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Centre for Cyber Security is accepting industrial PhD project proposals on cyber security

This is a call for technical research projects in cyber security for potential PhD supervisors. The deadline for this present call is 30 June 2023.

Supervisors submitting proposals are asked to direct prospective industrial PhD students to apply in tandem, via the separate job listing found here. The three-year PhD position begins 1 January 2024 or soon thereafter. Note that the PhD students will be employed and fully funded by Centre for Cyber Security, and part time PhD relevant obligations at CFCS locations should be expected.

All topics related to technical research in cyber security are welcome, but of particular interest to this call are:

Data Centric Security. Efficient information sharing capabilities is of paramount importance for effective execution of defence operations. Traditional information protection practices rely heavily on network compartmentalisation and separation with perimeter defence at the boundaries, both in national domains and between international allies. Data Centric Security (DCS) architecture is focusing on securing access to the data itself, rather than relying on perimeter defences. Danish Defence is working towards NATO goals for introduction of DCS. Within this wide topic there are many areas that need to be researched in more detail in order to achieve efficient information sharing in practice, e.g. cryptography, uniform data labeling, mapping of international confidentiality definitions, integration with legacy defence applications, data loss protection, and user federation.

AI for Cyber Security. AI is playing an increasing societal role, creating both threats and opportunities from a Cyber Security perspective. AI systems typically function in support of software applications, and security measures applied to these applications apply to the use of AI systems. However, additional measures are needed in order to protect against AI evasion attacks, data poisoning, protection of Intellectual Property, privacy information etc. On the defensive side AI is currently used in commercial Cyber Security products, e.g. for phishing detection and network traffic anomaly detection. CFCS is investigating AI based means for protection of critical sectors in Denmark, e.g. within the national sensor network, and is looking to expand these research efforts.

New applications for quantum algorithms. The potential for quantum computers to break existing encryption systems using Shor’s algorithm presents a security threat to IT systems. Quantum computing applications with possible use-cases within defense or cyber security are of interest, and may focus on either noisy quantum hardware implementations for the short-term, or long-term solutions relying on more mature quantum computers.

Quantum Sensors. Quantum sensing encompasses such diverse applications as electromagnetic field sensors, atomic clocks, gravitometers or acoustic sensors, and their military applications, such as inertial navigation, communication, surveillance, and submarine or mine detection. Practical quantum sensors have important cyber security implications, for example because their precise measurements reduce the reliance on continuous satellite navigation connectivity and vulnerability to spoofing. The focus of interest is further development of existing technologies towards field trials, or investigating new applications and methods.

Quantum Key Infrastructure. Systems for quantum key distribution (QKD) are already commercially available with a multitude of ongoing development efforts. However, currently available systems, as well as systems foreseeable in the near future, have short reach and/or high cost, which in many cases prevent a full mesh of QKD links for end-to-end key distribution. Instead, an international network of QKD-interconnected trusted nodes for relaying key-material is envisioned. A project can address the overall architecture of a key management system that can provide end-to-end key material over a network of QKD links as well as the related properties and requirements: Key encryption, Quality of Service, trust, key routing optimization, traceability, anonymous key consumption and autonomous system interconnectivity.

Optical fiber sensing. Turning an optical fiber meant for telecommunication into a sensor enables unique infrastructure monitoring capabilities. For example, it is possible with distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) to detect and track distinct vibrational signatures from physical threats to a cable, such as earthquakes, nearby digging on land or bottom trawling in the sea, and even deliberate tampering. Unlike other monitoring systems, DAS enables real-time and full-length monitoring of cables up to hundreds of kilometers in length, and in largely inaccessible environments such as the seafloor. CFCS is interested in researching fiber sensors for communication infrastructure monitoring, including new enabling coherent optical systems for dark or lit fiber links, as well as machine learning or AI techniques, for improved event classification or tracking in realistic environments.

Other. High quality technical research projects within cyber security that do not fall within the preceding topics, are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


A student ready to be associated with the project is required. The supervisor must ensure that one or more suitable PhD candidates apply for the project, for the project to be eligible for submission.
The supervisor must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent) and be employed at the level of an associate professor (or higher) at a Danish University. It is desirable that you are an experienced PhD supervisor having supervised PhD students before in cyber security or in related areas.

How to apply

Your application must contain:

  • Your curriculum vitae including relevant publications
  • Motivated application including a description of the proposed PhD project for a maximum of three pages.
  • References to relevant literature
  • A tentative project plan including proposed publications

Your project application must be compiled as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration and your application must reach us no later than 30 June 2023 (23.59 Danish time). The application must be sent to perive@cfcs.dk.

For questions about this PhD call please see the FAQ or contact perive@cfcs.dk

About Centre for Cyber Security and DDIS

The Danish Defence Intelligence Service (Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste (DDIS)) is both Denmark’s foreign and military intelligence agency, the Danish military’s security agency and the national IT security authority, that ensures a strong cyber defence. DDIS works to protect Denmark and the Danish democracy. We gain our knowledge through focused intelligence work, use it to asses, combat, and counsel current and future threats. We do this by obtaining and analysing information about situations in foreign countries that are relevant to Denmark and Danish interest. We value the strength of our diversity with profound professional competencies, and we are a unique operational orientated knowledge organisation with many different tasks, but common to them all is the knowledge our intelligence work creates. ‘DDIS’s Centre for Cyber Security constitute Denmark’s national defence against cyber threats and we work for a digitally safe Denmark. We take part in discovering and handling cases where Danish interest are exposed to cyber-attacks and we gather, develop and share knowledge which can prevent future attacks.

Read the job description at the university homepage

Post expires on Friday June 30th, 2023