Project 5: Security analysis of practical decoy-state QKD systems

Host Institute: University of Vigo

Project Supervisor: Prof. Marcos Curty

Tentative placements/visits arranged at:  Toshiba Research Europe Ltd, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT)

Starting date: flexible but strictly no later than 1 Oct 2017

Duration: 3 years

Annual Salary: Equivalent to €36,424.32 + €7,200 (for mobility allowance) + €6,000 (for family allowance, if eligible); this is before any applicable tax and/or deductions.

Project Description

A PhD position is available on a project to analyze the security of practical QKD systems. QKD has attracted a lot of interest in recent years because, in theory, it offers unconditional security based on the laws of physics. In practice, however, at the moment it does not, because typical security proofs of QKD include assumptions that are not actually met by current implementations, as they usually ignore many experimental device imperfections. This means that these proofs cannot be applied to practical realisations because real devices behave differently from the theoretical models that are assumed in the proofs. This project aims to fill in this big gap between the theory and the practice of QKD by developing efficient security proof methods for the finite sample-size setting scenario that can include typical devices’ flaws (such as, for instance, state preparation flaws or intensity fluctuations) to be applied to QKD experiments, particularly to decoy-state-based QKD platforms. In addition, this project will develop performance optimisation techniques for various decoy-state QKD protocols and system architectures. The work will be carried out in close connection with other relevant partners in the network.


Candidate profile

Education: Top Bachelor’s or Master’s degree (or expecting) in science or engineering

Relevant Research Fields: Quantum Cryptography, Quantum Information, Quantum Optics, Communications Systems

Languages: English (Excellent)

The candidate should be willing to travel to and collaborate with all, beneficiary or partner organisation, members of the network.

Eligibility rules

For full explanation of eligibility rules please see here. In short, eligibility rules require candidates to have been resident outside the host country (Spain) for at least two of the past three years prior to the start of their contract. They should also be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers. This is measured from the date that you obtained the degree that would entitle you to embark on a PhD. The candidates cannot have a PhD degree at the time of recruitment, but it is possible to be a PhD student and still satisfy the above condition.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, follow the instructions below:

  • Fill out the application form.
  • Send an email to mcurty(at)  containing
    1. a statement of interest;
    2. a detailed CV; and
    3. three letters of recommendation and/or the name of at least three reference persons, who can be contacted to provide letter of recommendation.