PhD positions on NVRAM and security

We invite applications for fully funded PhD research positions in Computer Science at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. The positions are funded for 4 years and will address research challenges in the fields of non-volatile memory, security and concurrency. Applicants must have a MSc degree in Computer Science (or equivalent), be fluent in English, and demonstrate strong team-working abilities. Candidates with proven programming skills who are knowledgeable in concurrent programming, security and operating systems are particularly encouraged to apply.


Non-volatile byte-addressable memory (NVRAM) is an emerging technology that is persistent upon power loss (unlike DRAM), provides fast and fine-granular access to memory (unlike disk), and promises high performance (orders of magnitude faster than flash memory). It combines the best features of traditional RAM and disk storage, but it cannot readily be used as a drop-in replacement and therefore also introduces a paradigm shift for developers.

NVRAM is of particular interest for shared-memory data structures, which are at the core of many key infrastructure components, such as in-memory databases, key-value stores and graph processing engines. Yet, most shared-memory data structures are not persistent and, hence, not designed to tolerate failures or corruption (accidental or malicious). Traditional techniques such as logging to storage come with significant performance overheads, both during normal-case operations and during recovery.

The objective of this research is to design and implement high-performance, concurrent and secure data structures and algorithms that can leverage the capabilities of NVRAM. The primary target of such structures is to support big-data storage and processing.


The working languages at the University of Neuchâtel are English and French. The PhD student is expected to participate to a limited amount of teaching activities in either language. The candidate is expected to use state-of-the-art tools for software development and collaboration, such as git, Docker, and such.


The University of Neuchâtel is settled in a beautiful landscape of lake and mountains that offers a friendly atmosphere to about 4,000 students. It was recently ranked 18th in the world among the universities with fewer than 5,000 students. The city of Neuchâtel belongs to the French-speaking part of Switzerland and is located at the border of the German-speaking part of the country. Courses at the computer science department are taught in English, in the context of the joint Bern-Neuchâtel-Fribourg Master in computer science. For more information, visit


Applications should be submitted by e-mail to Prof. Pascal Felber at with subject "Application PhD position 2018", including:

  1. Curriculum vitae;
  2. List of 2-3 reference persons and their e-mail addresses (we ask for recommendation letters ourselves and we will ignore any recommendation letter sent by the candidate her/himself)
  3. Transcripts of undergraduate and graduate studies;
  4. Links to MSc and internship thesis/reports, and publications if applicable;
  5. Links to examples of software personal contributions (on github or similar).

All documents must be sent as a single pdf. The expected starting date is September 2018. Applications will be screened as they arrive and until appropriate candidates are selected.