Guards for Software Defined Networks (PhD Scholarship)

Applications for this scholarship are now closed.

Guards for Software Defined Networks

University of South Wales

Project ID: 20819
Annual Stipend: £14k p.a.
Application Deadline: 19th November 2017

Here is an exciting opportunity to study a new technology  which could lead to entirely new approaches in software defined networking.

This is a funded PhD,  including a generous stipend and tuition fees, with well-resourced circumstances for a successful scholarship.

The selected candidate will apply their computer science skills and ambition to creating a guard for a software defined network. This Guards for Software Defined Networks (SDN) will allow the student to develop transferable knowledge and skills in this most exciting and active field of cyber security research.

This Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) project will be held in the Faculty Life Sciences and Education at the University of South Wales. KESS is a programme funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) awarded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) in the Welsh Government.). The project will focus on research areas such as: Network Security, Software Defined Network Working, Security Programming.

The project is backed by ITSUS Consulting, ITSUS has a proven track record in the design, integration, testing and implementation of tailored network solutions for public and private sector clients in the most sensitive sectors, including defence and government, finance and critical infrastructure provision.

Programme of research:

The research and development element of this project will be performed by the student, and in particular the student will have to develop and demonstrate:

  • A critical understanding of Software Defined Networks (SDN) at an advanced level;
  • The ability to create and evaluate, through critical thinking and experimentation/evaluation, the technical architecture for software guards for SDN;
  • The ability to create a technical evaluation framework through which the technical feasibility of the proposed prototype can be demonstrated;
  • The ability to perform agile/sprint based software develop using standard COTS Integrated Development Environments (IDE);
  • Team/collaborative working and project management skills through the life-time of the project.


The studentship will cover the fees for a 3-year full-time PhD programme and pay a stipend of circa £14k p.a. There is also approx. £9k project support costs available for consumables, travel/conference attendance, minor equipment, training (including the KESS Grad School) and conference attendance.

The position is available from 1st January 2018

Eligibility of Student:

To be eligible to hold a KESS studentship, you must:

  • have a home address in the Convergence area (details below).
  • have the right to take up paid work in the Convergence area* on completion of the scholarship.
  • be classified by the University as ‘home’ or ‘EU’ for tuition fees purposes according to the University’s guidelines.
  • satisfy University of South Wales’s admissions criteria: see below, qualifications and experience and application process

*The Convergence area covers West Wales and the Valleys, and is made up of the following 15 local authorities: Isle of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen.

Qualifications and experience:

Eligible applicants will:

– Have a degree (2i or higher) in an appropriate computer science and computer systems security discipline.

– Possess a reasonable understanding of:

  • Computer science,
  • Secure programming in C and C++,
  • Networking and software defined networking,
  • Linux kernel development.

– Be highly self-motivated, with capacity to learn and develop new techniques in the area of Software Defined Networking

– Have well-developed and positively collaborative interpersonal skills

– Have an ability to deliver technical reports and communicate findings

– Be willing to travel and work in industrial settings

Application Process:

To download an application package, please visit:  Participant Application Package. For any queries on eligibility, please contact:  KESS Team at Research and Innovation Services, University of South Wales:  Tel: 01443 482578.

For informal enquiries or further programme information, please contact: Prof. Andrew Blyth ( Further information:

Closing date for applications: midnight Sunday 19th November 2017 (Interview date TBC)

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys