PhD student in Zero-Knowledge Proofs

Bergen, Norway
Application deadline: 
31 March 2023


Job description

At Simula UiB, we are now seeking a PhD student in the department of cryptography. The candidate will be supervised by professor Helger Lipmaa on topics related to zk-SNARKs and zero-knowledge and their various applications: cryptocurrencies, verifiable computation, and e-voting, to name a few. Zk-SNARKs have become excessively popular during the last few years due to their application in privacy-preserving cryptocurrencies. We expect the focus to be at least partially on post-quantum secure zk-SNARKs.

The PhD position can last either three or four years. Simula will, for each PhD position, consider proposing a fourth year of compulsory work (teaching courses, outreach activities and applied research experiments) to the original three years of research. Whether this specific contract will be for 3 or 4 years depends on the availability of appropriate work tasks and each candidate’s individual skill set and aspiration.

Candidate Profile

  • We are looking for interested candidates who have completed an MSc degree in cryptography or related areas (in particular, theoretical computer science, including algorithms and/or complexity theory, and mathematics). 
  • Strong background in mathematics and TCS is particularly expected.
  • We expect an excellent academic track record, including top grades.
  • The student should be comfortable with both theory and applied research.
  • Having the ability to read and write code is also useful. 
  • We value strong motivation with a combination of teamwork and the ability to work alone.

The Simula group appreciates diversity. We currently employ approximately 236 individuals from 44 countries and strive to create a family-friendly working environment. We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage women to apply.

We will also consider applicants who are in the final phase of their MSc studies, but the master’s degree must have been awarded, with good results, before their start in the PhD position. In particular, the candidate must satisfy the enrollment requirements for the PhD programme at the University of Bergen. These requirements include

  • C or better average for the Bachelor’s degree, C or better for the Master's degree and Master's thesis (in the Norwegian grading system),
  • Proof of English language proficiency (requirements vary, see UiB regulations)

Simula Offers

  • Excellent opportunities for conducting high-quality research, as part of a highly competent and motivated team of international researchers and engineers.
  • An informal and inclusive international working environment.
  • Generous support for travel and opportunities to build international networks, through established collaboration with industry, exchange programs and research visits with other universities, and funding to attend conferences.
  • Modern office facilities located at Marineholmen in the city centre of Bergen.
  • A competitive salary. Starting salary from NOK 501 200. 
  • Numerous employee benefits, including access to company cabin, Baby Bonus arrangements, sponsored social events, equipment budget, and comprehensive travel/health insurance policy. 
  • Relocation assistance: accommodation, visas, complimentary Norwegian language courses, etc.
  • Administrative research support: e.g., quality assurance process for grant proposals (including RCN and EU programs).
  • Wellness and work-life balance. Our employees’ health and well-being are a priority, and we encourage them to make use of our flexible work arrangements to help balance their work and home lives efficiently.

Application Requirements

Interested applicants are requested to submit the following:

  • Curriculum vitae: summarise your educational background, working experience (in particular, any relevant academic or industrial work), list of scientific publications, etc.
  • Contact information of two references, including the Master’s supervisor(s)
  • Cover letter: outline your motivation for applying, relevant experience and qualifications, research interests and how/why you are qualified for the position. 
  • Other: transcripts from Bachelor and Master degrees

Application deadline: 31.03.2023

Applications will be screened continuously. We may conclude recruitment as soon as we find the right candidate. The starting date is negotiable.


Additional enquiries regarding the position can be addressed to Helger Lipmaa at

For administrative questions:


About Simula and Norway

Simula UiB AS is a research centre owned by Simula Research Laboratory AS and the University of Bergen (UiB). Simula UiB closely collaborates with leading universities in Norway and abroad, both in research and education of master- and PhD students. One of the goals of Simula UiB is to increase cyber security expertise in Norway through research and education in cryptography and information theory.

Simula Research Laboratory AS is a publicly owned research lab located in downtown Oslo, Norway. Simula conducts Information and Communication Technology (ICT) research in the fields of scientific computing, software engineering, communication systems, machine learning and cyber security. 

Simula's main objective is to create knowledge about fundamental scientific challenges that are of genuine value to society. This is achieved through high-quality research, education of graduate students, industry collaboration, technology transfer, and commercialization. Since 2001, scientific evaluations conducted by the Research Council of Norway have repeatedly placed Simula at the forefront of international research in ICT. The most recent in-depth evaluation was published in 2017, grading the full range of research at Simula as “excellent”.

Norway is famous for its outdoor scenery, with gorgeous fjords, waterfalls and mountain ranges. Moreover, Norway is a safe and peaceful country with a thriving economy, offering a high standard of living and all the benefits of a social-democratic welfare state, such as social security and universal public healthcare.

Learn more about Norway: Official travel guide to Norway


More information:

Candidates that may be eligible for a security clearance in Norway will be prioritised.

Simula UiB uses Semac’s background check in our recruitment process. Employment for this position will be made according to the act relating to Control of the export of strategic goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and any attachments are considered to be in conflict with the export control regulations will not qualify for this position.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.