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PhD candidate

The Faculty of Science and the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) are looking for a PhD candidate, digital hardware design of lightweight cryptographic circuits

ongeveer 2 maanden geleden


Einsteinweg, Leiden, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht


The PhD research will be conducted in the PROACT project, under the supervision of Prof. Nele Mentens. The PROACT project (“Physical Attack Resistance of Cryptographic Algorithms and Circuits”) is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), in collaboration with Radboud University, TU Delft, Fontys University of Applied Sciences, and Riscure.

PROACT is a 5-year project that will fund 2 post-doctoral researchers and 4 PhD students. The project will concentrate on the design automation and physical security simulation of lightweight cryptographic circuits.

Key responsibilities
Your role in the PROACT project is the digital hardware design of lightweight cryptographic circuits. The goal is to apply design automation techniques in order to develop efficient and physically secure cryptographic ASICs. The other researchers in the PROACT project will work on the design of novel cryptographic algorithms, and the development of a physical security simulator.

During the project, you are expected to write the research articles that together will form the basis of a thesis to attain a PhD degree (dr.) at Leiden University. You will participate in the education and supervision program of the Leiden Graduate School of Science.


  • A MSc or equivalent degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science or a similar field;
  • Expertise through your field of study in particular in digital hardware design using VHDL or Verilog (ASIC or FPGA design);
  • Excitement about working in a team with the other partners in the PROACT project;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Creative thinking and high motivation;
  • Excellent proficiency in the English language.


We offer a  full-time 1 year term position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from € 2,395.-  to € 3,061.-  gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science. Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Additional information

Enquiries can be made to Prof. Nele Mentens, email n.mentens@liacs.leidenuniv.nl. If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Maaike Veldkamp, email  m.j.d.veldkamp@liacs.leidenuniv.nl.