graduate School before submitting. The Graduate School: For all enquiries regarding the application process, please contact  or telephone: +44 (0)113 812 5385.

How to apply

Candidates should complete the online application form including a clear research proposal, scanned copies of your degree certificates e.g. undergraduate or masters degree certificates) and transcripts, scanned copies of your English language requirements, scanned copies of your passport and previous UK visas if applicable.

  • A brief CV (no more than 2 pages)
  • Applicants are asked to complete the research student application form and provide a proposal of the research to be undertaken using the headings below as a guide:

  Proposal guidance

  • The proposal of the research should be four A4 pages in length (with references as an addition to the proposal) using type Arial 12 point.
  • Applicants are asked to include at the start of the proposal the research project title.

Please note applicants should use the research project reference (Forensic Forgery) as the subject in the email subject line when submitting their applications.

The criteria listed below will be used in both selecting those applicants who will be called for interview and those who will be successful in securing a Studentship.

  1. Qualifications, expertise and experience relevant to undertaking study for a PhD;
  1. Knowledge of the subject area that will allow the development of a focussed line of enquiry;
  2. Knowledge and understanding of research methods appropriate to undertaking a PhD in your chosen area of research
  3. Clarity on the original contribution that the completed PhD will make to the body of knowledge in the relevant research literature
  4. Scale and scope of the proposed research in terms of delivery within the three-year studentship


Plus Icon Finance

Each studentship will have:

A stipend of £15,009 paid monthly (amount conditional as offered) and exempt from UK Income Tax and National Insurance

A tuition fee waiver

Plus Icon Length of studentship

The PhD studentship is for a period of 3 years full-time study. Annual renewal will be subject to satisfactory progress.

Plus Icon Part of the Research Culture

We expect bursary students to be an integral part of the research culture of the university, contributing to seminars and conferences, perhaps to projects, and generally engaging in the exchange of ideas. Associated with this, all research students undertake a research training programme.

Plus Icon Start date and Induction

The start date of the studentship is February 2020. The successful candidate will attend a compulsory induction at the beginning of February at Leeds Beckett University.