PhD Position in Communications and Cyber Security for Digital Transformation Project

Gjøvik, Norway
19 Apr 2018
End of advertisement period
27 May 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)is now launching a strategic research program called Digital transformation with nine research projects. One of these projects is about the development of autonomous all-electric passenger ferries for urban water transport (Autoferry). Succeeding with the Autoferry project requires a highly interdisciplinary approach and involves six PhD positions. The position announced here is on the topic of Communications and cyber security, and is affiliated with the Department of Information Security and Communication Technology (IIK) at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (IE). The place of work is in Gjøvik.

Information about the department

The Department of Information Security and Communication Technology has 33 permanent scientific staff members, and in total approximately 80 employees. 50 persons work at the NTNU campus in Gjøvik and 30 at the NTNU campus in Trondheim. IIK carries out internationally competitive research covering the academic areas of Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience, Biometrics, Digital Forensics, Information Security Management and Privacy, Applied Cryptology, Cyber Defense, e-Health and welfare security, Internet of Things (IoT), Intelligent Transport Systems, Quantifiable Performance and Dependability of Communication Systems. The department offers BSc in IT Operations and Information Security, MSc programmes in Communication technology and Information Security, and PhD programmes in Information Security and in Telematics. The department hosts the Center for Cyber and Information Security (CCIS), a public-private partnership with 26 partner organizations of the public and the private sector.

Work description

This is a researcher training position aimed at providing promising researcher recruits the opportunity of academic development in the form of a doctoral degree.

This position is part of the Autoferry project, whose goal is to develop groundbreaking new concepts and methods which will enable the development of autonomous passenger ferries for environmentally-friendly and flexible transport of people in urban water channels. The main hypothesis of the Autoferry project is that autonomous passenger ferries can operate safely alongside other vessels in confined and congested environments such as urban water channels.

Autonomous ferries face many cyber risks due to their dependence on digital solutions for control, increased integration of control systems, increased connectivity of the on-board control systems to on-shore monitoring systems, and the accessibility of such systems. Hence, a comprehensive approach combining cyber and physical security solutions to protect the autonomous ship ecosystem is needed by developing an Integrated Security, Safety and Ship Management System (IS3MS). Developing such a platform gives rise to a number of research challenges to be pursued, relating to systemic risk management, prevention by design, monitoring and detection, and response and mitigation of cyber-physical threats. Since a secure and reliable communication system between the vessel, a remote control center and other vessels is essential to the security of the autonomous ship ecosystem, particular emphasis will be given to the communication and navigation systems of the autonomous ferry.

The research will be carried out in an interdisciplinary environment of several research groups, and under guidance of three supervisors from the Department of Information Security and Communication Technology (IIK), the Department of Engineering Cybernetics (ITK) and the Department of Electronic Systems (IES) at NTNU.


We seek a highly-motivated individual with a strong background in information/cyber security, and preferably also understanding of communication and information technology or computer science/engineering, and a research-oriented master thesis within one of the aforementioned fields.

Motivation for fundamental scientific research of practical relevance is essential.

Academic results, publications, relevant specialization, work or research experience, personal qualifications and motivation will be considered when evaluating the applicants.

The appointment is for a term of 3 years without teaching assistance, or up to 4 years including 25% of teaching assistance.

See here for regulations concerning appointment and promotion to teaching and research posts:

Language requirements

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.

Formal regulations

Appointments are made in accordance with the regulations in force regarding terms of employment for PhD candidates issued by the Ministry of Education and Research, with relevant parts of the additional guidelines for appointment as a PhD candidate at NTNU.

Applicants must undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme of study during their period of employment. The person who is appointed must comply with the conditions that apply at any time to employees in the public sector. In addition, a contract will be signed regarding the period of employment.

Candidates completing their MSc-degree in the Spring 2018 are encouraged to apply. The position is also open for integrated PhD for NTNU students starting their final year of their master degree in Autumn 2018, see for information about integrated PhD.

It is a prerequisite that the successful applicant applies for and is granted admission to the relevant PhD study program as soon as possible after employment. NTNU’s PhD regulations require a master’s degree or equivalent with at least 5 years of studies, and an average ECTS grade of A or B within a scale of A-E for passing grades (A best). Applicants must be qualified for admission as PhD students at NTNU. See for more information.

See here for regulations concerning appointment and promotion to teaching and research posts:

Salary conditions

The position is in code 1017 Research fellow, and is remunerated at a gross NOK 436.900 – 537.700 per year, depending on qualifications. A deduction of 2% is made as a statutory contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.


NTNU can offer an informal and friendly workplace with dedicated colleagues, academic challenges and attractive schemes for home loans, insurance and pensions in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering wants to attract outstanding and creative candidates who can contribute to our ongoing research activities. We believe that diversity is important to achieve a good, inclusive working environment. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of gender, disability or cultural background.

The appointment is subject to the conditions in effect at any time for employees in the public sector, and assessments regarding the legislations regulating export control and knowledge transfer.

Under Section 25 of the Freedom of Information Act, information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have his or her name entered on the list of applicants.

For further information about the position, please contact Professor Sokratis Katsikas (

Application requirements

Applications are to be submitted electronically through this page ( Preferably, all attachments should be combined into a single file.

The application must contain:

  • CV including information relevant for the qualifications and contact information for at least 2 reference persons
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and transcripts
  • Applicants from universities outside of Norway are requested to send a diploma supplement (or a similar document) which describes in detail the study and grading system, and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree
  • A short research statement (max. 3 pages) including:
    • A short presentation of the motivation for a PhD study
    • Why the applicant is suited for the position
    • The applicant’s view of research challenges for the PhD position

Publications and any other work that the applicant wishes to be considered must also be enclosed. Joint works will be considered if a short summary outlining the applicant's contributions is attached.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Mark the application with the reference number: IE-079-2018

Application deadline: May 27, 2018

About this job

  • Deadline Sunday, May 27, 2018
  • Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Website
  • Municipality Dovre, Etnedal, Gausdal, Gjøvik, Gran, Jevnaker, Lesja, Lillehammer, Lom, Lunner, Nord-Aurdal, Nord-Fron, Nordre Land, Ringebu, Sel, Skjåk, Søndre Land, Sør-Aurdal, Sør-Fron, Vang, Vestre Slidre, Vestre Toten, Vågå, Østre Toten, Øyer, Øystre Slidre
  • Place of service Gjøvik
  • Jobbnorge ID 151526
  • Internal ID 2018/10927
  • Scope Fulltime
  • Duration Temporary

About applications

  • Applications on this job are registered in an electronic form on
  • You must complete: Standard CV
  • Please refer to where you first saw this job advertised!