Carolina Carreira has been awarded an extremely competitive Huawei scholarship, becoming one of 50 awardees selected among 5300 applicants.

An Early Stage Researcher (ESR) in the Automated Reasoning and Software Reliability (ARSR) Research Area, Carolina is developing her PhD research on usable security under the CMU Portugal program (supervised by João Ferreira at INESC-ID, Alexandra Mendes at INESC-TEC and Nicolas Christin at Carnegie Mellon University), focusing on users’ motivations and concerns when using security software.

The Huawei scholarship program (Programa de Bolsas Huawei), now in its second edition, awards 50 university students in the sciences and engineering with 5.000€ each under the company’s commitment to education as one of its “main pillars of action and a fundamental territory where [they] have invested significantly in Portugal.”

In her PhD, Carolina has been investigating how to communicate technical concepts. As Carolina herself adds, “I don’t just try to communicate the concepts, but also understand the motivations and concerns that users might have.” Her PhD project builds upon her MSc project, but it tackles a more ambitious and general problem. With this project Carolina will study the impact of formal verification on systems’ security and perform the first collection of studies on people’s mental models on formal verification. This will entail studying people’s perceptions and mental models related to the impact of formal verification on software security, how to convey formal verification concepts and their relation to security, as well as investigating the impact of formal verification on the adoption of software products.

On receiving this scholarship, Carolina commented that “given that this program aims to ‘recognize and help students with academic merit and outstanding personnel, also reinforcing the fight for gender equality in the engineering sector‘, I am grateful to have been one of the 50 awarded out of 5300 and that this award serves to enhance the next years of my doctorate.”

Carolina was awarded her 2022/2023 Huawei scholarship in an award gala on 04 April 2023 held in Lisbon, Portugal.

Congratulation Carolina!