The Computational Privacy Group, directed by Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, at Imperial’s Data Science Institute has funded openings for PhD students to work on topics related to privacy, machine learning, re-identification/anonymization algorithms, privacy-enhancing technologies, and ethics and fairness in AI.

For the first time in history, we have the ability to amass massive amounts of data about humans and the societies in which we live. Data generated by our technologies has the potential to fundamentally transform the way we fight diseases, design transportation systems, and develop new drugs. Improperly used, this data can lead to deep violations of our privacy and large-scale discrimination. The goal of our work is to develop research and technical solutions allowing data to be used for good in a privacy-conscientious and fair manner.

Projects are defined in close collaboration with the student but could, e.g., tackle the definition of formal properties and metrics of privacy or fairness in algorithmic decision-making, the development of privacy-enhancing data processing systems, and the development of machine learning techniques for behavioral user fingerprinting. Projects by the group often include a mix of theoretical and empirical work with large-scale data from mobile phones, credit card transactions, browsers, etc. sometimes in collaboration with industry partners. All projects at the institute aim to generate significant real-world impact.

Candidates are expected to have an MSc or MEng (4y BEng will be considered) in computer science, statistics, mathematics, electrical engineering, or a related field. Experience in data science and machine learning is encouraged. A full-time PhD at Imperial College will normally take 3-4 years and is fully funded (tuition + stipend). Most students start in October but a January start is possible.

Applications are centralized but prospective candidates are encouraged to email with a CV and copy of your transcripts before the deadline. All qualified candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

About Imperial: Consistently rated amongst the world’s best universities (8th globally in the QS World University Rankings, 9th in the THE World University Rankings and most innovative university in Europe in Reuter), Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. The Department of Computing at the College is one of the largest top-rated departments in the UK; it is a world leader in academic research in computer science and applied math. Imperial’s campus is located in South Kensington, next to Chelsea and Westminster.

About Brexit: Imperial is taking a pragmatic and proactive approach to Brexit. Following the EU referendum result, there will be no changes to UK access to EU programmes and freedom of movement will continue as it does now. Your right to stay and study in the UK won’t change as a result of Brexit; the government has stated it intends to continue to allow UK and EU/EEA citizens to travel to each other’s countries to study and to work. Finally, please rest assured that your PhD will be funded for the whole duration of the program.