Postgraduate research

Design and implement innovative software that brings in the application of semantic web technologies to improve SME compliance process automation in partnership with a growing law and legal tech company.

Qualification: MPhil

Department: School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences

Application deadline: 18 May 2022

Start date: 1 June 2022



Dr Paul King and Dr Yi Hong

MPhil Project description

The University of Leicester is one of the top 200 universities in the world and top 25 in the UK according to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2021. The School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences has recently been formed, with a strategic focus in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Computational Modelling and Digitalisation. The School has research links with Space Park Leicester, the Leicester Institute for Precision Medicine and the Department of Genetics & Genome Biology at the University of Leicester, and is a founding member of the College of Science and Engineering’s Centre for AI, Data Analytics and Modelling.

rradar Ltd is a rapidly growing commercial law firm and legaltech business working closely with the commercial insurance industry. The company is the creator of web-based risk management services and developing the next generation of risk and compliance technology to be delivered via web-applications, saving time for the ultimate users, leading to less business risk and increasing transparency and confidence of alignment to compliance specifications.

The aim of this MPhil project is to build an innovative B2B compliance management service delivered as web-based Software-as-a-Service. This will be critical as part of a wider plan to improve accessibility of support for businesses within the fields of risk, compliance, law and insurance.

To facilitate this, rradar require expertise in knowledge representation and modelling to devise:

  • (i) a methodology for the deconstruction of any compliance specification into its smallest component parts, and
  • (ii) a corresponding ontology which will enable the design of a database and systems that work with it to automate compliance processes.

Industry standard semantic web technologies will be applied to identify and represent commonalities between compliance specifications, in construction and lifecycle, allowing compliance processes to be modelled and automated.

The successful applicant will be a part of a dynamic team working in an exciting environment. The role will require strong communication and presentation skills to work effectively in the business environment.



Available to UK applicants only

This Industrial MPhil is funded by the Leicester Innovation Hub (through European Development Fund monies) and the sponsoring organisation, rradar Ltd.

The studentship provides:

  • UK tuition fee waiver for 12 months.
  • Stipend of £1,166.67 per month for 12 months only (total Stipend £14,000)


Entry requirements

Entry requirements


  • Bachelor's Degree (or above) with at least a UK 2.1 in a STEM subject or overseas equivalent
  • Understanding of Data Modelling
  • Excellent English communication skills (oral and written)
  • Experience with at least one of high-level programming language, including but not limited to R, Python, Java
  • Business engagement/development skills and aptitude
  • A self-starter who can work as part of a team.


  • BSc/MSc in a subject involving programming for the web, computational modelling or knowledge representation
  • Experience in Ontology Modelling
  • Ability to build strong working relationships with core stakeholders (academics, sponsoring SME, and third sector organisations)
  • Good understanding of object-oriented design principles and basic knowledge of semantic web technologies
  • Experience with SQL, NoSQL or graph databases
  • Experience in web application development
  • Experience in working in a business environment

University of Leicester English language requirements apply where applicable.

Skills and knowledge developed during the project

  • Knowledge modelling and representation skills
  • Ontology design
  • Programming skills
  • Communication skills with a range of stakeholders

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries

Project enquiries

Application enquiries

How to apply

How to apply

Please use the Apply button at the bottom of the page and select July 2022 entry*.

The MPhil will start as soon as possible. *The actual start date will be agreed at interview.

In the funding section of the application please include the project reference LIA591 rradar King MPhil  in the space provided.

In the proposal section please provide the name of the supervisors and project title (a proposal is not required).

With the application, please include:

  • CV
  • Personal statement explaining your interest in the project, your experience and why we should consider you
  • Degree Certificates and Transcripts of study already completed and if possible transcript to date of study currently being undertaken
  • Evidence of English language proficiency if applicable
  • In the reference section please enter the contact details of your two academic referees in the text boxes provided or upload letters of reference if already available



UK applicants only

The Leicester Innovation Hub is part-funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).    

The MPhil student must: 

  • have graduated within the last 3 years in a related discipline;
  • adhere to project confidentiality; at the start of the project
  • assign any arising IP from the project; 
  • base their MPhil degree thesis on the research outcomes of the project;
  • work closely with the SME company to undertake the research project; 
  • deliver monthly progress reports and a comprehensive project report to the University and sponsoring SME in addition to the MPhil thesis.

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