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    • Amsterdam
  • Full time
  • Recruitment


  • Computer science
  • Electrical engineering


  • Phd

Apply by: 2022-10-01

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

Published 2022-06-03

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
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.
What do we require
  • 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).
Our offer

We offer a temporary contract for 38 hours per week, preferably starting as soon as possible for the duration of 18 months. After a satisfactory evaluation the contract will be extended and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). You will get a customized Training and Supervision Plan, that will be evaluated every year.

The salary will be €2,443 to €3,122 (scale P) gross per month, based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). The 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus are not included in this amount. A favorable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO NU) is applicable.
Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.

University of Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

Faculty of Science - Institute for Molecular Science

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.


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