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PhD Studentship in Cryptanalysis of Lightweight Symmetric-key Algorithms

The University of Edinburgh - School of Informatics

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Edinburgh
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,009
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 26th June 2019
Closes: 26th July 2019
 

One fully funded PhD position to work with Dr. Vesselin Velichkov in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, on a project titled “Cryptanalysis of Lightweight Symmetric-key Algorithms”.

Overview of the Project

Lightweight cryptography (LC) studies the analysis and design of cryptographic algorithms for systems with constrained resources. Such systems find applications in sensor networks, the automotive industry, healthcare and in the Internet of Things (IoT) in general.

In this project the student will analyse the security of lightweight symmetric-key algorithms such as block ciphers, stream ciphers and hash functions. The targets for analysis will be selected from the following groups: candidates submitted to the NIST competition, LC algorithms used in existing IoT applications, algorithms based on modular addition.

Candidate’s profile

  • Project specific skills: Computer science (Algorithms and Data structures, Computer security/Cryptography), Mathematics
  • Programming skills: C/C++, Python
  • A good Bachelors degree (2.1 or above or international equivalent) or Masters degree in a relevant subject (physics, mathematics, engineering, computer science, or related subject)
  • Proficiency in English (both oral and written)
  • Experience in competitive programming (IOI, CodeForces) and/or Capture-the-Flag competitions (ctftime.org) definite advantage

Studentship and eligibility

The studentship starting in 2019/20 covers:

  • Full time PhD tuition fees for a student with UK/EU nationality (£4,327 per annum, subject to annual increment).
  • A tax free stipend of GBP £15,009 per year for 3.5 years
  • Additional programme costs of £1000 per year.

Application Information

Applicants should apply via the University’s adminissions portal (EUCLID) and apply for the following programme: LFCS Security and Privacy Group (web.inf.ed.ac.uk/security-privacywith a start date of 01 September 2019.

Applicants should state “Cryptanalysis of Lightweight Symmetric-key Algorithms” and the research supervisor (Dr. Vesselin Velichkov) in their application and Research Proposal document.

Applications should be submitted by 26 July 2019, although complete applications received by 29 July 2019 will receive full consideration; after that date applications will be considered until the position is filled. The anticipated start date is 09 September 2019 but later start dates can be considered.

Applicants must submit:

  • All degree transcripts and certificates (and certified translations if applicable)
  • Evidence of English Language capability (where applicable).
  • A short research proposal (max 2 pages)
  • A full CV and cover letter describing your background, suitability for the PhD, and research interests (max 2 pages).
  • Two references (note that it the applicant’s responsibility to ensure reference letters are received before the deadline).

Only complete applications will progress forward to the academic selection stage.

For informal enquiries contact Dr. Vesselin Velichkov.

Environment

The School of Informatics is one of the largest in Europe and currently the top Informatics institute in the UK for research power, with 40% of its research outputs considered world-leading (top grade), and almost 50% considered top grade for societal impact. The University of Edinburgh is constantly ranked among the world’s top universities and is a highly international environment with several centres of excellence.

   
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