PhD Research Fellow in Blockchain-Assisted Data Sharing


Position as PhD Research Fellow in blockchain-assisted data sharing for transactive energy management is available at the Networks and Distributed systems (ND) group, Department of Informatics, University of Oslo. The position is in the context of the PriTEM project: “Privacy-preserving Transactive Energy Management”. It is also relevant to the recently established Blockchain Lab at the University of Oslo.

The research fellowship period is for three years. An additional year of compulsory teaching-related duties may be offered at the time of appointment, for candidates who can and want to contribute to teaching and supervision at the department. In this case, the compulsory duties will be spread out over the full contract period, averaging 25% per year over four years.

Application deadline is February 28th, 2022. Starting date no later than October 1, 2022. No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

Salary is between NOK 491200 - 534400 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)

Project description

The energy infrastructure is undergoing a major transformation from a conventional power grid to a more distributed and adaptive energy ecosystem. Such an ecosystem relies on a self-organizing energy market in which energy micro-producers advertise their offerings while individual consumers dynamically decide where to buy energy from and sign contracts with micro-producers in a bottom-up, ad-hoc manner; such contracts and transactions need to be recorded in a transparent fashion to enable auditing and compliance with applicable regulations.

The above vision requires a data sharing infrastructure that does not exist yet. Conventional approaches to data sharing rely on centralized parties. This is regarded as an impediment to creating decentralized energy management.

Our principal approach is to facilitate solutions for sharing energy management data by using smart contracts and the blockchain. From the data security, authenticity, and nonrepudiation point of view, blockchain is considered a perfect fit for sharing energy-related information since it provides an easily accessible, immutable, and transparent history of all contract-related data, adequate for building applications with trust, accountability, and transparency.

The benefits of blockchain have been advocated in academic works and pilots run, e.g. by the Brooklyn Microgrid, Mitsubishi Electric and Tokyo Institute of Technology. Unfortunately, these initiatives have met significant challenges related to insufficient security, privacy, and scalability.

The PriTEM project plans to identify functional and non-functional requirements of transactive and contractual energy trading. The objective of the announced PhD position is to (a) investigate primitives required to support data sharing in this context, (b) design a blockchain-assisted edge computing architecture for implementing the primitives, (c) examine the suitability of existing distributed ledger technologies through prototyping and experimentation, and (d) propose their adaptation in order to support the architecture. The architecture will address technical challenges related to secure data sharing, privacy, digital trust enhancement, as well as scalability.

Qualification requirements

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in Computer Science. Candidates without a Master’s degree have until 30 June, 2022 to complete the final exam.
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system
  • Applicants must also be able to demonstrate interest in scientific research, related to both building applications atop blockchain and improving blockchain implementations and mechanisms.

Grade requirements

The norm is as follows:

  • the average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor’s degree must be C or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • the average grade point for courses included in the Master’s degree must be B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • the Master’s thesis must have the grade B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • for english requirements for applicants from outside of EU/EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements see here

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Cover letter - statement of motivation and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of the original Bachelor and Master’s degree diploma, transcripts of records
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)

The application may additionally include letters of recommendation from the Master degree advisors and due to other professional engagements, such as summer internships and projects.

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English or a Scandinavian language.

Shortlisted candidates will be called for an online interview.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.


For further information please contact Roman Vitenberg (), Sabita Maharjan (), or Arlindo F. da Conceição ().