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Early Stage Researcher in EU H2020 5GhOSTS

Job Description

Date: Dec 20, 2019

Job Summary

We are looking for two Early Stage Researchers (ESRs, i.e. PhD candidates) in Computer Science with a focus on security and formal methods, as part of the European’s Horizon 2020 research 6 innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie program – ITN European Industrial Doctorate, 

5GhOSTS will analyze and improve the security of service-based implementations of 5G networks, relevant to protect the EU’s critical communication infrastructure. Starting from the emerging 3GPP service-based architecture for 5G networks, which includes virtualization of mobile and core network functions, the project aims to improve the security of virtualization technologies: Containers, lightweight Virtual Machines  and orchestration frameworks. Unlike previous evolutions in the telecommunications sector, the 5th Generation of Telecommunication Systems (5G) presents diverse and novel requirements for technologies such as, Software Defined Networking, Network Functions Virtualization, Mobile Edge Computing and Fog Computing, as well as algorithms to optimize the management of such complex networks. As a result, the 5G evolution will mainly be built on layers of software services.
The partners in 5GhOSTS consortium is ERICSSON AB, and KU Leuven, one of Europe's leading universities in STEM and Law.

Job description:

ESR1 - Integrity assurance for multi-component services 
Multi-component Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) depend on a Trusted Computing Base (TCB) offered by the underlying infrastructure in order to ensure the secure operation of the VNFs. The use of VMs to implement multi-component VNFs on multi-tenant infrastructures that include a TCB is well researched, however, not so for Containers and lightweight VMs. The ETSI NFV Security group has determined VNF modeling and VNF initiation and update procedures (NFV SOL 004) for hyper-visor based virtualization technology as implementation basis, but not yet for the more light-weight Container technology. Container security is deemed not straightforward and a more thorough understanding of security requirements and guarantees is needed. Recent advances such as lightweight VMs are innovative but require further investigation. Technologies such as Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs), vTPMs, hardware enclaves (Intel SGX, AMD SEV) are potential candidates for integrity assurance of VNF distribution, initiation and update. However, applying these on multi-component VNFs is not straightforward, in particular in a multi-tenant environment.

ESR3 - Towards a trustworthy container platform and orchestration framework
The goal of this research project is to (a) implement critical components for Container platforms and orchestration frameworks based on proven system security methods, which include (b) strong software isolation mechanisms and (c) safe programming languages and formal verification in order to form a minimized Container platform as TCB. 
Trusted Execution technologies such as enclaves in Intel SGX and AMD SEV are potential candidates to guarantee integrity assurance and component isolation. Research and engineering challenges exist with respect to maintaining high system performance and implementing low-latency requirements, and with verifying security properties and functional correctness of the isolated components.
ESR1 and ESR3 will work together with our senior researchers, form an international and interdisciplinary research group with a focus on security of service-based implementations of 5G networks. You will benefit from close intersectoral collaboration to develop transferable skills, both soft and technical skills that will uplift their future careers. 

Key Qualifications:

  • You have obtained a Master’s Degree in Computer Science (or equivalent);
  • You have good understanding of modern security technologies, threats and an interest in formal methods;
  • You have a genuine interest in the objectives described above, and a demonstrated desire to work in an interdisciplinary environment, collaborating with computer scientists, legal scientists and engineers;
  • You are enthusiastic about engaging in a unique international mobility scheme between Sweden and Belgium;
  • You have distinguished yourself during your academic studies and have obtained excellent grades;
  • You have a genuine interest in research to pursue a PhD degree;
  • You have a critical, analytical and creative mind, and strong problem-solving skills;
  • You are flexible and capable of working both individually and in a(n) (interdisciplinary) team;
  • You can plan and organize your work independently in order to meet deadlines and prioritize where necessary; if needed, you can work under time pressure without losing respect for your colleagues and dedication to deliver high quality results;
  • You have excellent written and verbal communication skills in English (to be demonstrated by academic publications such as a Master’s thesis or academic articles, and/or practical briefs such as client memos and blog entries);

Eligibility criteria: You have a Master degree or equivalent providing access to PhD programme. You have not more than 4 years of research experience and you have not spent more than 12 months in Sweden in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Please also visit to learn more on the eligibility criteria.


To apply for ESR1 or ESR3 position you need to send your application by following the application process at, and by sending the application to ERICSSON.


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Primary country and city: Sweden (SE) || || Stockholm || R&D

Req ID: 316843