Touching Base

We are always looking for new students to come and study with us, new friends to visit us, and new partners to discuss research with!

If you would like to get in touch with us for general matters, you can contact the lab founder, Professor Lorenzo Cavallaro, making sure you append the suffix “ Asimov” (no quotes, note the heading space) to the email subject line of the contact link (The email might get lost in the inbox easily without a proper totem.) Please make sure you also fill out this form; read more at the end of this page.

For research-related applications, visits, and collaboration opportunities, please ensure you also read the information below.

Prospective (Research) Students

We’re looking for passionate, committed students with a BSc/MSc in Computer Science (or equivalent) and a strong interest in systems security. Candidates should be proficient in coding, preferably in one or more of Python/Java/C/C++, and be motivated to improve the state-of-the-art through top quality publications. You will be working at the intersection of program analysis and machine learning (for systems security); while we do not expect you necessarily master both disciplines, we would expect you have a good understanding of either with a clear appetite to dive into the other. We expect applicants to be familiar with and have a keen interesting in our core research streams and recent output.

Candidates should be prepared for the ups and downs of obtaining a PhD which will at times be extremely challenging. Top conferences have an acceptance rate of 10-15%, which means you will be rejected often. Systems security research typically requires a non-negligible engineering effort which means many bugs and failures are inevitable. The security field and, even more so, the machine learning community are particularly fast-moving and it will require much vigilance to stay up-to-date with all the latest advances. However, if you believe that you’re up to meeting such challenges, contributing to the scientific community can be extremely rewarding, and you will always be supported by the rest of the lab as we are equally committed to impactful research excellence and building new knowledge!

If you’re interested in pursuing a PhD in Computer Science as part of our team, please send us an email with your CV and interests and if there’s a good match, we can find the best avenue for you to apply and write a letter to support your application. There are several opportunities, mostly outlined on the Department of Computer Science page. In particular, prospective PhD students may wish to visit the Postgraduate Research section, which mentions different opportunities to join UCL Computer Science to pursue a PhD. For instance, in addition to the usual PhD application route, UCL also hosts a Centre for Doctoral Training in Cybersecurity and a Centre for Doctoral Training in Foundational Artificial Intelligence. Prospective Undergraduate, Postgraduate, and PhD students may also find interesting the Scholarship page, which provides further information on available opportunities, such as the UCL Engineering Dean’s Prize, the China Scholarship Council-UCL Joint PhD Research Scholarship, the DeepMind Scholarship, a recent partnership between UCL and Facebook for AI Research, and several other opportunities.

Research Visitors

We are always happy to host visitors for a period of time if there’s a common research interest and resources; importantly, we welcome people from all backgrounds and experience levels whether they’re MSc students, PhD students, post doctoral researchers, or currently working academia or in industry.

If you managed to read until here, we would kindly ask you to complement your application by filling out this form. Don’t rush your answers and take your time to provide as much details and context as possible. Shoot us an email with your CV, research interests, and a reminder you have indeed filled out the form: please append the suffix “ Capatonda” (no quotes, note the heading space) to the email subject line. (The email might get lost in the inbox easily without a proper totem.)

Of course, we also welcome visitors to join us for a day, two, or more, to present a talk, discuss research, and enjoy some of London’s best pizza 😉.