Funded PhD Vacancy (3 years)

General Information

We invite applications from suitable candidates to take up a position as an EPSRC research student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of York. Located on the new £750 million Heslington East campus development, you will work as a member of a leading research group on a programme of independent research leading to the award of a doctoral qualification and PhD title.


Quantum cryptography is one of the most promising areas of quantum information. Currently, the most powerful application is quantum key distribution (QKD), which represents a definitive method to distribute secret keys between distant parties. The security of QKD is unbreakable since it relies on the information-disturbance trade-off which is a direct reformulation of the uncertainty principle. Very recently, QKD has been developed in the continuous variable setting, where the carriers of information are quantum systems with continuous physical variables, such as position and momentum, electric field strengths, etc...This new approach has remarkable potentialities in terms of realising high-speed distribution of unconditionally secure keys.

Work will focus on studying the most recent and powerful continuous variable QKD protocols, analyzing their security against the most general eavesdropping attacks. This investigation will involve the analysis of the Gaussian channels whose complete classification has been uncovered only recently. The project will also involve the analysis and design of protocols which are able to iterate the use of the uncertainty principle and reach more robust security thresholds. The final aim of the project is to realise long distance secure quantum communication under completely general conditions

Applications are envisaged in areas such as quantum optics and continuous variable quantum information. Supervisors: Dr Stefano Pirandola and Prof. Samuel L. Braunstein.

Funding Arrangements

EPSRC funding for applicants provides a tax free stipend of at least £13,590 per year (for updated information on the stipend value refer to the EPSRC website) and UK/EU student fee award for the three years' study period. Candidates may also apply to participate in paid teaching support. The host group has annual budget support for international travel and conference attendance.


These include dedicated desk and office space, departmental facilities for computing and University library facilities.


  • Candidates should possess or expect to receive a degree or post-graduate award in Physics or Mathematics or Computer Science or other relevant field before October 2011.
  • It is recommended to have a good background in quantum optics or quantum information or quantum mechanics.
  • Candidates should also check that they satisfy the student elegibility criteria of EPSRC (click here).
  • Potential applicants can make informal enquiries to Dr Stefano Pirandola at and/or Prof. Samuel L. Braunstein at
  • Applications can be made online via the graduate schools office and should clearly state "QKD PhD studentship" on the section which refers to funding information ("Evidence of financial support")
  • Click here to go directly to the relevant application page.
  • You are strongly encouraged to confirm your intention to apply by emailing and again after completing the application process.

Deadline for applications: 31 August 2011

Notification of results: 30 September 2011


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