Two grants were awarded nationally – to Royal Holloway and Oxford University – with the aim of addressing the national need for cyber security expertise at all levels by boosting the number of PhD graduates with relevant skills.
In 2012 Royal Holloway’s Information Security Group received Academic Centre of Excellence status from the UK intelligence agency GCHQ, and was selected to form part of the UK’s first Research Institute to investigate the science behind cyber security.
Prof Keith Martin, director of the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway said: ‘While Royal Holloway has operated an excellent graduate school in cyber security for many years, a CDT represents a significantly different approach to research training, and we are looking forward to taking on the great responsibility of delivering graduates who will directly benefit the country.’
According to a statement, the grant will fund ten PhD scholarships in three annual intakes. Students will attend one year of courses in advance of their three year research programme, and will experience placements in industry during their studies.
Royal Holloway has already secured the backing of around 30 organisations from across the cyber security sector, including IBM, McAfee, Thales, Vodafone and Logica.
David Willetts, minister for Universities and Science said: ‘Businesses are facing more cyber attacks than ever before, putting their confidential information and intellectual property at risk. We must do everything we can to tackle this threat and make them less vulnerable. These new Centres will produce a new generation of cyber security specialists, able to use their skills and research expertise to improve cyber security and drive growth.’
Last week engineers warned that the UK’s fight against cyber-crime is being hampered by a lack of relevant skills. Click here to read more.