School of Informatics

PhD studentship in Algorithms and Incentives for Blockchains and Digital Coins

Deadline: 27 January 2023 (or until position is filled)

One fully funded PhD position in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, on a project titled “Algorithms and Incentives for Blockchains and Digital Coins”, that will be supervised by Dr. Aris Filos-Ratsikas (Primary Supervisor) and Prof. Aggelos Kiayias (Second Supervisor). 


The aim of this project is to study algorithms and game-theoretic incentives related to applications in blockchain technologies and digital coins. Indicative application domains are the fast-emerging area of Central Bank Digital Coins (CBDCs) and coins with limited price volatility (stable coins); a plethora of algorithmic and game-theoretic questions are yet to be explored.

The project will be funded by Input-Output Global a major company within blockchain technologies, renowned for the development of Cardano, one of the most successful platforms worldwide. IOG has always been heavily involved in fundamental research, with a dedicated research team of more than 25 researchers, including Prof. Kiayias as the Chief Scientist.

The successful applicant will have the opportunity to work with members of the research team with the goal of producing high-quality papers in major conferences and journals in computer science. 

Candidate’s profile

  • A strong mathematical background, with an emphasis on discrete mathematics, probabilities, and algorithms, as well as good programming skills.
  • A good Bachelor’s Hons degree (2.1 or above or international equivalent) and/or Master’s degree in a relevant subject (computer science, mathematics, economics, physics, engineering, or related subject)
  • Proficiency in English (both oral and written)
  • Familiarity with game theory is highly desirable but not necessary

Studentship and eligibility 

The studentship covers:

  • Full-time PhD tuition fees for a student with a Home fee status (£4,596 per annum) and/or overseas fee status (£28,000 per annum).
  • A tax-free stipend of GBP £17,668 per year for 3 years. 

Application Information

Applicants should apply via the University’s admissions portal (EUCLID) and apply for the following programme PhD Informatics: LFCS: Theory and Foundations of Computer Science, Databases, Software and Systems Modelling with a start date of 1 May 2023 (Home applicants) or 1 October 2023 (International applicants).

Applicants should state “Algorithms and Incentives for Blockchains and Digital Coins” and the research supervisor (Aris Filos-Ratsikas) in their application and Research Proposal document. 

Complete applications submitted by Fri 27 January 2023 will receive full consideration; after that date applications will be considered until the position is filled. The anticipated start date is 1 May 2023 (Home applicants) or 1 October 2023 (International applicants) but later start dates can be considered for international applicants needing to complete immigration processes prior to commencing studies. 

Applicants must submit:

  • All degree transcripts and certificates (and certified translations if applicable).
  • Evidence of English Language capability (where applicable). 
  • A short research proposal (max 2 pages) relating the applicant’s background to the general topic of the project.
  • A full CV and cover letter describing your background, suitability for the PhD, and research interests (max 2 pages).
  • Two references (note that it the applicant’s responsibility to ensure reference letters are received before the deadline).

Only complete applications (i.e., those that are not missing the above documentation) will progress forward to Academic Selectors for further consideration.


The School of Informatics is one of the largest in Europe and currently, the top Informatics institute in the UK for research power, with 40% of its research outputs considered world-leading (top grade), and almost 50% considered top grade for societal impact. The University of Edinburgh is constantly ranked among the world’s top universities and is a highly international environment with several centres of excellence.

The School of Informatics is exceptionally strong in the area of Theoretical Computer Science, hosting one of the largest groups for the Foundations of Computer Science in the world, in particular in research related to Blockchain Technologies, via the Blockchain Technology Laboratory. The successful applicant will be affiliated with both the Blockchain Technology Laboratory and the Algorithms & Computational Complexity group and will have the opportunity to interact with the other members of the groups and more widely within the School of Informatics.



Dr Aris Filos-Ratsikas

Prof. Aggelos Kiayias 


Blockchain Technology Laboratory