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MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc - PhD Position #CD22-09: indoor positioning and cybersecurity


Job Information

Université Gustave Eiffel
Research Field
Communication sciences
Researcher Profile
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Application Deadline
Type of Contract
Job Status
Hours Per Week
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND
Marie Curie Grant Agreement Number
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description


Widespread extension of wireless coverage has enabled the design and development of a number of advanced location-based services. Continuous tracking of accurate physical location is the foundation of these services, which is a challenging mission especially in indoor. Different levels of accuracy are offered by these systems depending on radio technology and on the metric used for the distance estimation.

Accurate real time positioning is the key to enable positioning service. Although Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), such as GPS and Galileo, are widely used for localization outdoors, satellites systems do not provide satisfactory performance in indoor environments. Unlike outdoor ones, indoor environments are very complex, due to specific wave propagation conditions, involving both stationary and moving targets, and heavy multipath.

As a result, accuracy, reliability, scalability and adaptability to the environment remain as challenges for widespread deployment of indoor positioning systems. Another challenging aspect that emerged in the last years is the relation between location and security/cybersecurity: location information can be in fact a powerful feature to increase access security, by providing an additional identification layer based on physical position.


In this thesis the objective is to design, implement and evaluate an indoor localization solution based on multiple radio technologies (ranging from Personal Area Network technologies, like UWB and Bluetooth Low Energy, and Wireless Local Area Networks, like WiFi, to cellular network technologies like 4G, 5G and NB-IoT), to be used to both provide accurate positioning information and detect and counteract all spoofing attacks.

Identity spoofing attacks pose one of the most serious threats to communication and positioning radio systems, where the attacker can masquerade as legitimate users by modifying its own identity. Although various channel-based security technologies have been proposed for communication application, the study of spoofing attack detection by indoor positioning is largely open.

The proposed system will take advantage of the combination of multiple wireless technologies, and explore a combination of proximity-based techniques, as typically done in BLE positioning systems, fingerprinting-based positioning techniques, as typically done in WiFi positioning systems, and Time Of Arrival / Time Difference Of Arrival approaches, typically proposed and adopted for positioning in UWB and, more recently, in cellular networks. The system will not only aim at maximizing positioning accuracy, as typically done in the design of indoor positioning systems, but also at minimizing the probability that a spoofer can successfully replace a legitimate user and get access to the system, by tracking each device and, wherever possible, by combining information related to the interaction between devices.

In this thesis, the candidate will carry on research activities according to the following steps:

-Analysis of current state of the art on wireless network spoofing attacks and on the use of position information to enforce device identification and access security, and identification of research directions;

-Definition of spoofing attack detection strategies based on indoor positioning, tackling static and dynamic radio environments, and including both centralized solutions, where a central entity collects data and takes decisions, and distributed solutions where users cooperate and share information to both gather position information and counteract spoofing attacks;

-Design and implementation of an indoor positioning system based on multiple wireless technologies capable of supporting and enabling the proposed attack detection strategies, taking into account in particular recent advances in the support for multiple positioning information sources introduced in recent 3GPP Releases for 5G;

-Simulation of an indoor localization environment, taking into account propagation effects (multipath, mobile and stationary targets, movement of persons, etc...) and access protocols, and test of the proposed system in this environment in terms of positioning accuracy;

-Introduction of spoofing attacks in the simulation environment and evaluation of the robustness of the attack detection strategies supported by the proposed indoor localization system;

-Implementation of the proposed system and of spoofing attack techniques in an experimental positioning testbed using locally deployed WiFi, BLE and UWB infrastructure as well as 4G and 5G commercial networks, in order to support performance evaluation of both positioning accuracy and successful attack detection rate in real world scenarios.


Research Field
Communication sciences
Education Level
Bachelor Degree or equivalent
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.

Additional Information

  • High-quality doctoral training rewarded by a PhD degree, delivered by Université Gustave Eiffel
  • Access to cutting-edge infrastructures for research & innovation.
  • Appointment for a period of 36 months based on a salary of 2 700 € (gross salary per month).
  • Job contract under the French labour legislation in force, respecting health and safety, and social security: 35 hours per week contract, 25 days of annual leave per year.
  • International mobility will be mandatory
  • An international environment supported by the adherence to the European Charter & Code.
  • Access to dedicated CLEAR-Doc trainings with a strong interdisciplinary focus, together with a Career development Plan.
Eligibility criteria

Applicants must fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career (career breaks excluded) and not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Career breaks refer to periods of time where the candidate was not active in research, regardless of his/her employment status (sick leave, maternity leave etc). Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must fulfil the transnational mobility rule: incoming applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 previous years.
  • One application per call per year is allowed.
  • Applicants must be available full-time to start the programme on schedule (November 1st 2023).
  • Application rules are enforced by the French doctoral system which specifies a standard duration of 3 years for a full-time PhD together with the MSCA standards and the OTM-R European rules as follows.
  • Citizens of any nationality may apply to the programme.
  • There is no age limit.
Selection process

Please refer to the Guide for Applicants available on the CLEAR-Doc website.

Additional comments
  • The First step before applying is contacting the PhD supervisor. You will not be able to apply without an acceptation letter from the PhD supervisor.
  • International Mobility: The student will have an international mobility at Rome La Sapienza University (Italy) and especially the telecommunications laboratory.
  • Please contact the PhD supervisor for any additional detail on job offer.
  • There are no restrictions concerning the age, gender or nationality of the candidates. Applicants with career breaks or variations in the chronological sequence of their career, with mobility experience or with interdisciplinary background or private sector experience are welcome to apply.
  • Support service is available during every step of the application process by email:
Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
Université Gustave Eiffel
Postal Code
20 Rue Élisée Reclus


5, Boulevard Descartes
Postal Code