PhD Position in (post-)Quantum Cryptography

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: ;

Are you excited about fundamental questions in quantum and post-quantum cryptography? Do you like to work in a team of young researchers? The Theory of Computer Science (TCS) group at the Informatics Institute (IvI) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is looking for an excellent candidate for a fully funded PhD position as part of QSI (Quantum-Safe Internet), a Marie Curie Innovative Training Network (MSCA-ITN). The QSI network involves top-ranking partner universities from France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, the UK, and Switzerland, as well as industrial partners. They will offer high-level training to 12 doctoral candidates who will be exposed to different sectors via planned placements, attend summer schools, and contribute to and organise workshops and conferences.

A possible starting point of this project is the quantum security of memory-hard functions which are moderately hard to evaluate when using a large amount of memory, but in case only a small amount of memory is available, they are slow to evaluate. Such functions are useful for the application of password hashing in order to prevent brute-force attacks when password hashes are stolen. MHFs can also be used to build proofs of space, proofs of sequential work or verifiable-delay functions. The security of hash functions is commonly analyzed in the Quantum Random Oracle model (QROM).

What are you going to do?

You will conduct research at the intersection of quantum and post-quantum cryptography and publish/ present the results at top venues for research in crypto/ IT Security. You will be supervised by Prof. Christian Schaffner and Dr. Florian Speelman.

Tasks and responsibilities

You are expected to:

  • carry out original research in the intersection of quantum and post-quantum cryptography;
  • have strong analytical and technical skills;
  • have an interdisciplinary mindset and an open and proactive personality in interacting with researchers from different disciplines;
  • be active in the fundamental research area of quantum cryptography, publishing in high level-international journals and presenting at leading conferences;
  • take part in ongoing educational activities, such as assisting in a course and guiding student thesis projects, at the BSc or MSc level;
  • be open to collaborations with doctoral researchers from other nodes of the doctoral network, groups, institutes and/ or companies by contributing expertise to (joint) research projects.

What do you have to offer?

Your experience and profile

We are looking for a candidate with:

  • a MSc in computer science, mathematics, or a related field;
  • strong academic performance in university-level courses related to cryptography, IT security, theoretical CS, or mathematics;
  • professional command of English and good presentation skills;
  • compliance with the MSCA-ITN mobility rule: you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Netherlands for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before your recruitment date.

Familiarity with provable security and/ or a strong mathematical background are a plus.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). The preferred starting date is as soon as possible. This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.

There will be a well-rounded training offered by the QSI network, covering a range of topics related to secure communications in the quantum era, as well as complementary training intended to enhance your personal development.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week, ranges between € 2,541 to € 3,247 (scale P). This does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance the UvA offers. The UFO profile PhD Candidate is applicable. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherland s is applicable.

Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:

  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime);
  • Multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • A complete educational program for PhD students;
  • Multiple courses on topics such as time management, handling stress and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
  • 7 weeks birth leave (partner leave) with 100% salary;
  • Partly paid parental leave;
  • A pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • The possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • Help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad.

Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here .

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The mission of the Informatics Institute (IvI) is to perform curiosity-driven and use-inspired fundamental research in Computer Science. The main research themes are Artificial Intelligence, Computational Science and Systems and Network Engineering. Our research involves complex information systems at large, with a focus on collaborative, data driven, computational and intelligent systems, all with a strong interactive component.

The Theory of Computer Science (TCS) group does research on the theoretical foundations of computer science. The aim is to seek greater understanding of fundamental computational techniques and their inherent limitations. You will be joining a growing and vibrant team of colleagues in Amsterdam all working in theoretical computer science from various UvA institutes such as IvI, the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), the Korteweg de Vries Institute (KdVI) on mathematics, but also the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). See Theory.Amsterdam for an overview.

QuSoft is the Dutch research Center for Quantum Software, a collaboration between the UvA and CWI. Its mission is to explore and develop uses of quantum computers and other quantum technologies, for the benefit of society. The researchers at QuSoft develop algorithms, software and applications that exploit the extraordinary power of quantum computers based on their quantum mechanical properties, such as superposition, interference and entanglement. That requires fundamentally different techniques and approaches from those used to develop conventional software.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

Job application

If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 1 October 2022.

Applications should include the following information (all files should be submitted in one single pdf file ):

  • a detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience;
  • a letter of motivation (at most 1 page) explaining why you are interested in this position;
  • a list of all university courses taken, including a transcript of grades;
  • a report from a research project you have done (e.g. your Master thesis);
  • the names and email addresses of two or three references who can provide letters of recommendation (please do not include any reference letters in your application).

Please make sure to provide ALL requested documents mentioned above.
You can use the CV field to upload all documents, including the motivation letter, as one single pdf file .

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.

We will invite potential candidates for interviews soon after the expiration of the vacancy.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

If you encounter Error GBB451/ GBC451, please try using a VPN connection when outside of the European Union. You can reach out to our HR Department if the error continues. They will gladly help you with your application.

No agencies please.


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