PhD Scholarship in Enhancing Zero-Knowledge Server Functionality

Develop novel mathematical techniques to build zero knowledge search, update, and computation capabilities for servers.

This project aims to develop novel mathematical techniques to build efficient zero knowledge search, update and computation capabilities for servers that can protect sensitive data.

The value of the scholarship is equivalent to an RMIT full Scholarship over 3 years.

8th June 2022

30th June 2022

  • Satisfy RMIT University’s Doctor of Philosophy entry requirements.
  • Have first-class Honours or Master’s degree in Mathematics or Computer Science with a major thesis component.
  • International applicants must also meet the minimum English language requirements.

Preference will be given to candidates who are:

  • Able to demonstrate knowledge in abstract algebra, number theory, cryptography, and computational mathematics 
  • Proficient with programming in Python and working with high performance computing platforms.
  • Have written communication and verbal presentation skills at the academic standard in English.
  • Take initiative in research, are self-motivated and can work to deadlines.
  • Able to work collaboratively with multi-disciplinary teams.

Please submit the following documents to

  • Cover letter outlining interest and alignment with the proposed research, and addressing the eligibility criteria
  • Copy of academic transcripts
  • CV (including the names of two referees)
  • An example of written work at an academic level. Examples of written work could be a published paper, honours thesis or Masters thesis report.

A zero-knowledge server is one where data can be stored, operated on and processed without the need for decryption. Algorithms to build efficient zero knowledge servers for all the computational capabilities necessary for stored data, remain an open problem. Methods exist for searching both symmetrically [1,3], asymmetrically [2], and fully homomorphically encrypted [4] data without needing to decrypt the data first. Each of these methods has its own limitations in terms of efficiency, types of search query possible and levels of information leakage not consistent with a zero-knowledge server. This project aims to develop novel mathematical techniques to build zero knowledge search, update and computation capabilities for servers.   


  1. D. X. Song, et al, "Practical techniques for searches on encrypted data," Proceeding ISSP 2000, pp. 44-55.
  2. Boneh, D., et al, Public Key Encryption with Keyword Search. EUROCRYPT 2004. LNCS, vol. 3027, pp. 506–522. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)
  3. Kamara S.,et al Structured Encryption and Leakage Suppression. Advances in Cryptology, LNCS, vol 10991. Springer, Cham. (2018)
  4. Yousuf H., et al Systematic Review on Fully Homomorphic Encryption Scheme and Its Application. Recent Advances in Intelligent Systems and Smart Applications. vol 295. Springer, Cham. (2021)
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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.