PhD candidate in Cybersecurity

PhD candidate in Cybersecurity

Published Deadline Location
13 Mar 10 Apr Maastricht

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We are looking for a PhD candidate to work on a large-scale European research project on cybersecurity in healthcare.

Job description

We are the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (DKE) at Maastricht University, the Netherlands: an international community of ~50 researchers at various stages of their career, embedded in the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE). Our department has nearly 30 years’ experience with research and teaching in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science and Applied Mathematics. We have a spot on our team for a PhD candidate in Cybersecurity.

PhD candidate in Cybersecurity
As a PhD candidate, you will join our department’s Cybersecurity team to work on the EU-funded Horizon 2020 project HEIR: A Secure Healthcare Environment for Informatics Resilience.

HEIR will provide threat identification and a cybersecurity knowledge base system for healthcare. Work packages include real-time threat hunting services, the facilitation of sensitive data sharing, and providing vulnerability assessments of hospitals and medical centers by assessing the security status of medical devices. HEIR will also create an intelligent knowledge base for the threats identified and set up a European network to establish good cybersecurity practices in healthcare.

Your role within HEIR will be to work on the detection and characterization of advanced cyberattacks. You do so by collaborating with researchers and industry partners across Europe. Due to a focus on the automated detection of cybersecurity threats, the position lies at the intersection of Cybersecurity and Machine Learning.

Throughout the project, you will publish and present your results in top-tier conferences and journals. The cumulative results of your research will be presented in a PhD thesis.

Maastricht University is one of 16 European partners collaborating within HEIR. This PhD position is embedded in the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (DKE).

Your research will build on, and benefit from, foundational expertise at DKE. Our department’s research centers around nine established themes and labs, which includes the themes Cybersecurity and Machine Learning.


Maastricht University (UM)


·         A master’s degree (completed, or to be completed shortly) in computer science or a closely related field. A master’s degree in IT or network security is considered a plus;

·         Good programming skills (especially Python and C);

·         Solid interest in, and proven experience with, cybersecurity (e.g. through publications, projects, etc.);

·         Excellent command of English, both oral and in writing;

Team spirit and communication skills, as you will work in the context of a large-scale European research project.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: A PhD candidate appointment lasts four years (first year + three years after receiving a positive evaluation).

The intended starting date is as soon as possible. We offer a salary according to the PhD salary scale of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) of €2.325 gross per month in the first year to €2.972 in the fourth and final year. On top of this, there is a yearly holiday allowance (8% of annual income) and an annual end-of-year bonus (8.3% of annual income).

The position comes with a number of additional benefits, including:

·         Partially paid parental leave;

·         A pension scheme;

·         The option to participate in collective healthcare insurance;

·         Assistance with practical matters such as housing for candidates unfamiliar with the Netherlands, through Maastricht University’s Knowledge Centre for International Staff.

Full conditions of employment are laid out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO-NU), supplemented with local UM provisions.


Maastricht University | Maastricht University (UM) has around 18,000 students and 4,300 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. UM placed #10 in Times Higher Education’s (THE) Young Universities Ranking 2019, and #127 in THE’s World University Rankings 2020.

Living and working in Maastricht | The Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering is housed in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Situated in the heart of Europe and within 30 kilometers from the German and Belgian borders, Maastricht and its 120,000 inhabitants have a strong international character. It is a safe and family-friendly city with a history spanning more than 2,000 years. The city’s rich past is reflected everywhere in the streets: the ratio of monuments-to-inhabitants is roughly 1:73.


The Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering | Founded in 1992, we are a fast-growing department undertaking internationally respected research in the areas of artificial intelligence, data science, computer science and applied mathematics. Much of our research takes place at the interfaces of these disciplines. We maintain a large network of industry partners and provide education through one bachelor’s programme and two master’s programmes.

Our new colleague will be joining a tight-knit department consisting of ~50 principal investigators, postdocs and PhD students, around 600 BSc and MSc students and a team of 14 dedicated support staff members. Together, we come from over 40 different countries.

STEM research in Maastricht | DKE is embedded in the equally thriving Faculty of Science and Engineering. It’s exciting times for STEM research in the region of Zuid-Limburg, where Maastricht University (UM) is situated. For example, UM recently joined the Einstein Telescope Partnership coalition, which will bring STEM challenges to our doorstep through construction of the ETpathfinder prototype gravitational wave detector. Furthermore, Zuid-Limburg is a hub for the high-tech industry. Maastricht University participates in the four regional Brightlands campuses: local tech ecosystems where fundamental and applied research, state-of-the-art facilities, industry partners and students meet. In addition, the university itself offers no shortage of inspiring collaborators through our international network and the five other faculties of UM.


  • PhD
  • AT2020.110


Maastricht University (UM)

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Paul-Henri Spaaklaan 1, 6229 EN, Maastricht

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