Pre-doctoral researcher

Decentralized Trust & Applied Cryptography

Ref. 2022_021

Job Description

We are seeking to fill a pre-doctoral (PhD) researcher position at IBM Research Europe – Zurich in the area of decentralized trust & applied cryptography. Particular topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Decentralized identity schemes
  • Secure and privacy-preserving token and asset exchange
  • Blockchains and distributed-ledger technologies
  • Verifiable computing and zero-knowledge proofs
  • Foundations & solutions for real-world cryptography

The successful candidate will enjoy a very special position to start and pursue their PhD in an one of the world's leading industrial research organization with close collaboration and supervision by key experts in the field.

The Decentralized Trust research group at IBM Research Europe in Zurich offers an exciting research environment with the possibility to collaborate with researchers working on real-world and theoretic problems in security and cryptography, including blockchain, provably secure protocol design, and system security. The group has been leading IBM's contributions in security and privacy components of Hyperledger Fabric, the first permissioned blockchain platform released. Moreover, the group has been spearheading COVID-19 health certificates worldwide from the very early days of the pandemic. Today's Research objectives revolve on challenging and exciting use cases to enable trusted and highly scalable cross-enterprise identity, digital business asset exchange, and engage in emerging trends such as Web3.

This offers unique opportunities for recent graduate researchers to delve into research problems from the real world, broaden their skills and create new innovation, and see their research results applied in real systems. Collaboration with other academic and industry researchers within IBM as well as acquisition of external research funding, e.g., European grants (including the ERC), is also possible. Moreover, this offer enables young researchers to publish scientific papers and travel to industry leading conferences.

The position offers the opportunity to live in the Zurich area, which is consistently ranked as one of the top five cities with the best quality of life.


Candidates are required to have a Master's degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, or a related area by the time of appointment.

Preferred qualifications

We are looking for a candidate who is self-motivated and driven by curiosity and the goal to create (or co-create). Technology and creation of innovation is at the center of our minds – the candidates for the PhD position needs to show that they have a strong technical foundation, are able to handle setbacks, think out of the box, and embrace and are dedicated to solving non-trivial problems.

An affiliation with a top university will be necessary but not required to start the position. IBM colleagues have a wide network and can help identifying or advising the candidate with the choice and establishment of an academic affiliation for the PhD.


IBM is committed to diversity at the workplace. With us you will find an open, multicultural environment. Excellent flexible working arrangements enable all genders to strike the desired balance between their professional development and their personal lives.

How to apply

If you are interested in this exciting position, please submit your application below.