D.Phil. studentship in Post-Quantum Cryptography at the University of Oxford

Closing Date: 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 12:00

Applications are invited for a 3.5 year D Phil (PhD) Studentship in Post-Quantum Cryptography, funded by the UK Government.

The D.Phil. studentship will start on 1 October 2017, and will be based at the Mathematical Institute. The studentship is fully funded, and includes standard stipends of approximately £14,296, and College and University fees at the Home rate. The studentship is attached to St Hughs College ( http://www.st-hughs.ox.ac.uk/ ).

Many cryptographic protocols that are used today rely on the difficulty of either factoring or some discrete logarithm problem. However due to Shor’s algorithms, these protocols will become completely unsecure once a large-scale quantum computer is built. Given recent advances in that direction, the UK government is supporting research on new cryptographic protocols that can resist attacks by quantum computers, and the two DPhil students will work in this context.

There is some flexibility in adjusting the D Phil project to the students’ background and personal interests, however the project will generally aim at developing post-quantum cryptographic protocols and at studying their security with respect to both classical and quantum computers. The D Phil student will be part of the Oxford Cryptography Group and they will work under the supervision of Dr Christophe Petit (http://people.maths.ox.ac.uk/petit/) and of Professor Cas Cremers (https://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/people/cas.cremers/). Information on the Cryptography Group can be found at www.maths.ox.ac.uk/groups/cryptography.

Candidates must have an excellent background in mathematics, computer science or physics and the ability and willingness to work on inter-disciplinary research projects. Acquaintance with cryptography concepts and/or quantum algorithms as well as some programming skills will be considered as strong assets. The students will also be expected to spend a few weeks at Cheltenham every year.  Candidates must therefore be able to obtain a DV security clearance prior to starting their D Phil; in particular they must be UK citizens.

Applications should be made for the DPhil in Mathematics online at

https://evision.ox.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_ipp_lgn.login?process=siw_... and should include a CV, covering letter, three references, and a transcript of your undergraduate degree.  In the section of the application form “Departmental Studentship Applications” applicants will be asked whether they are applying for an advertised studentship. In this section please state “Yes” followed by “Cryptography”. When selecting a college, new candidates should select St Hughs College.

The deadline for applications is midday on 30th May 2017. Please quote the project title “PQCrypto” in your covering letter. References can also be sent directly to Sandy Patel (e-mail graduate.studies@maths.ox.ac.uk).

For further details of the application process, please contact graduate.studies@maths.ox.ac.uk. Students with queries about the possible D Phil projects, and whether the studentship would suit their interests, are encouraged to contact Dr Christophe Petit directly at christophe.petit@maths.ox.ac.uk