PhD Position on Side-Channel Attacks on Quantum Devices Used in Quantum Networks

PhD Position on Side-Channel Attacks on Quantum Devices Used in Quantum Networks

Published Deadline Location
7 Feb 30 Apr Amsterdam

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Job description

Are you fascinated by security? Are you willing to take on the challenge of securing the next generation of computer systems and networks? Do you like to work in a team of young researchers? We are seeking a PhD candidate who is interested in interdisciplinary research on side-channel attacks against quantum devices used in quantum networks and beyond.

Quantum technologies are being developed at a fast page. On the one hand, progress on the development of quantum computers poses a serious threat for our security infrastructure, especially for public-key cryptography. On the other hand, quantum components bring novel opportunities since they will be integrated in our networks and could bring novel security functionalities. However, quantum components are mostly experimental, and their security is yet to be studied and assessed in depth. In particular, little is known about their susceptibility against side-channel and physical attacks and, as a direct consequence, we do not know if and which countermeasures can be applied.

This PhD position will study the problem of side channels and physical attacks against quantum devices, understanding the extent to which they could be considered a threat and exploring potential methodologies to counteract and mitigate them. In collaboration with experimental physicists, experiments on real quantum devices are expected to be carried out to assess their robustness.

The PhD position will be within the Theory of Computer Science (TCS) group but will be carried out in close collaboration with the Complex Cyber Infrastructure (CCI) group and the multiscale network (MNS) groups of the Informatics Institute. The position is a part of the Quantum Delta NL Groeifonds project CAT-2, development of a national quantum network and will also involve collaboration with the experimental and theoretical partners of the CAT-2 project.

What are you going to do?

Tasks and responsibilities
You are expected to:
  • carry out original research in the field of design for security;
  • 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 and/or applied research area, 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 other groups, institutes and/or companies by contributing expertise to (joint) research projects.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


Your experience and profile:
  • A MSc degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or Electrical Engineering (or related disciplines);
  • A strong scientific interest in security, in particular in side-channel and physical attacks;
  • The willingness to work in a highly international research team;
  • Fluency in oral and written English and good presentation skills;
  • Prior experience in side-channel and physical attacks;
  • Basic knowledge of quantum technologies is a plus (but not required).

Conditions of employment

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 € 2,541 in the first year to € 3,247 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.
Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here.


Faculty of Science

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 42,000 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.

QuSoft is the Dutch research Center for Quantum Software, a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (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.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €2541 per month
  • University graduate
  • 8274


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Science Park 904, 1098XH, Amsterdam

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