Funded PhD studentship in adaptive service ecosystems

We have an opening for someone interested in doing a PhD in adaptive services.

University of St Andrews School of Computer Science

Funded PhD studentship in adaptive service ecosystems

The opportunity

We have an opening for a talented and well-motivated individual to investigate mechanisms for the design and implementation of long-lived, responsive and adaptive ecosystems of distributed services. This work will take place in the context of the SAPERE project, funded by the EU Seventh Framework  Programme. SAPERE seeks to develop both the theory and practice of "self-aware" component technology, able to orchestrate and adapt to changing requirements, constraints, conditions and technologies. The University of St Andrews is leading the strand of research into describing and identifying opportunities for adaptation, building on past work in sensor fusion and situation identification.

The successful applicant will work closely with the other St Andrews staff (Prof Simon Dobson and Dr Juan Ye), as well as with the other SAPERE consortium partners. An interest in one or more of the fields of adaptive systems, pervasive computing, sensor-driven systems, uncertain reasoning and software engineering would be desirable.

The studentship is funded for three years, including a stipend and all tuition fees. Please note that the conditions of funding restrict this opportunity to applicants who are nationals of an EU/EEA country.


The University of St Andrews is the oldest university in Scotland (founded around 1410) and the third-oldest in the English-speaking world. Situated in a small town on the east coast of Scotland, it has a student population of around 8000 and an active research programme in a wide range of disciplines across the sciences and humanities. It has been consistently ranked in the top-10 universities in the UK by a number of recent league table exercises, and has been described by the Sunday Times as "now firmly established as the leading multi-faculty alternative to Oxford and Cambridge."

The School of Computer Science had 60% of its staff rated at 4 ("world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour," the highest available) or 3 in the most recent UK Research Assessment Exercise. The School's academic staffing consists of 22 academics and over 25 post-doctoral fellows. There are also around 150 undergraduate full-time equivalent students and 30 PhD students. To stimulate a dynamic high-quality research environment, the School's research strategy concentrates on three research groups, each incorporating a number of key research topics pursued independently and in collaboration. The three research groups work in the areas of Artificial Intelligence and Symbolic Computation, Networks and Distributed Systems, and Systems  Engineering. Each group attracts a large amount of external funding from both the traditional research grant agencies (EPSRC, EU, etc.) and from  companies such as SUN Microsystems, ICL, Data Connection, Microsoft and BAe. The School is also a leading member of SICSA, a research alliance of leading computer science Schools across Scotland, with members of the School leading a number of core strategic activities.

Within the School, the Networks and Distributed Systems group is a world-class research centre, not only for software artefacts such as programming languages, object stores and operating systems but also in adaptive, pervasive and autonomic systems engineering and in the composition technologies used in such large-scale distributed systems such as peer-to-peer overlay mechanisms, distributed mediation, distributed termination and distributed garbage collection.


To apply, please send a CV and statement of research interests by email to Prof Simon Dobson (, to whom informal inquiries can also be directed. The closing date for applications is 11 October 2010.