PhD in effective and scalable tools against side-channel attacks

Research / Academic

Your PhD research will focus on developing effective and scalable tools to guard-against side-channel attacks. In hardware, an attacker can measure certain physical quantities such as the time elapsed or the power consumed during a computation to recover a surprising amount of secret information. Such attacks are easy to implement, difficult to detect, and powerful against strong encryption mechanisms. As part of the PhD research we will apply techniques from the analysis of cryptographic protocols and adapt them to the setting of hardware to design a novel verification framework for processors.

Your duties

  • research towards writing a PhD thesis at the department of Computer Science at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam
  • collaborate with PhD students, postdocs and staff members within the department
  • light supervision tasks (roughly 15% of your time), for instance supervising Master and/or Bachelor thesis projects

There will be opportunity to take courses for professional and personal development.


  • degree in MSc, specializing in Computer Science (or equivalent thereof)
  • experience with concepts from programming languages, formal methods,
    functional programming
  • fluent in English (the language of instruction at the VU)

As a university, we strive for equal opportunities for all, recognising that diversity takes many forms. We believe that diversity in all its complexity is invaluable for the quality of our teaching, research and service. We are always looking for talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This also means that we are committed to creating an inclusive community so that we can use diversity as an asset.

We realise that each individual brings a unique set of skills, expertise and mindset. Therefore we are happy to invite anyone who recognises themselves in the profile to apply, even if you do not meet all the requirements.

Salary Benefits:

A challenging position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:

  • a salary of € 2.770,00 (PhD) and maximum € 3.539,00 (PhD) gross per month in the fourth year, for a full-time employment
  • an employment contract of initially 18 months. If there is sufficient perspective, this will be extended to a total of 4 years. Your dissertation at the end of the fourth year forms the end of your employment contract

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and arrangements. Some examples:

  • a full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)

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