Verifiable cryptographic software

Aarhus Universitet (AU)

Ph.d. & forskning
Østjylland

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Engineering programme. The position is available from 1 August 2019 or later.

Title:
Verifiable cryptographic software

Research area and project description:
Zero-knowledge proofs are integral for deploying privacy-preserving cryptocurrencies and other blockchain applications, as they represent a fundamental building block for proving statements about confidential data. The most popular framework for such proofs is based on cryptographic pairings defined over elliptic curves, where pairing-based zero-knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge (zk-SNARKs) underlie private transactions. The project is a collaboration between researchers from Engineering and Computer Science within the DIGIT Centre for Digitalisation, Big Data and Data Analytics; and the Concordium Blockchain Research Center.

The PhD candidate will investigate techniques to develop a formally verified efficient software library for pairing-based cryptography, as means to support current blockchain projects relying on zero-knowledge proofs. The PhD candidate will also be involved in other educational activities, such as serving as teaching assistant in courses related to his/her expertise.

Qualifications and specific competences:
We are looking for dedicated and enthusiastic applicants, preferably with a Master’s degree in Computer Science/Engineering, Mathematics or related discipline. A theoretical background with cryptography or formal verification will be important for the project. Practical experience with software development and the Coq proof assistant will be seen as a plus. Analytical and critical thinking are naturally essential to pursuing a PhD degree. Further requirements are fluency in English, good reporting/organization skills and being able to work independently.

Place of employment and place of work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work will be in the Department of Engineering, Section of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Finlandsgade 22, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark.

Contacts:
The project will be supervised by Professor Peter Gorm Larsen, Assistant Professor Diego F. Aranha and Associate Professor Bas Spitters.

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

Assistant Professor Diego F. Aranha (dfaranha@eng.au.dk)

or Associate Professor Bas Spitters (spitters@cs.au.dk).

Application procedures

Before you applyInformation and attachments:
Please be aware that you must have all relevant appendices, attachments, addresses for referees, etc. ready when you apply, as the entire application must be uploaded to the system in one go.

Documentation of language skills:
The English language requirement at GSST is comparable to an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”).

English language qualifications comparable to an “English B level” are documented by one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL test, minimum score: 560 (paper-based test) or 83 (internet-based test). The paper-based test must have a “total score”. From the August 2019 call, GSST will no longer accept the paper-based test.
    Aarhus University does not accept the TOEFL ITP test. Aarhus University’s TOEFL code is 8935. Ask the test centre to send your test results to Aarhus University, in order to enable verification of your test results.
  • IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 6.5 points
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment:
    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE)
    Cambridge English: Certificate of Advanced English with grade A,B or C (CAE)
    Cambridge English: First Certificate with grade A (FCE)

When to take the test and how to upload the documentation:
The test result must not be more than two years old at the time of application.

The English language test should be taken before applying for admission and uploaded under “language skills documentation” in the online application form.

It is possible to apply for admission before you have taken the test. In this case documentation stating that you have signed up for a test (please state expected submission date) must be uploaded. If the test result is not part of the original application the test result is to be sent to sphd@psys.au.dk no later than one month after the application deadline.

The following applicants are exempted from documenting their English qualifications/taking a test:

  • Applicants with citizenship from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, or one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden).
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed at Aarhus University for which the requirement was English B level at the time of admission. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section” Language skills documentation”.

The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

How to apply:
1) Find the application form:
Go to www.phd.scitech.au.dk/for-applicants/apply-here - The online application system opens on 1 March 2019.
Choose May 2019 Call with deadline 1 May 2019 at 11.59 PM MET.
You will be directed to the call, and must choose the programme 'Engineering'

2) Fill in the following information:

  • Personal information
  • Academic background
  • Admission
  • Financing (if any)
  • Study: In the dropdown menu you must choose the project: "Verifiable cryptographic software"
  • Source (how you found out about the call)

Next to some of the information fields you will find a number. Click on the number to get further directions on how to fill in the information field/what information is needed.

3) Application attachments:
Please be aware that you cannot submit the application if one or several of these documents have not been uploaded.

If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF file and upload this. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. Instead you can indicate a URL where the information is available.

Please note that all information in the application must be in Danish or English.

As a minimum all applications must include (pdf-files only, max. 20 MB, no zip):

  • One reference (template for references)
  • Curriculum vitae,
  • Motivation (max. 1 page)
  • Transcripts and diploma(s)
  • Project description (½-4 pages). For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. When - as here - you apply for a specific project, please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like.
  • Documentation of language skills if required.

After submission of the application, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with an application ID, you should use for reference if needed. The e-mail will also include a link to the application – GSST urges you to check that all mandatory data, marked with an asterisk (*), is registered correctly and all attached files are readable. If there are any significant errors, you should reply to the confirmation e-mail with the correct details before the application deadline.

GSST reserves the right to verify the authenticity of your educational diploma and transcripts:

  • Request additional information to verify an application.
  • Reject the application if it is proven, or if the University has reasonable belief, that the information provided is false or if the applicant refuses to provide the requested information, whether or not an offer has already been made.
  • For further information on applying, assessment procedures, etc. please see the GSST application guide here.

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.


Ansøgningsfrist d. 01.05.2019

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Aarhus Universitet (AU)
Aarhus Universitet (AU)
Aarhus Universitet blev grundlagt i 1928 og er i dag i den absolutte verdenselite på flere forskningsfelter. Aarhus Universitet (AU) er blandt verdens 10 bedste universiteter grundlagt inden for de seneste 100 år og har en lang tradition for partnerskaber med nogle af verdens bedste forskningsinstitutioner og universitetsnetværk.

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