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HICT: Doctoral Candidate in Privacy-preserving and federated learning

The Helsinki Doctoral Education Network in Information and Communications Technology (HICT) is a collaborative doctoral education network hosted jointly by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, the two leading universities within this area in Finland. The network serves as a collaboration platform for doctoral education combining all the relevant subfields of computer science and information technology at Aalto University and the University of Helsinki. It involves at present 80 professors and almost 300 doctoral students, and the participating units graduate altogether more than 40 new doctors each year.

We offer the possibility to join world-class research groups in both universities with multiple interesting research projects to choose from. The list of all open Doctoral Candidate positions in this joint call can be found here:

HICT Doctoral Candidate in Privacy-preserving and federated learning

Supervisor(s): Antti Honkela (University of Helsinki), Samuel Kaski (Aalto University), Patrick Rinke (Aalto University)

Many applications of machine learning suffer from limited training data availability because data holders cannot share their data. The aim of this project is to develop solutions to this fundamental problem through efficient privacy-preserving learning methods that allow securely combining data from multiple data holders under guarantees that data will not leak. Possible approaches include extending cross-silo federated learning into collaborative learning through personalisation of the models to each party, and developing methods for generating privacy-preserving synthetic data. The security and privacy will be guaranteed by a combination of differential privacy and secure multi-party computation.

In this project, you will join our group in developing new learning methods operating under these guarantees, and applying them to real-world problems. Collaboration opportunities will enable testing the methods on academic and industrial applications. A strong candidate will have a background in machine learning or a related field. Experience in differential privacy and/or secure multi-party computation is an asset.

Supervision: Prof. Antti Honkela, Prof. Samuel Kaski, Prof. Patrick Rinke, 

Keywords: Differential privacy, federated learning, personalisation, synthetic data

This project is a part of the Finnish Center For Artificial Intelligence (FCAI). To find out more please visit

Ready to apply?

If you want to join our community and start your journey towards Doctoral dissertation submit your application via our electronic recruitment system. The application form will close 6th February 2022 at 23:59 Finnish time (UTC +2).

If you are currently working at Aalto University, please submit your application via HR System Workday (Career – Find jobs – Apply).

Please be prepared to add the following attachments:

  • Cover letter
  • CV
  • Transcript of your Master’s studies

You will be asked to provide also the contact details of 2-3 academic referees.

What we offer?

HICT is a network of world-class professors and researchers with huge passion for their field of study. In HICT you will become part of enthusiastic and professional team of bold and innovative thinkers.

During your Doctoral studies you will be a full-time employee in either Aalto University or the University of Helsinki depending on the supervisor and the research area. You will be covered by occupational health care based on the employment contract.

More information:

General information about the joint HICT call and HICT:

General questions about HICT: Christina Sirviö, HICT team

General questions about recruitment process: Sanni Kirmanen, Aalto University HR

[email protected]

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