PhD Position in Code-Based Cryptography

PhD Position in Code-Based Cryptography

Published Deadline Location
20 Jun 16 Sep Amsterdam

Job description

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.

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

About us
The University of Amsterdam (UvA) 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 (FNWI) 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 mathematics institute (KdVI), but also CWI and the VU. See here for an overview.

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.

Application review will start 15 July 2024, and will stay open until a suitable candidate has been found, even if this is prior to the final date of the application window on 16 September 2024. For full consideration apply on or before 15 July 2024.

Applications should include the following information (all files apart from your CV 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 list of publications;
  • 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 of the CV field to upload all requested documents, including the motivation letter, as one single pdf file.

A knowledge security check can be part of the selection procedure.
(for details: National knowledge security guidelines).

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered. Please don’t send any applications by email.

We will invite potential candidates for interviews, potentially as early as the full consideration deadline (15 July 2024).

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. Please reach out directly to our to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.

No agencies please.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 12048


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Science Park 904, 1098XH, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 16 Sep 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).