Royal Holloway University today received a grant of £3.8million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to host a new Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in cyber security.
Only two grants were awarded nationally - to Royal Holloway and the University of Oxford - with the aim to address the national need for cyber security expertise at all levels by boosting the number of PhD graduates with relevant skills.
Today's news follows Royal Holloway's Information Security Group receiving Academic Centre of Excellence status by the UK intelligence agency GCHQ last year, and being selected to form part of the UK's first Research Institute to investigate the science behind cyber security.
Professor Keith Martin, Director of the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway said: "We are delighted to have received this funding which recognises the strength of our research and teaching.
"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."
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 varied 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.
Igor Muttik, Principal Research Architect of McAfee Labs said: "We are at a point at which the explosive growth of computer technologies has resulted in a worrying increase in cyber attacks against individuals, companies, and governments. McAfee is extremely excited to join forces with Royal Holloway in fostering a cohort of new security warriors whose job will be to protect the global computing ecosystem of tomorrow."
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."
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