PhD Scholarship in Hardware Security at Radboud University in Netherlands 2020

Radboud University in the Netherlands is inviting applications for a PhD Scholarship in Hardware Security in the 2020/2021 academic session.

Project details:

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. In a similar way, companies concentrate on the design and development of innovative solutions that consist of an increasing amount of (mobile) devices that collect, process and store data. Often, these devices operate on company-critical data. However, they are typically constrained with respect to energy consumption and cost, which makes it extremely difficult to protect the processed data. In order to achieve data protection in devices that are constrained in energy consumption and cost, software-only solutions do not suffice.

Therefore, the focus of this PhD position is on hardware security. More specifically, we will concentrate on lightweight hardware architectures of cryptographic algorithms inspired by and supporting the NIST Lightweight Cryptography Standardization Competition. Protection mechanisms against side-channel and fault analysis attacks will be explored, optimized and practically evaluated. FPGAs will be used as the most important prototyping platforms, and ASIC design and development will be performed when opportune.

In the first two years, you will be part of the Digital Security Group of the Institute for Computing and Information Sciences (iCIS) at the Faculty of Science of Radboud University. In the next two years, you will be working for the Systems and Security Cluster of the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) at the Faculty of Science of Leiden University.

Worth of Award

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You will be able to make use of their Dual Career Service :their 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.


  • Master’s degree in computer science or equivalent.
  • Experience in digital design (using VHDL or Verilog).
  • A good command of spoken and written English.
  • Good communication skills and the ability to communicate with peers and stakeholders.

How to Apply

Please address your application to Lejla Batina and submit it, using the application button

Your application should include the following attachments:

  • Letter of motivation.
  • 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.

The first round of interviews will take place on September 7 and 8, 2020.

Deadline: Applications close on August 31, 2020.

Click here for more details and to apply