2020-03069 - PhD Position F/M Privacy-preserving methods for medical research

Contract type : Fixed-term contract

Level of qualifications required : Graduate degree or equivalent

Fonction : PhD Position

Level of experience : Up to 3 years


This PhD student position will be supported by the ANR-PMR project on Privacy-preserving methods for Medical Research.  This project is a collaboration between the MAGNET team (INRIA-Lille, https://team.inria.fr/magnet/), the MYRIAD team (INSA-Lyon) and PRIVATICS (INRIA-Lyon, INSA-Lyon).

While this position will be in the MAGNET team in Lille, it will hence be in a collaboration with the other teams of the PMR project and involve the appropriate travel and/or meetings.  Moreover, for the validation of the research, we will collaborate with one or more hospitals, e.g., the INCLUDE team at CHU-Lille. 

Given the growing awareness of privacy risks of data processing, there is an increasing interest in privacy-preserving learning. However, shortcomings in the state of the art limit the applicability of the privacy-preserving learning paradigm. First, most approaches assume too optimistically a honest-but-curious setting. Second, most approaches consider one learning task in isolation, not accounting for the context where querying is a recurring activity. We will investigate new algorithms and models that address these shortcomings. Among others, (i) our algorithms will combine privacy-preserving properties of differential privacy with security offered by cryptography and (ii) based on models of information flows in integrated data handling processes, we will build more refined models analyzing the implications of repeated querying. We will demonstrate the utility of our new theory and algorithms by  proposing strategies to realistically apply them in significant real-world problems illustrated through use cases in the medical domain.



Assignment: The recruited collaborator will perform research at a PhD student level, preparing a PhD thesis, following doctoral training at the EDSPI, and contributing to realizing the objectives of the PMR project. 

Collaboration : The recruited person will collaborate with

  • The Privatics and Myriad project partners
  • Medical researchers, for the problem analysis and the validation of the researched algorithms
  • Engineer(s) supporting the prototyping and validation
  • Researchers and engineers in the MAGNET team working on related topics


Main activities

Main activities include:

  • Problem analysis and study of the literature
  • Research of new algorithms and methods, focusing on fundemental research aspects but with the medical application min mind as inspiration and as validation domain.
  • Validation in collaboration with researchers in medicine
  • Dissemination
  • Doctoral training
  • Collaboration with and support of the research team




The ideal candidate will have the following skills:

  • Good mastery of English
  • A strong background in computer science and mathematics.  Subject matters which will be needed during the research include (but are not limited to) machine learning, statistics, cryptography, distributed systems, constraint programming.
  • Good programming skills (e.g., C/C++ or python) and supporting tools.
  • Relational skills, e.g., working in a team, effective reporting and communication with all involved stakeholders. 

Benefits package

  • Subsidized meals
  • Partial reimbursement of public transport costs
  • Leave: 7 weeks of annual leave + 10 extra days off due to RTT (statutory reduction in working hours) + possibility of exceptional leave (sick children, moving home, etc.)
  • Possibility of teleworking (after 6 months of employment) and flexible organization of working hours
  • Professional equipment available (videoconferencing, loan of computer equipment, etc.)
  • Social, cultural and sports events and activities
  • Access to vocational training
  • Social security coverage


1st and 2nd year : 1985 € (grossly salary)

3rd year : 2085 € (grossly salary)