University of Luxembourg

Doctoral Candidate (PhD) in Computer Science on Decentralised Markets for Digital Assets

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SnTis a leading international research and innovation centre in secure, reliable and trustworthy ICT systems and services. We play an instrumental role in Luxembourg by fuelling innovation through research partnerships with industry, boosting R&D investments leading to economic growth, and attracting highly qualified talent.

The Centre is rapidly expanding its research activities and is seeking highly motivated doctoral candidates who wish to pursue research in close cooperation with our partners. For further information you may check: www.securityandtrust.lu and https://wwwen.uni.lu/snt/research/finatrax

We’re looking for people driven by excellence, excited about innovation, and looking to make a difference. If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place!

Your Role

Successful candidates will join the young, vibrant, and interdisciplinary FINATRAX Research Group, which builds bridges between business research and information systems engineering. The group conducts research on the application and the impact of digital technologies like DLT/Blockchain, Digital Identities, Machine Learning/AI, and IoT/5G on organisations from both the private and public sectors. The group consists of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers from diverse backgrounds (e.g., policy, business, technology), united in pursuit of sustainable technologies that positively impact society. 

Successful candidates will pursue a Ph.D. degree (Doctorate) in Informatics while assigned to the PABLO project. PABLO (“Privacy-preserving Tokenisation of Artworks”) is a research project funded by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR). PABLO is a collaboration between the FINATRAX group, led by Prof. Dr Gilbert Fridgen, and the SnT’s Applied Security and Information Assurance (APSIA) group, led by Prof. Dr Peter Ryan. PABLO’s contributors will study the privacy-preserving exchange of tokenised collectibles, such as physical and digital artworks, cross-platform gaming possessions, and virtual fashion items. More specifically, PABLO’s contributors will investigate how zero-knowledge proofs enable market participants to selectively disclose the minimum amount of identity information that is required by European regulators.

PABLO’s closely related topics include verifiable credentials for decentralised digital identities, and public ledgers like Ethereum as open platforms for the trading and settlement of digital assets. PABLO’s contributors will tackle problems that involve legal, organisational, and technical aspects: for example, how to implement a secure stakeholder voting system (via smart contracts), so that a tokenised artwork’s multiple owners can make decisions without needing to establish traditional, trust-based relationships and without publicly disclosing their identity information. PABLO’s contributors will design a “technology stack” that adds zero-knowledge proofs to DLT, NFTs, and verifiable credentials. They will then implement a proof of concept, assess its security, and acknowledge the crucial legal implications. The PABLO project engages directly with major stakeholders within cryptocurrency, art and collectibles markets that have officially expressed support for the project.

While tokenised artworks and digital collectibles are the main foci of PABLO, the project’s findings are relevant to a variety of digital asset markets with similar requirements. Successful candidates will construct a portfolio of cutting-edge research outputs that intersect privacy laws, digital asset markets, and digital ID technologies. The work will prepare graduates for a career within industry, regulatory agencies, privacy lobbies, or academia.

Your Profile

Qualifications:

The candidate should possess a master’s degree or equivalent in Computer Science, Information Systems (Engineering), Mathematical and Computational Finance, Mathematics, Physics, or a related field.

What we are looking for:

  • A collaborative team player with a desire to make a personal impact within our interdisciplinary research group 
  • The commitment to participate in the design and implementation of high-quality solutions that solve significant problems 
  • Self-initiative, creativity, curiosity, flexibility and enthusiasm to work 

Knowledge and Experience

The position requires English-language proficiency for both written and verbal communication. Knowledge of French, German and/or Luxembourgish is not required.

The ideal candidate should have some knowledge and/or experience in at least one of the following areas. Competence within all or most of the following areas is not required:

  • Basic cryptographic concepts (such as PKI) and IT security concepts
  • Conceptualisation, or prototype creation with blockchains (e.g., Ethereum-based networks + Solidity) or zero-knowledge proofs (e.g., circom + snarkjs)
  • Linux/macOS Terminal and proficiency in at least one major programming language (e.g., C/C++, Java/Kotlin, Python, JavaScript, Rust)
  • Privacy-preserving technologies, “compliance-by-design”, open blockchain-based platforms, and non-custodial digital wallets (Self-Sovereign Identity)
  • Interdisciplinary research that tackles technical, business, and legal challenges

Here’s what awaits you at SnT

  • A stimulating learning environment. Here post-docs and professors outnumber PhD students. That translates into access and close collaborations with some of the brightest ICT researchers, giving you solid guidance
  • Exciting infrastructures and unique labs. At SnT’s two campuses, our researchers can take a walk on the moon at the LunaLab, build a nanosatellite, or help make autonomous vehicles even better
  • The right place for IMPACT. SnT researchers engage in demand-driven projects. Through our Partnership Programme, we work on projects with more than 45 industry partners
  • Multiple funding sources for your ideas. The University supports researchers to acquire funding from national, European and private sources
  • Competitive salary package. The University offers a 12 month-salary package, over six weeks of paid time off, health insurance and subsidised living and eating
  • Be part of a multicultural family. At SnT we have more than 60 nationalities. Throughout the year, we organise team-building events, networking activities and more

But wait, there’s more!

Students can take advantage of several opportunities for growth and career development, from free language classes to career resources and extracurricular activities.

In Short

  • Contract Type: Fixed Term Contract 36 Month - extendable up to 48 months if required
  • Work Hours: Full Time 40.0 Hours per Week
  • Starting date: As soon as possible
  • Location: Kirchberg
  • Employee and student status
  • Job Reference: UOL04705

The yearly gross salary for every PhD at the UL is EUR 37.101,36 (full time)

Further Information

Applications in English should be submitted online and include:

  • A cover letter including:
    • A statement on the candidate’s personal motivation for applying (why a doctoral program, why in Luxembourg, minimum 300 words)
    • A statement on the candidate’s motivation for applying for this topic (minimum 300 words)
  • Full CV, including the contact address and work experience
  • Transcript of all modules and results from university-level courses taken (Bachelor’s and Master’s degree or equivalent)
  • Candidate’s higher education entrance qualification (e.g., high school diploma) if available

All qualified individuals are encouraged to apply.

Early application is highly encouraged, as the applications will be processed upon reception. Please apply formally through the HR system. Applications by email will not be considered.

The University of Luxembourg embraces inclusion and diversity as key values. We are fully committed to removing any discriminatory barrier related to gender, and not only, in recruitment and career progression of our staff.

About the University of Luxembourg

University of Luxembourg is an international research university with a distinctly multilingual and interdisciplinary character. The University was founded in 2003 and counts more than 6,700 students and more than 2,000 employees from around the world. The University’s faculties and interdisciplinary centres focus on research in the areas of Computer Science and ICT Security, Materials Science, European and International Law, Finance and Financial Innovation, Education, Contemporary and Digital History. In addition, the University focuses on cross-disciplinary research in the areas of Data Modelling and Simulation as well as Health and System Biomedicine. Times Higher Education ranks the University of Luxembourg #3 worldwide for its “international outlook,” #20 in the Young University Ranking 2021 and among the top 250 universities worldwide.

Further information

For further information, please contact alexander.rieger@uni.lu and gilbert.fridgen@uni.lu

Job details

Title
Doctoral Candidate (PhD) in Computer Science on Decentralised Markets for Digital Assets
Location
2, avenue de I'Universite Belvaux, Luxembourg
Published
2022-03-10
Application deadline
Unspecified
Job type
PhD
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