PhD Position, Cybersecurity Barrier Management

Trondheim, Norway
Monday, 6 September 2021
End of advertisement period
Friday, 1 October 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

At the Department of Information Security and Communication Technology we have a vacancy for a PhD candidate in Integration of non-technical and technical cybersecurity barrier elements.

The position's working place is NTNU's campus in Trondheim.

You will report to the Head of the Department.

Duties of the position

This PhD project is part of a research project funded by the Research Council called Cybersecurity Barriers Management, where the overall objective is to provide new knowledge and guidance for cybersecurity barrier management as a continuous process during development and operation (including maintenance) of ICS in the petroleum industry, covering both technical and non-technical aspects, bridging the safety and cybersecurity domains. The following activities are required from the candidate during the PhD project period:

  • Development of a research plan for the PhD dissertation and conduct research accordingly.
  • Collaboration with partners in the consortium of the project Cybersecurity Barriers Management
  • Publishing of research results in appropriate scientific conferences and/or journals
  • Communication of research results in relevant seminars/conferences for the industry
  • Compliance with the PhD training program of the Faculty.
  • Participation in professional communities within areas relevant to the position.
  • It is expected that you engage in ongoing parallel research activities and contribute to the research milieux.
  • You will be encouraged to have a research stay with one of the collaborating universities outside Norway during the research period.

Required selection criteria

The main objective of the PhD position is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in computer science, communication technology and/or cybernetics with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale.  Knowledge/experience in information security, and/or technical and industrial safety, is an advantage.  If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.

Good written and oral English and Norwegian language skills. Applicants who do not master a Scandinavian language must provide evidence of good English language skills, written and spoken. The following tests can be used as such documentation: TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are: TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test) IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted) CAE/CPE: grade B or A.

We open up for an Integrated PhD-study. Please see link for more information on integrated PhD and the requirements: Integrated PhD. Masterstudents must be admitted to a master study at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

Preferred selection criteria

  • Publication activities in the aforementioned disciplines will be considered an advantage.
  • Relevant experience in aforementioned disciplines.
  • The applicant should have good communication skills and be willing to collaborate with other researchers in the cross-disciplinary group of people connected to this project.

Personal characteristics

  • High motivation for fundamental scientific research of practical relevance is essential.
  • Well organized and with interest in wider context than own research and ability.
  • Eager to disseminate research results through publications and presentations at international conferences.
  • Flexible and reliable, with ability to work effectively independently and as part of a team, also in in a multidisciplinary setting.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at NOK 491 200 per annum before tax. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment as research scholar is three years, with an optional one-year extension with teaching assistance duties.  

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Information Security and Communication Technology within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. 

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

This PhD research project concerns cyber security of critical infrastructures and is to be performed in close collaboration with industry, including operators of such. It is expected that persons engaged with this kind of research will, directly or indirectly, become involved with knowledge and technology of an inherently sensitive, from a cybersecurity perspective, nature. Accordingly, it is necessary that all staff engaged with research within Cybersecurity Barriers Management are citizens of EU or NATO member states.

The position is subject to external funding.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

The application must include: 

  • A short and directed cover letter (in English or Norwegian) identifying:
    • Your motivation for a PhD study
    • Your understanding and thoughts of the topics of the position
    • Why you are suited for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) with information about your prior training, exams, and work experience.
  • A short project proposal (6-8 pages), describing your tentative research goals and an initial project plan with regard to the topic of cyber security barriers, both technical and non-technical. The statement should also describe why you are suited for the position, and how the project relates to your competence, education, and previous research.
  • Names and contact information of at least three references, preferably at least two of them academic supervisors.
  • A copy of the master thesis (in PDF), or, for those who are near to completion of their MSc, an extended abstract combined with a statement of how and when the applicant plans to complete the thesis.
  • Copies of published or submitted papers the applicant has (co-)authored and would like taken into consideration.
  • Certified copies of transcripts and diplomas of the bachelor and master's degree. The documents have to be translated to English unless they are in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, German or English.
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement (for European Master Diplomas outside Norway) or a similar document that describes in detail the study and grading system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree.
  • Documentation of language skills, cf. required selection criteria given above.

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability.

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

General information

Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

In accordance with The Public Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Professor Poul E. Heegaard or Adj. Associate Professor Maria Bartnes.

If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Stine Terese Ruen Nymoen, e-mail:

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 2021/47430XXX when applying.

Application deadline: 01.10.2021

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Information Security and Communication Technology

Research is vital to the security of our society. We teach and conduct research in cyber security, information security, communications networks and networked services. Our areas of expertise include biometrics, cyber defence, cryptography, digital forensics, security in e-health and welfare technology, intelligent transportation systems and malware. The Department of Information Security and Communication Technology is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

Deadline 1st October 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Campus Gløshaugen, Trondheim

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