Job ad: post-doctoral researcher in security, operating systems, computer architecture

We are pleased to announce a job opening at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory for a post-doctoral researcher working in the areas of security, operating systems, and computer architecture.

Research Associate in compiler-assisted instrumentation of operating system kernels
University of Cambridge – Faculty of Computer Science and Technology
Salary: £27,578-£35,938 pa

The funds for this post are available for up to two years:

We are seeking a Post-doctoral Research Associate to join the CTSRD and MRC2 projects, which are investigating fundamental revisions to CPU architecture, operating system (OS), programming language, and networking structures in support of computer security. The two projects are collaborations between the University of Cambridge and SRI International, and part of the DARPA CRASH and MRC research programmes on clean-slate computer system design.

This position will be an integral part of an international team of researchers spanning multiple institutions across academia and industry. The successful candidate will contribute to low-level aspects of system software: compilers, language run-times, and OS kernels. Responsibilities will include researching the application of novel dynamic instrumentation techniques to C-language operating systems and applications, including adaptation of the FreeBSD kernel and LLVM compiler suite, and evaluation of the resulting system.

An ideal candidate will hold (or be close to finishing) a PhD in Computer Science, or have similar, with a strong background in low-level system software development, which should include at least of one of strong kernel development experience (FreeBSD preferred; Linux acceptable), or compiler internals experience (LLVM preferred; gcc acceptable). Strong experience with the C programming language is critical. A strong background in computer security is also recommended.

Candidates must be able to provide evidence of relevant work demonstrated by a research publication track record or industrial experience. Good interpersonal and organisational skills and the ability to work in a team are also essential. This post is intended to be filled as soon as practically possible after the closing date.

Applications should include:

  • CV
  • Brief statement of the particular contribution you would make to the project
  • A completed form CHRIS6

Applications should be sent, preferably by email, to Postal Address: Personnel-Admin, University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory, 15 JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 0FD

Quote Reference: NR14931
Closing Date: 23 April 2012
The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

2 thoughts on “Job ad: post-doctoral researcher in security, operating systems, computer architecture

  1. I’m interested to see how this works out, particularly in terms of how the resulting instrumentation system differs from DTrace, especially as I gather DTrace has now been integrated into FreeBSD.

    Should the research programme’s scope include examining and redesigning the now-teetering stacks of software in a wider context, ie everything from hardware to network service (and particularly which layers can potentially be done away with, or replaced by a multi-purposing of something else), I’d be very interested in knowing more.

  2. Hi Dave:

    This work is part of DARPA’s CRASH programme on clean-slate design. The overall project (CTSRD) includes work on CPU design, compilers, operating systems, language runtimes and applications, so redesigning and replacing stacks is entirely in scope .. although we want to be able to replace existing bits rather than replace the whole thing at once. For the purposes of this job ad, the interest is in using language annotations and compiler support to guide trace insertion — but we have in mind using existing trace systems as the target, and specifically, we have done our initial experiments using DTrace. You can learn a bit more about CTSRD on the project’s web site:


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