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PhD Studentship: Quantum Random Number Generators (QRNGs)

University of Kent - School of Computing

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Canterbury
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £16,062
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 10th May 2022
Closes: 31st May 2022

Institution: University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

PhD Supervisor: Professor Julio Hernandez-Castro and Dr Carlos Perez Delgado

The School of Computing are currently inviting applications for a PhD scholarship in relation to the project ‘Quantum Random Number Generators (QRNGs)’, as part of the EPSRC Quantum Communications Hub. This project will investigate QRNGs, analyse and develop new statistical tests of randomness leading to new certification schemes that would help in guaranteeing the “quantumness” and security of new QRNGs.

PhD project:

The project comprises the study of randomness generation and assessment, with a focus on Quantum Random Number Generators. They will learn how different models generate entropy and how to measure it, as well as how to mount side channel attacks and defend against them. These will include power attacks, temperature-based attacks, voltage attacks, fault injection and others, and will study how to best detect them and protect against them. There will be room as well to study and develop new security quantum protocols that could prove the advantages of using quantum technologies over classical ones.

We also aim to study mount general attacks against classical TRNGs that QRNGs are safe from, thus trying to prove a quantum advantage in QRNGs over classical, cheaper and better studied TRNGs. Finally, the candidate will critically examine current certification pathways and suggest new ways to make QRNG certification more stringent and meaningful.

Role requirements The ideal candidate will have a strong background in mathematics and/or physics with an interest in Quantum Physics, and should be interested in testing existing randomness tests, developing new ones, and evaluating the security of both classical random number generators and QRNGs both by analysis of output and by exploring and defending against side-channel attacks. Interest or experience in electronics will be valuable as well.

The candidate will be supervised by Prof. Julio Hernandez-Castro (jch27@kent.ac.uk) and Dr Carlos Perez Delgado (c.perez@kent.ac.uk), both core members of iCSS.

Funding availability: Home fee rate of £4,596 per annum together with a maintenance grant of £16,062 which will increase per year in line with UKRI stipend and allowance rates. There will be an option for a 6 month extension for the stipend only (depending on available funding).

Length of award: 3 years

Start date: October 2022 or as soon as possible afterwards

Criteria: A first or 2.1 degree or a master's degree in computer science, mathematics, physics or statistics

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications. 

Open to UK, EU and Overseas applicants. Please note that funding is available at the home fee rate only – EU and Overseas applicants can apply but will need to make up for the difference between the home fees and overseas fees. We particularly welcome applications from people with disabilities and from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) applicants.

How to apply:

Please complete our online application and specify the project title Quantum Random Number Generators (QRNGs). As part of the process, students should include the following:

- reasons for study
- a properly formatted CV
- details/evidence of qualifications (including all university degree certificates and transcripts)
- two academic references
- other personal information and supporting documentation.

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