PhD in Privacy-preserving/ Decentralized Processing of Genomic Data (1.0 FTE)

Department

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Organisation

University of Groningen

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 36,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

Within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, a 4-years PhD position is available at the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence with the topic of privacy-preserving genomic data processing on DLTs. The candidate would become a member of the Information Systems Group of the Computer Science Department and will work under the supervision of Dr Fatih Turkmen.

Job description

Human genomic data carry unique information about an individual and offer unprecedented opportunities for healthcare. Sharing genomic datasets, however, poses major challenges, as genetic information is different from traditional medical records, indirectly revealing information about descendants and relatives of the owner and carrying valid information even after the owner passes away. Therefore, stringent ownership and control measures are required when storing, sharing and processing genomic data.

In this PhD project, we are broadly interested in the development of techniques for privacy-preserving processing of genomic data over decentralized infrastructures. The work will involve the integration of (novel/existing) privacy-enhancing technologies including, but not limited to, zero-knowledge proofs, multi-party computing, homomorphic encryption and differential privacy to distributed ledgers to enable various genome-wide association studies between multiple organizations.

The objective of the temporary position is the production of a number of research articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and conference proceedings, which together will form the basis of a thesis leading to a PhD degree (Dr) at the University of Groningen.

Requirements

The successful candidate should:

• have a keen interest in pursuing fundamental and interdisciplinary research at the interface of privacy-enhancing technologies, distributed ledgers / blockchain
• have a master’s degree or equivalent in computer science, mathematics/cryptography, artificial intelligence or another relevant field
• good analytical skills and a positive attitude towards interdisciplinary work.

Publications in leading international journals/conferences related to security and privacy will be an advantage.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

We offer you, following the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2,541 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,247 gross per month in the fourth and final year for a full-time working week
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and an 8.3% year-end bonus
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE). The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.

Job Application

Application should include:

• letter of motivation
• CV (including contact information for at least two academic references)
• transcripts from your Bachelor’s and Master’s degree.

You can submit your application until 29 September 11:59pm / before 30 September 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Applications received before 1 October 2022 will be given full consideration; however, the position will remain open until it is filled.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage: https://www.rug.nl/[…]/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): https://www.nvp-hrnetwerk.nl/sollicitatiecode/ and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/charter/code

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Dr Fatih Turkmen
f.turkmen@rug.nl

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 222452

Digital application form