PhD Security and Privacy of/with Neuromorphic Computing Devices (1,0 FTE)

Updated: 2 months ago
Deadline: 28 Feb 2024

10 Feb 2024
Job Information

University of Groningen
Research Field

Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

28 Feb 2024 - 23:00 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Not Applicable
Hours Per Week

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Inspired from how the human-brain works, neuromorphic computing has the promise that many of the AI tasks can be performed in orders of magnitude more efficiently in terms of energy consumption and computational requirements than the current AI solutions. At the same time, side channel attacks, exploitation of any other information (e.g., power consumption, electromagnetic/acoustic emissions, timing of computation) than the design/algorithm flaw of the system itself, are on the rise as it has been seen with Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities in 2017.

In this cross-disciplinary CogniGron project, we aim to investigate the security of neuromorphic chips against side channel attacks and their suitability for implementing security-critical functionality. Starting the investigation at the level of circuits, our particular focus will be on memristor-based designs (and the commonly used materials in their construction), their security relevant properties (e.g., stochasticity and indistinguishability) and some of the high level choices during their design/usage. After identifying/selecting the most relevant side channel attacks based on the available emissions, we will first study whether the selected (memristor-based) neuromorphic circuits are vulnerable against them. We will then focus on a use case in which memristors constructed with different materials are used to implement Physically Uncloneable Functions (PUF), which are expected to proliferate due to the increased number of IoT deployments. Depending on the availability of the time, we also plan to evaluate our findings at a higher level where memristors are used to implement more sophisticated AI functionality, i.e., spiking neural networks.

The objective of the temporary position is the production of a number of research articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and conference proceedings, which together will form the basis of a thesis leading to a PhD degree (Dr) at the University of Groningen.

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 35,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

Within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, a 4-years PhD position is available at the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence with the topic of security of neuromorphic computing and neuromorphic computing for security. The candidate would become a member of the Information Systems Group of the Computer Science Department and will work under the supervision of Dr Fatih Turkmen.

Specific Requirements

The successful candidate should:

- have a keen interest in pursuing fundamental and interdisciplinary research at the interface of side-channel attacks, hardware security, circuit design
- have a master’s degree or equivalent in electronics engineering, computer science, artificial intelligence or another relevant field
- good analytical skills and a positive attitude towards interdisciplinary work.

Publications in leading international journals/conferences related to side channels and hardware security will be an advantage.

Additional Information

We offer you, following the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

- a salary of € 2,770 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,539 gross per month in the fourth and final year for a full-time working week
- a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and an 8.3% year-end bonus
- a full-time position (1.0 FTE). The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.

Intended Starting Date: Negotiable

Selection process

Application should include:

- letter of motivation
- CV (including contact information for at least two academic references)
- transcripts from your bachelor’s and master’s degree.

You can submit your application until 28 February 11:59pm / before 29 February 2024 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Applications received before 29 February 2024 will be given full consideration; however, the position will remain open until it is filled.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

We provide career services for partners of new faculty members moving to Groningen.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional comments

Dr. Fatih Turkmen
[email protected]

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
University of Groningen
Postal Code
9712 CP
Broerstraat 5

Where to apply



Broerstraat 5
Postal Code

9712 CP


Similar Positions