School of Informatics

PhD studentship in Secure Multi-Party Computation

Deadline: 31 March 2021

One fully funded PhD position to work with Dr Michele Ciampi in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, on a project titled “Expanding the frontiers of multi-party computation”.

The aim of this project is to propose new cryptographic protocols which allow multiple entities, each having some secret data (inputs), to jointly compute a function of their inputs. Such protocols are called multi-party computation protocols. Multi-party computation protocols have the potential to solve many real world problems in which the confidentiality of the data is crucial, but where at the same time we want to allow multiple entities to compute functions over this data. The aims of the project include (but are not limited to):

  • Improving the efficiency and the cryptographic assumptions of multi-party computation protocols
  • Study new communication models which can be beneficial for real world applications, while at the same time yielding to protocols with better performance or security features.
  • Proposing new security definitions or realistic trusted assumptions to overcome current impossibility results.

Candidate’s profile

  • The ideal candidate should already have a substantial background in cryptography, algorithms and computational complexity theory, with a strong attitude to problem solving.
  • A good Bachelors degree (2.1 or above or international equivalent) and/or Masters degree in a relevant subject (physics, mathematics, engineering, computer science, or related subject)
  • Proficiency in English (both oral and written)

Studentship and eligibility

The studentship starting in the academic year 2020/21 covers:

  • Full time PhD tuition fees for a student with a Home fee status (£4500 per annum) or overseas fee status (£24,700 per annum)
  • A tax free stipend of GBP £15,609 per year for 3.5 years.
  • Additional programme costs of £1000 per year.

Application Information

Applicants should apply via the University’s admissions portal (EUCLID) and apply for the following programme: PRPHDINFMT7F - PhD Informatics: LFCS: Foundations of Computer Science, Databases, Software and Systems Modelling - 3 Years (Full-time) with a start date of 01 June 2021.

Applicants should note, however, that the expected start date may be between 01 June 2021 and 01 August 2021, depending on the successful applicant’s individual circumstances and immigration status.

Applicants should state “PhD studentship in secure multi-party computation” and the research supervisor (Dr Michele Ciampi) in their programme application and Research Proposal document.

Complete applications submitted by 31 March 2021 will receive full consideration; after that date applications will be considered until the position is filled.

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 (i.e. those that are not missing the above documentation) will progress forward to Academic Selectors for further consideration.

Please refer to the detailed guidance on how to submit a high-quality, complete PhD application to the School of Informatics:

Applying for a PhD Guidance

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.

Dr Michele Ciampi

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