School of Computing

Staff Profiles

Dr Kovila Coopamootoo

Research Fellow


Kovila is a Newcastle University Research Fellow (US equivalent of Assistant Professor) in Usable Privacy and Security - Evidence-Based Methods at the Secure & Resilient Systems (SRS) Group at Newcastle University.

Prior to that she was a Lecturer in Cyber Security at the University of Derby (Sep 2016-Apr 2017) where she led and taught MSc modules (the Cyber Security Research Practice module, mainly targeting research methods for cyber security and the Enterprise Security Management module) and the Cyber Security Undergraduate module.

Before that she was a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the SRS Group, Newcastle University (Jun 2013 - Aug 2016), employed on the EPSRC Hyper-DoVe project (investigating privacy for vulnerable groups such as domestic violence survivors) and the European projects FutureID and PrismaCloud research projects (investigating usable privacy and security via mental models, cognition, emotion together with developing empirical methodology).

Kovila researched for her PhD at Cranfield University, UK, with the thesis Effective Online Privacy Mechanisms with Persuasive Communication, via a scholarship through the UK EPSRC Visualisation of Other Methods of Expression (VOME) project & Cranfield University. She completed her MSc in Information Security at Royal Holloway, University of London with Distinction (part funded by the Royal Holloway International Excellence Scholarship) and her B.Eng (Hons) Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Mauritius, with First Class Honours.


Kovila's research interests are in:

1. Usable Security and Privacy

Most of her research involves designing and running lab and online studies to investigate user privacy and security, in particular understanding attitude and drivers of behaviour (including emotional states, efficacy, fatigue, stress and cognitive effort). This line of research targets supporting and empowering users towards privacy and optimum security. She is also interested in engineering privacy by design.

Latest published article: Why Privacy is all But Forgotten - An Empirical Study of Privacy & Sharing Attitude (at Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium 2017).

Latest accepted articles:

WIP: Fearful Users' Privacy Intentions (to appear at Socio-Technical Aspects of Security & Trust 2017)

An Empirical Investigation of Security Fatigue - The Case of Password Choice after Solving a CAPTCHA (under publication Learning from Authoritative Security Experiments Results - LASER 2017).

2. Science of Security - Evidence-Based Methods for Security and Privacy 

She investigates the use of scientific methodology for cyber-security and privacy and in producing clear guidelines and tools for evaluating research quality. She has conducted a systematic literature review of evidence-based methods for cyber-security while Co-Investigating on a Research Institute in Science of Cyber Security (RISCS) project. 

Relevant publication at IFIP Privacy and Identity 2016 (a primer for designing rigorous experiments).

Academic Service in 2017: Reviewer for LASER, SOUPS, PST, USEC; lead organiser for the Workshop on Evidence-Based Methods at the IFIP SummerSchool on Privacy & Identity Management.


  • Co-I on EPSRC project FinTrust (2018-2021) EP/R033595/1 £1M
  • PI on Large Scale Representative Sample for Human Factors of Cyber Security (2017-2018) £13K
  • Co-I on RISCS grant for Evidence-Based Research (2016-2017) £42K 
  • Co-I on ACE-CSR grant for capability building (Psycho-Physiological LAB for Cyber-Security 2015-2016) £77K
  • Co-I on International Research Collaboration Award (2014-2015) £8.9K
  • Co-I on ACE-CSR PhD Studentship (2013) £110K