Permanent employment
Master (EQF 7)
Apply before:
Hours p/wk:


Today’s interconnected world and smart applications require the collection and processing of personal information. For many of these applications, it is imperative that the data processing occurs globally, by distributed, online systems. When appropriately processed, this data can be of great benefit to the user, but also to society as a whole, and machine learning techniques offer excellent opportunities to do so. Despite the profound benefits of information dissemination, individual privacy of the contributors of this data must be protected. In this PhD trajectory you will be exploring ways and developing techniques to improve the performance or design novel secure computation technologies (e.g., Multiparty Computation) or related cryptographic constructions/protocols. The focus is on pushing the frontiers of secure computation technologies, while facilitating machine learning applications, for instance tailoring the cryptographic protocols to a particular machine learning application.


Key responsibilities

  • Conduct original and novel research in the field of Computing on Encrypted Data;
  • Design protocols for privacy-preserving machine learning applications;
  • Publish and present scientific articles at international journals and conferences;
  • Engage in collaborations in academia and industry.

Selection Criteria
The successful applicant should be a motivated university graduate who is a top performer among his/her peers and has an excellent education and/or research track record proven by relevant experience, publications, etc. The applicant is expected to have:

  • MSc degree in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Cryptography, Applied Mathematics, or related field;
  • Solid background in Computer Science and Mathematics;
  • Good programming skills in e.g., Python, C, C++;
  • Experience with Machine Learning;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.

Research at our faculty
The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to contribute to addressing the major societal challenges of the future. The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2.300 staff and almost 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.


You will be part of the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS). LIACS offers courses at the Bachelor and Master of Science level in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, ICT in Business, Media Technology, and Bioinformatics. According to an independent research visitation, LIACS is one of the foremost computer science departments of the Netherlands. We strive for excellence in a caring institute, where excellence, fun, and diversity go hand in hand. We offer a clear and inviting career path to young and talented scientists with the ambition to grow.


For more information about LIACS, the faculty and the university, see https://liacs.leidenuniv.nl, https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science and https://workingat.leiden.edu.


Terms and conditions
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 ranges from € 2,541, - to € 3,247,- 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 www.graduateschools.leidenuniv.nl. 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.


D&I statement
Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.


Enquiries can be made to Eleftheria Makri; e.makri@liacs.leidenuniv.nl . If you have any questions about the procedure, please contact Anne-Marie Alleblas, email: jobs@liacs.leidenuniv.nl.

Please submit online your application no later than August 25, 2023, via the blue button in our application system. Please ensure that you upload the following additional documents quoting the vacancy number:

  • Motivation Letter;
  • CV;
  • Two reference letters, by referees who have agreed to be contacted.