Join us for your PhD
in Information security

In your doctoral studies, you will learn to conduct independent research on scientific and applied problems in information security.

Become part of one of our excellent research teams and work on challenges in cryptography, system security, formal methods, and secure applications.

You will collaborate with your colleagues in the team, do experiments, ask questions, find answers and insights, and publish your research results in international high-profile conferences and journals.

You will expand your understanding and skills through individual research as well as in in-depth courses and collaborations with your colleagues and advisor.

How to start a PhD at IAIK?

To start your PhD with us, you need to find a PhD supervisor and agree on a PhD project that aligns with your interests and our research goals.

We are generally always open to applications, so the best way is to go ahead and contact one of the teamleaders at  IAIK or send your application to

Sometimes, we are looking to fill specific positions, listed below, with more formal application requirements.

In addition, you also need to be admitted to the Doctoral School of Computer Science at Graz University of Technology. For information about admission to this school and any other formalities, please, refer to the Doctoral School of Computer Science.

PhD Students and PhD Candidates

At IAIK, we distinguish between PhD students and PhD candidates. A student starts their PhD project as a PhD student. To advance from PhD student to PhD candidate, the student needs to successfully present and defend a PhD proposal.

The expected duration for studying in a doctoral program at IAIK is 4 years; the maximum duration is 6 years. Typically, a student will hold the status of PhD student for about 2 years; the status of PhD student can be held for at most 3 years. Each student has to complete their PhD thesis (document and defense) within 6 years of their start as a PhD student. It is the responsibility of each individual student to successfully defend their proposal and their thesis within the allotted time.
In certain cases we will entertain proposals to finish a degree after the maximum time of 6 years if a reasonable research plan is proposed by the student.

PhD Proposals

As part of their doctoral studies, PhD students at IAIK must successfully defend a PhD proposal at about the middle of the doctoral studies. Typically, the defense of the proposal is between 1.5 to 2.5 years, but no later than 3 years after the start of the PhD project. In the PhD proposal, a doctoral student shows first scientific results (including publications) and a detailed plan of the remaining timeline and the topics to be included in the dissertation. A successful proposal makes it evident that the PhD candidate can successfully conclude their doctoral studies in the proposed topic within the allotted time. By accepting the PhD proposal, the advisor demonstrates their expectation that the PhD candidate can finish their doctoral studies within the planned timeframe.

The PhD proposal consists of a document, a 45-minute presentation, and a 45-minute question session.
It is judged by a committee, which is set up in mutual agreement between the student and their advisor and includes professors of IAIK as well as typically an external member.

In the proposal, the student explains why they want to research the chosen area; shows in-depth understanding of the literature in the field; shows preliminary results (which must have previously resulted in accepted publications); and shows a plan of the research results to be achieved in the coming one to two years, culminating in a PhD thesis.