Doctoral Student in Hardware Security
Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Electronics

Doctoral student in Hardware Security


KTH Royal Institute of Technology


KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.


Project description

Third-cycle subject: ICT

The Department of Electronics invites applications for a doctoral student position in the area of hardware security with focus on ML-based side-channel attacks.


Side-channel attacks are one of the most efficient attacks against implementations of cryptographic algorithms at present. They exploit the correlation between the physical measurements (power consumption, electromagnetic emissions, timing) taken at different points during the computation and the secret key. Side-channel attacks are several orders of magnitude more effective than the conventional mathematical cryptanalysis and are much more practical to mount. Furthermore, with advances in Machine Learning (ML), side-channel attacks got a powerful ally.  Since ML techniques are good at finding correlations in raw data, they enable the adversary to bypass many existing countermeasures and break protected implementations. Given huge investments in artificial intelligence, we are likely see an explosion of ML-based security breaches. Therefore, it is important to increase knowledge about ML-based side-channel attacks, which is the goal of this project. The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council.


The successful applicants are expected to work on investigating possibilities and limitations of ML in the contexts of side-channel attacks and designing appropriate countermeasures against ML-based side channel attacks.


Supervision:The doctoral student will be placed at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and supervised by: Elena Dubrova


What we offer

  • The possibility to study in a dynamic and international research environment in collaboration with industries and prominent universities from all over the world.

  • A compulsory individual study plan to support your development in your area of interest.

  • A workplace with many employee benefits and monthly salary according to KTH’s Doctoral student salary agreement.

  • A postgraduate education at an institution that is active and supportive in matters pertaining to working conditions, gender equality and diversity as well as study environment.

  • Work and study in Stockholm, one of Europe’s fastest growing capitals, which is close to both nature and the sea.

  • Help torelocate and be settled in Sweden and at KTH.



To be admitted to postgraduate education (Chapter 7, 39 § Swedish Higher Education Ordinance), the applicant must have basic eligibility in accordance with either of the following:

  • passed a degree at advanced level,

  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 higher education credits at advanced level, or

  • in any other way acquired within or outside the country acquired essentially equivalent knowledge.



In order to succeed as an doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. In the selection of the applicants, the following will be assessed:

  • ability to independently pursue his or hers work,

  • ability to collaborate with others,

  • have a professional approach and

  • analyse and work with complex issues.

The applicant should hold a Master of Science degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering or equivalent, and have very good analytical and programming skills. The ideal candidate should have knowledge in one or more of the following areas: Hardware Security, ASIC and FPGA design, Machine Learning, Cryptography, and Cryptanalysis. Besides strong technical, analytical and problem solving skills, the candidate is expected to be curious, ambitious and strongly motivated to conduct research. The candidate should have the ability to work both individually and in teams. Good communication skills in both oral and written English are required.


After the qualification requirements, great emphasis will be placed on personal qualities and personal suitability.


Target degree: Doctoral degree


Information regarding admission and employment


Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle studies may be employed as a doctoral student. The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year and may there after be extended. Doctoral students may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.


Union representatives

You will find contact information for union representatives on KTH's website.

Doctoral section (Students’ union on KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

You will find contact information for doctoral section on the section's website.



Apply for the position and admission through KTH's recruitment system. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement.


Applications must be received at the last closing date at midnight, CET/CEST (Central European Time/entral European Summer Time).

Applications must include the following elements:

  • CV including your relevant professional experience and knowledge.

  • Application letter with a brief description of why you want to pursue research studies, about what your academic interests are and how they relate to your previous studies and future goals. (Maximum 2 pages long)

  • Copy of the degree certificate(s) and transcripts of records from your previously attended university-level institutions. Translations into English or Swedish if the original documents are not issued in one of these languages.

  • Representative publications or technical reports. For longer documents, please provide a summary (abstract) and a web link to the full text.

Other information

Gender equality, diversity and zero tolerance against discrimination and harassment are important aspects of KTH's work with quality as well as core values in our organization.

For information about processing of personal data in the recruitment process please read here.

We firmly decline all contact with staffing and recruitment agencies and job ad salespersons.

Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.


Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Enligt ö.k
Salary Monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number J-2019-2584
Elena Dubrova,
Tysse Norlindh Falk,
Published 17.Oct.2019
Last application date 31.Jan.2020 11:59 PM CET

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