Universiteit van Amsterdam

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PhD candidate in Theoretical Computer Science

Publication date
5 September 2014
Level of education
Salary indication
€2,083 to €2,664 gross per month
Closing date
31 October 2014
38 hours per week
Vacancy number

The Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) is a research institute at the University of Amsterdam, 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, cognitive science, artificial intelligence and philosophy. Research is organized in three research groups: Logic and Computation (LoCo), Logic and Language (LoLa) and Language and Computation (LaCo). Check here for an overview of the research being carried out in the different groups. For the research carried out by the individual staff members of ILLC, see their personal pages via People at ILLC.

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) is the Dutch national research institute for mathematics and computer science and is linked to the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The mission of CWI is to conduct pioneering research in mathematics and computer science, generating new knowledge in these fields and conveying it to trade, industry, and society at large. CWI is located at Science Park Amsterdam. It is an internationally oriented institute, with 160 scientists from approximately 30 countries. The facilities are first-rate and include excellent IT support, career planning, training, and courses.

Staff members at CWI and ILLC (Harry Buhrman, Serge Fehr, Ronald de Wolf, Christian Schaffner) do research on a variety of topics in quantum information processing including quantum cryptography, quantum algorithms, cryptographic protocols and complexity theory.

Job description

The Institute for Logic, Language & Computation (ILLC) at the University of Amsterdam, and the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) are looking for a PhD candidate in the area of quantum cryptography.

The aim of the PhD project is to develop new quantum-cryptographic protocols (beyond the task of key distribution) and explore their limitations. An example of an active research is position-based quantum cryptography. Another aspect is to investigate the security of classical cryptographic schemes against quantum adversaries (post-quantum cryptography).

The successful applicant will work under the supervision of Christian Schaffner. The PhD candidate will be expected to fulfil the following tasks: 

  • complete and defend a PhD thesis within the official appointment duration of four years;
  • regularly present intermediate research results at international workshops and conferences, and publish them in proceedings and journals;
  • collaborate with the researchers in other relevant parts of ILLC, CWI, and the University of Amsterdam in general;
  • participate in the organisation of research activities and events at ILLC, such as conferences, workshops and joint publications;
  • assist in teaching activities at ILLC in subjects relevant to the candidate's research activities. 


  • a Master's degree with excellent grades in computer science, mathematics or physics with outstanding results or a comparable degree;
  • candidates with a strong background in cryptography or quantum information are preferred;
  • demonstrated research abilities by completion of an (undergraduate) research project;
  • good academic writing and presentation skills;
  • good social and organisational skills.

Further information


Appointment (1,0 fte) is on a temporary basis for a period of four years. For the first two years the PhD candidate will be appointed at the ILLC, University of Amsterdam, initially for a period of 18 months and then, on positive evaluation, for a further six months. During the final two years, the PhD candidate will be employed by the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI).

On the basis of a full-time appointment (38 hours per week), the gross monthly salary amounts to €2,083 during the first year, rising to €2,664 during the fourth year. The Collective Employment Agreement (CAO) of the Dutch Universities is applicable during the first two years.

Preferred starting date 1 December 2014.

Job application

Applications should include the following information, in separate pdf files (not zipped), using surname, initials and a self-evident word as file names, e.g. , Smith J CV. Applications should include:

  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a letter of motivation (at most 1 page) explaining why you are interested in this position;
  • a list of all university courses taken, including a transcript of grades;
  • a report from an undergraduate research project you have done;
  • the name and contact details (including email address) of two ~ three referees who can provide details about your profile (one of whom should be the main supervisor of your Master thesis);
  • completed applications should be submitted by 31 October 2014 to application-science@uva.nl, and should state your name and vacancy number in the subject field. The committee does not guarantee that late or incomplete applications will be considered.

Please note that you may also apply even if you have not yet completed your Master~s degree.

No agencies please

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