PhD Candidate in Cyber Security

Radboud University Faculty of Science


PhD Candidate in Cyber Security

  • 32 - 40 hours per week
  • Maximum gross monthly salary: € 3,061
  • Faculty of Science
  • Required background: Research University Degree
  • Duration of the contract: 4 years
  • Application deadline: 31 August 2020

We are looking for

Over the past decade, the digital life of most people has moved from stationary devices such as desktop computers to computationally powerful mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets or smartwatches. Not only do these devices bring a new level of convenience for users, they are also much more vulnerable to attacks that compromise the confidentiality of users' private data as revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden's global surveillance disclosures.

One might think that similar attacks existed before, but mobile smart devices offer many new attack vectors that are not known from stationary desktop PCs. For example, a new class of attack vector results from the plethora of sensors these devices carry, such as GPS and motion sensors. Other attacks become possible because of the context switch between the mobile protocol stack and, e.g., Internet applications. While some of these attacks can be thwarted by sensible use of strong cryptography - for instance, there now exist secure text-messenger apps that allow users to encrypt their communication - strong cryptography alone is not able to protect against attacks that exploit side channels. Such side channels leak sensitive information about users and networks, and often are the stepping stone for severe follow-up attacks.

The research focus can be tuned to your interests. You will be expected to investigate different classes of attacks on networks and smart mobile devices. This requires the design and implementation of simulation models, but also the setup of large-scale measurement frameworks for real-world experiments. In a following step, you will process and analyse the collected data in order to draw conclusions. To investigate possible new attack vectors and defences against existing attacks, you will transfer and apply common methods from other research areas in order to find creative new solutions.

We ask

  • A Master's degree in computer science or a relevant discipline.
  • Excellent programming skills.
  • A good command of spoken and written English.
  • Good communication skills and the ability to communicate with peers and stakeholders.

We are

You will be appointed in the Digital Security Group of the Institute for Computing and Information Sciences (iCIS) at the Faculty of Science. The faculty is internationally renowned for the quality of its research. The Digital Security Group is one of the leading groups in computer security in the Netherlands and Europe, with, for example, 4 ERC grants in the last decade and a strong involvement in European projects. To further strengthen our group, we are looking for a PhD candidate in the area of computer security. Possible focus areas include (mobile) network security, anonymity and privacy enhancing technologies.

Radboud University

We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 22,000 students and 5,000 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!

We offer

  • Employment: 32 - 40 hours per week.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2.395 per month, and will increase to €3.061 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • Duration of the contract: you will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years.
  • The intended start date is 1 October 2020.
  • You will be able to make use of our Dual Career Service: our Dual Career Officer will assist with family-related support, such as child care, and help your partner prepare for the local labour market and with finding an occupation.
  • Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?

Would you like more information?

For more information about this vacancy, please contact:
Katharina Kohls, Assistant Professor

Apply directly

Please address your application to Katharina Kohls and submit it, using the application button, no later than 31 August 2020, 23:59 Amsterdam Time Zone.   

Your application should include the following attachments:

  • Letter of motivation.
  • Your CV, including the names and email addresses of two references.
  • A copy of your Master's degree transcript.
  • A copy of your Master's thesis.

We drafted this vacancy to find and hire our new colleague ourselves. Recruitment agencies are kindly requested to refrain from responding.

In your application, please refer to