Research Assistant/Associate in Software Security and Formal Analysis

Requisition ID:  25656

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  1 Sep 2023



Research Assistant: £31,396 to £32,982 per annum

Research Associate: £33,966 to £39,347 per annum


Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


Closing Date: 20 October 2023



The Role


There is an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated and independent individual to join EPSRC research project TRUSTED: SecuriTy SummaRies for SecUre SofTwarE Development as a Research Associate. The focus of this position is to design and develop theories and tools with solid foundations for secure open-source software development. The developed solutions will protect against software supply chain attacks where the attacker compromises any steps in the software development process by deliberately incorporating vulnerabilities into the code to be triggered at a later stage of the software life cycle.


You will enjoy collaborating closely with the project team including Dr. Narges Khakpour (Newcastle University), Prof. Sven Schewe and Dr. Dominik Wojtczak (University of Liverpool), and the project’s industrial partners Google and OCamlPro. You will join the Secure and Resilient Systems (SRS) group, a thriving and growing team engaged in cyber security research at the School of Computing, Newcastle University. SRS is at the core of Newcastle ACE-CSR, an accredited  Excellence Centre in Cyber security Research, one of only 19 accredited centres of excellence in the UK.


You should have a PhD in (software) security, formal methods or program analysis. Knowledge of summary-based analysis, static code analysis, and information flow control is an additional asset. We are looking for an individual with strong conceptual, analytical, and problem-solving skills who has the ability to plan the work independently with minimal supervision and adhere to a time plan to meet the deadlines. You should have demonstrable programming skill (preferably in functional languages, Rust or Java) and experience in tool development.


The position is available on a full time, fixed term basis, to start immediately and is tenable for 24 months from start date (with possibility of extension).


To apply, please complete an online application and upload a plain text copy of your CV and cover letter only. In your cover letter, you should evidence how you meet or exceed the essential requirements for the role. Please note, any other ‘AdditionalDocument’ you upload may not be received by the reviewing panel.


For all informal enquiries, please contact Dr. Narges Khakpour via email


For more information about the Urban Sciences Building where the SRS group locates, please click here


For more information about the School of Computing and our research, please click here


Key Accountabilities

•    Conduct high-quality research related to software security, open-source software development and formal methods
•    Work successfully in an inter-organisational team including industrial partners
•    Disseminate the project results and present the research results in written and oral form
•    Contribute to the culture and general strengths of the research group and the school, through engaging in the group/school activities, organising and participating in events, etc


The Person (Essential)


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

•    Strong analytical, conceptual, and problem-solving skills
•    Proven expertise in at least two areas of security, formal methods, program analysis and software engineering
•    Experienced in programming and tool development
•    Experience of presenting research at academic/non-academic conferences
•    Ability and experience to work independently as well as with a team
•    Excellent written and oral communication skills
•    Ability to prioritise and manage workload using own initiative as required

•    Knowledge of summary-based and modular analysis, static program analysis, and information flow control


Attributes and Behaviour

•    Excellent organisational and interpersonal skills
•    Proven ability to plan the work independently with minimal supervision and adhere to a time plan to meet the deadlines while producing high-quality research
•    Demonstrated ability and willingness to travel to present the project research results to academic and non-academic audience, e.g., at national and international academic/industrial conferences, or to fellow academics in other disciplines
•    Professional approach in the workplace with a commitment to equality, diversity, dignity, and respect.


•    PhD awarded (or nearing completion) related to security, formal methods, program analysis or software engineering

Newcastle University is a global University where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


We are committed to being a fully inclusive university which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all of our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams, we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and experiences reflect the diversity of our university and student population.


At Newcastle University we hold a silver Athena Swan award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  We also hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of our work towards tackling race inequality in higher education REC.


In addition, we are a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe. 

Requisition ID: 25656