Joining the CleverHans Lab

Information for prospective graduate students and postdocs

We are excited to welcome new members on a regular basis. You can get an idea of what positions students typically hold in the lab by looking at our list of current and past members. Unfortunately, we cannot respond to all emails from prospective graduate students. To ensure that your application is considered, follow the instructions outlined here.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Please send Prof. Nicolas Papernot an email directly with your CV and research statement. Candidates are interviewed when there is a good research interest fit with the lab's current projects and funding opportunities. Prior publishing experience at top security or ML conferences is required for all candidates, with the understanding that the postdoctoral experience will be an opportunity to broaden the candidate's academic interests and publication record. You are also encouraged to apply to the Vector Institute's postdoctoral fellowship. More information on the Vector Institute's website.

Graduate Students (PhD, MASc, MS)

If you are interested in joining the CleverHans Lab as a graduate student, you do not need to email Prof. Nicolas Papernot. Instead, you can apply directly to any of the following programs and your application will be jointly reviewed by admissions and Prof. Nicolas Papernot:

Research Interns and Visitors

We enjoy regularly hosting research interns and visitors from all over the world. Typically, interns and visitors will be in their last year of undergraduate studies or existing graduate students. Reach out to Prof. Nicolas Papernot through email if you are looking for a summer internship.

Undergraduate and Engineering Science students

If you are an undergraduate in the Engineering Sciences, ECE, or CS programs from the University of Toronto with interest in machine learning or computer security, you can join our group in two ways:

You can reach out to Prof. Nicolas Papernot through email about the above opportunities. The following recommendations are adapted from Roger Grosse's website. Since there is a lot of interest in ML research positions, Prof. Nicolas Papernot won’t have time to supervise all the qualified applicants. We recommend to do the following to increase your chances of joining our group:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is it easy to contact/get help from the supervisor?
  2. There is a weekly 30-minutes 1-1 meeting for each student where you could discuss new ideas, progress on your current research project and what to do next, or even topics that are not related to research, etc. Besides, Prof. Papernot is very responsive on slack and email.
  3. What sort of help could people expect to get when thinking about new projects?
  4. We have a slack channel where the lab members exchange new ideas on research projects. There is also a weekly group meeting for presenting new idea or existing projects and getting comments/suggestions from other lab members. You shall also feel free to reach out to the supervisor or any lab member to get feedback on the idea you have in mind.
  5. How does collaboration work in the lab?
  6. There are opportunities for collaboration with lab members and/or researchers outside the lab. In order to encourage lab memmbers to interact with each other, there is an app in our slack which (randomly) puts you in touch with another lab member, which often led to successful collaborations in the past. In addition, when projects come close to the deadline, there are always lab members willing to offer help (e.g. brief reading, check grammar, optimizing figures, etc.).
  7. What kind of help do people get from the supervisor (Prof. Papernot) when working on a project?
  8. Before starting the project, you could discuss new ideas with Prof. Papernot to find the best way to frame the problem and which conference to aim for. When you are working on the project, Prof. Papernot will help you analyze experimental results, give suggestions on what experiments to do next, and also provide support on drafting the manuscript. In other words, Prof. Papernot wound mentor you how to do the project, but you should not expect him doing the work (e.g. writing codes) for you.
  9. Is the supervisor pushy?
  10. No, unless there is a pattern to do everything at the last minute.