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Postdoctoral Researcher in the Regulation of Quantum-Safe Technology

Deadline: Monday 15 August 2022
Faculty/Services: Faculty of Science
Educational level: Promoted
Function type: Academic Staff
Closing date: 15 August 2022
Vacancy number: 9462

Do you have a PhD and are you interested in researching the law and regulation of cybersecurity, and in combining this with insights from ethics and economics? If you are excited about doing this kind of research in an interdisciplinary environment, with a team of friendly and enthusiastic colleagues, and with partners from the financial and governmental sectors, then you may want to join us.

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation and the Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam are looking for an ambitious postdoctoral candidate. Your research is part of the NWO-funded research project Quantum Impact on Societal Security.

As the potential risks and consequences of cybersecurity breaches of existing cryptography by future quantum computers would be devastating, there is an urgent need to prepare for a transition to quantum-safe cryptography (QSC). Addressing the many complexities of this transition requires a multidisciplinary collaboration of academic experts, financial and governmental institutions, and civil society groups. The ‘Quantum Impact on Societal Security’ (QISS) consortium will analyse the legal, ethical and societal impact of this upcoming society-wide transition. QISS’s objective is to contribute to the creation of a Dutch ecosystem where quantum-safe cryptography can thrive, and mobilize this ecosystem to align technological applications with ethical, legal, and social values.

QISS is a project led by the University of Amsterdam and carried out together with QuSoft, Fontys University of Applied Sciences and other academic, governmental, financial, and societal partners. The project leader is Dr. Sebastian De Haro and the co-PIs are Prof. Dr. Christian Schaffner, Prof. Dr. Sonja Smets, Mr. Ot van Daalen, Prof. Dr. Joris van Hoboken, Mr. Dr. Bart Wernaart, and Prof. Dr. Jeroen van Dongen.

QISS is funded by the National Science Agenda of NWO, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Dutch Banking Association. You will be part of a new research group, hosted at the Amsterdam Science Park, and you will also have office space at IViR’s location on the Roeterseiland Campus in the city centre.

We specifically encourage women and other underrepresented groups to apply for this position.

What are you going to do

Your research is aimed at situating the transition to QSC in law and policy related to encryption and information security more generally, including relevant general and sectoral cybersecurity regulations and human rights requirements. Your will collaborate with experts at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) and the research group on the law and governance of quantum technologies at the Institute for Information Law (IViR). You will work together with the Rathenau Institute, with our partners from various Dutch Ministries (the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, of the Interior, of Justice, and of Infrastructure) and Dutch Banks (De Nederlandsche Bank, the Dutch Banking Association, and ABN-AMRO), and with our societal partners (ECP | InformatieSamenleving, Quantum Delta NL, Digital Power Datahub).

Your specific tasks will include:

  • to study the desirable regulations of QSC technology for the financial and governmental sectors;

  • to determine the responsibility of businesses and of government to adopt and/or accelerate QSC technology;

  • to research the possible implications of the EU-human rights frameworks for government and industry policies related to QSC;

  • to write academic publications in relevant peer-reviewed international journals;

  • to present at international workshops and conferences;

  • to contribute to the supervision of PhD candidates in the group;

  • to participate in and to contribute to the organisation of research activities and events;

  • to contribute to the dissemination of research results to non-specialist audiences and the organisation of outreach events.

While this is primarily a research position, postdocs also get the opportunity to gain teaching experience relevant for their career development, e.g. by working as lecturers for courses in their area of expertise (with a maximum amount of lecturing of 9 EC a year).

What do you have to offer

Your experience and profile:

  • PhD in a relevant discipline, in particular related to information law and policy;

  • experience in researching legal responses to emerging technologies and the regulation of cybersecurity;

  • an excellent academic record;

  • good social and organisational skills;

  • interest in working in an interdisciplinary team that includes partners from academia, business, and government;

  • professional command of English.

While Dutch speaking skills are not required for this position, postdocs have the opportunity to attend a Dutch course.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 2 years, with a possible extension based on good performance and the amount of teaching done. The preferred starting date is 1 November 2022.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between € 2,846 to € 4,490 (scale 10). This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.

What else do we offer?

  • Excellent possibilities for further professional development and education;

  • An enthusiastic, inspiring, and professional academic team;

  • The opportunity to collaborate with leading researchers at both IvIR and ILLC.

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, 30,000 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 Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) is a research institute at the UvA in which researchers from the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Humanities collaborate. Its central research area is the study of fundamental principles of encoding, transmission and comprehension of information. Research at ILLC is interdisciplinary, and aims at bringing together insights from various disciplines concerned with information and information processing, such as logic, mathematics, computer science, linguistics, natural language processing, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, music cognition, and philosophy.

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 Institute for Information Law (IViR), officially established in 1989, is one of the largest research centres in the field of information law in the world. The Institute employs over 25 researchers who are active in an entire spectrum of information society related legal areas: intellectual property law, patents, telecommunications and broadcasting regulation, media law, Internet regulation, advertising law, domain names, freedom of expression, privacy, digital consumer issues, commercial speech, et cetera.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


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. We accept applications until and including 15 August 2022. The reviewing process will begin on 15 July 2022 and will continue until the position is filled.

Applications should include the following information (all files should be submitted in one single pdf file using the CV field, please do not submit a separate document with a cover letter):

  • a cover letter, including a description of your research interests and accomplishments, and an explanation for why you are applying for this position (at most two pages);

  • your CV, including a list of publications, and a link to your PhD thesis (if available already) or an indication of the current status of your PhD thesis;

  • the names, affiliations, and email addresses of two or (at most) three people we can contact for letters of reference for you.

You can apply online via the link below.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for (online) interviews in August-September 2022.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise 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, reach out to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.

Application form:

Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.