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PhD Position in Code-Based Cryptography

Posted 12 Jul 2024
Work experience
1 to 3 years
Full-time / part-time
Job function
€2.70 - €3,539 per month
Degree level
Required languages
English (Fluent)
Dutch (Fluent)
16 Sep 2024 00:00

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Are you fascinated by the theoretical underpinnings of security that allow for protecting privacy in an ever more interconnected world? Are you willing to take on the challenge of upgrading cryptography to deal with the threat posed by quantum computation? Do you enjoy working in a team of young and motivated researchers? We are seeking a PhD student to carry out cutting-edge research in theoretical computer science, with an expected focus on code-based cryptography.

Cryptography’s task is to provide tools for maintaining the privacy and integrity of digital data. Unfortunately, almost all currently deployed public-key cryptography is known to be vulnerable if an attacker has access to a quantum computer. Given the near-term deployment of quantum computing technologies, the time to deploy post-quantum secure cryptography is now.

Code-based cryptography not only offers plausible security against quantum attacks; it also leads to practically efficient implementations of powerful cryptography such as secure multiparty computation and (non-)interactive proofs. However, our theory of its security is severely wanting. Firstly, unlike its close cousin of lattice-based cryptography, we lack a satisfactory theory of security reductions. Secondly, many recent proposals lack sufficient cryptanalysis. The aim of this PhD project is to fill in these holes and thereby offer a better foundation for the security of code-based cryptography.

The PhD candidate will greatly benefit from the active and growing community of theoretical computer science researchers within Amsterdam. Specifically, nearby experts from the CWI cryptology group and QuSoft will offer fertile collaborations on these topics.

What are you going to do?

Tasks and responsibilities

You are expected to:

  • carry out original research in the field of theoretical computer science;
  • have strong analytical and mathematical skills;
  • proactively seek out collaborators and, in due time, research topics worthy of study;
  • take part in ongoing educational activities, such as assisting in courses and guiding student theses at the BSc or MSc level;
  • be an active participant in the theoretical computer science field of research, publishing in peer-reviewed international journals and presenting at top-level conferences;
  • take part in committees and carry out departmental administrative tasks as directed.

What do you have to offer?

Your experience and profile

We are looking for a candidate with:

  • an MSc in computer science, mathematics, or a related field;
  • a strong scientific interest in the theory of computing, and particularly in coding theory;
  • strong academic performance in university-level courses in computer science, mathematics, and other related fields;
  • a demonstrated ability to carry out cutting-edge research;
  • the willingness to work collaboratively with other researchers;
  • professional command of English and good presentation skills.

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.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between € 2,770 in the first year to € 3,539 in the last year (scale P). UvA additionally offers an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8.3%. 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 Netherlands 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) and extra holidays between Christmas and 1 January;
  • Multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • A complete educational program for PhD students;
  • Multiple courses on topics such as leadership for academic staff;
  • 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;
  • The possibility to set up a workplace at home;
  • 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.

The University of Amsterdam is one of the largest comprehensive universities in Europe. With some 40,000 students, 6,000 staff, 3,000 PhD candidates, and an annual budget of more than 850 million euros, it is also one of Amsterdam’s biggest employers.
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