PHD position in Data Privacy

Gjøvik, Norway
15 Sep 2020
End of advertisement period
30 Oct 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

The Department of Information Security and Communication Technology (IIK) has a vacancy for a position as a PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (IE), in the cross-disciplinary field of cyber security. This is a researcher training position aimed at providing promising researcher recruits the opportunity of academic development in the form of a doctoral degree.

The position is a part of a national effort to develop the Norwegian knowledge base in cyber security according to the directions given in the newly announced Norwegian strategy for digital security.

The position's working place is at NTNUs campus at Gjøvik and reports to the Head of Department.

Duties of the position

The appointment is for a term of 3 years, or 4 years including 25% duty work.

The position will be concerned with analyzing and designing secure mechanisms for data and information access that allow control of the privacy-utility trade-off. Of particular interest is development of new differentially private response mechanisms for distributed and longitudinal data. Depending on the skills of the candidate, different aspects may be emphasized, for instance privacy preserving

  • multi-party computation with shared randomness,
  • statistical modeling of longitudinal data,
  • information retrieval and machine learning.

The research will be carried out as an integrated part of the NTNU Applied Cryptology Lab, and under guidance of Staal A. Vinterbo

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. Required is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in one or more of

  • Statistics
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Information theory

or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Also required is that grades received in classes belonging to the fields above are generally B or better . Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant. NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

Preferred selection criteria

  • Interest in the proposed research and the ability to acquire necessary tools for conducting the research
  • Ability to work independently
  • Good organization and communication skills
  • Interest in a wider context beyond own research
  • Eager to disseminate research results through publications and presentations at international conferences.
  • 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.

Publication activities in the aforementioned disciplines will be considered an advantage.

Personal characteristics

We are seeking applicants who are

  • highly motivated by fundamental scientific research of practical relevance
  • able to work independently
  • well organized and have interests beyond their own research
  • eager to disseminate research results through publications and presentations at international conferences

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualifications specified in the advertisement.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The appointment is for a term of 3 years, or 4 years including 25% duty work.

Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to NTNUs PhD programme in Information Security and Communication Technology.

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months

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.

Appointment takes place on the terms that apply to State employees at any time, and after the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

About the application

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

Submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Do not send the application via email. Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Include the following in the application:

  • A cover letter explaining your motivation and how your skills and experience relate to the research associated with the position (1 page).
  • A draft research proposal (1 page).
  • CV with list of publications and GRE scores or other supporting documents as documentation of the candidates’ study and language abilities.
  • Relevant transcript of grades, diplomas, and certificates, including undergraduate. The documents have to be translated to English unless they are in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, German or English.
  • 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.
  • Names and contact information of at least two references, preferably from academic supervisor(s).
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are 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.

Incomplete applications submitted without justification will not be considered.

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 Gjøvik has a population of 30 000 and is a town known for its rich music and cultural life. The beautiful nature surrounding the city is ideal for an active outdoor life! The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world.

Questions about the position can be directed to 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 2019/37241 when applying.

Application deadline: 30.10.20

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 30th October 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Gjøvik
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Campus Gjøvik