Using Distributed Ledger Technologies to Guarantee the Integrity of the Company Register (PhD Scholarship)

Using Distributed Ledger Technologies to Guarantee the Integrity of the Company Register

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Project ID: CMU-CH
Annual Stipend: £14,300 p.a.
Application Deadline: 28th February 2018

Project Team:

Dr Imtiaz A. Khan (Academic Lead Supervisor)
Dr Chaminda Hewage (Academic Supervisor)
Ben Lidgey (Lead Company Supervisor)

Project Outline:            

This proposed KESS2 doctoral research project will investigate the use of distributed ledger technologies such as blockchain to guarantee the integrity of the UK’s company register, in collaboration with Companies House based in Cardiff. This innovative, national-scale project is predicated on the spectacular rise of interest in digital currencies or cryptocurrencies — especially the variants of Bitcoin – which has drawn attention to the potential application of its underlying blockchain technology: an open, distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of transactional data records hardened against tampering and revision, even by operators of the datastore’s nodes. Companies House that incorporates and dissolves limited companies in UK and has over 3 millions registered companies in their database with over 500,000 new companies registered each year.  Through this research Companies House aims to identify new technologies to improve and protect the integrity of the data of those registers, and identify technologies that can link related registers.

Applicants must have a good first degree in a relevant discipline area with interest in database and or cryptocurrency. Effective analytical and good written and communication skills are critical. Both Cardiff Metropolitan University and Companies House are within walking distance.

Proposed work as detailed below:

This proposed KESS 2 doctoral research project will investigate the use of distributed ledger technologies to guarantee the integrity of the UK’s company register, providing the following as part of a three-year doctoral research project:

Work Package (WP) 1: A comprehensive review of the distributed ledger technologies / blockchain literature, as well as critical evaluation of recent applications and implementations in a societal/governmental context;

WP 2: Development of novel theoretical foundations and methodological approaches for a system based on distributed ledger technologies that could be used in a UK Governmental context;

WP 3: Establishing the key requirements of an adaptable and scalable distributed ledger framework, underpinned by blockchain or other suitable technology, to guarantee the integrity of the UK’s company register;

WP 4: Implementation, verification and validation of this proposed system, with a variety of real-world use cases from Companies House and potentially other governmental bodies;

WP 5: Dissemination, including high-impact publications, of this innovative Welsh-based project, which has not yet been done in the UK or European and would provide a leading R&D case study that would draw national and international attention.

The scholarship offers all eligible participants (student):

  • KESS PhD Scholarship holders do not pay fees;
  • A monthly stipend in line with RCUK rates: 3 years of funding @ £14,300 per year for PhD
  • An additional budget to support your research of £9,000 for travel, conference attendance, minor equipment, consumables and training
  • An opportunity to access a suite of higher level skills training & attendance at a residential KESS Grad School
  • A minimum of 30 days a year working with the company partner on their allocated project
  • Students must complete & submit their thesis within 3.5 years for PhD
  • All participants must complete the KESS Postgraduate Skills Development Award

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants should have UK or EU Citizenship, and be resident in the convergence area of Wales on appointment (or be studying in or working in the convergence area immediately prior to starting the project), and should have the right to work in the region on qualification. Residence confirmed by providing documents such as driver’s licence, tenancy agreement or recent statement from bank or building society.

The map for the eligible area can be viewed here.

To obtain an application form (Participant Application Form) and for further information regarding KESS 2 at Cardiff Metropolitan, http://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/research/Pages/KESSII.aspx

To apply, please submit completed application form to Dr Imtiaz A Khan to
Email: ikhan@cardiffmet.ac.uk

Interviews for this post will take place within the first two weeks of March 2018, with a proposed commencement date of 16th April 2018.

Funding Notes:

Supported by Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships 2 (KESS 2) which is an All 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.