PhD Students

Saarbrücken, Germany

The CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security is looking for PhD Students in areas related to:

We constantly seek applications from qualified researchers regardless of their national origin or citizenship. The working language is English. A command of German is not required for a successful career at CISPA.

The CISPA Ecosystem
What we offer:

  • Doctoral researchers are full-time employees of CISPA and paid according to the TVöD (German Federal Employment Agreement), up to the E13 level. Salaries start at around €4,000 (gross/month). Estimated time to PhD graduation is 3-4 years.
  • Ability to collaborate with world-renowned scientists in the fields of Security, Privacy, Crypto, Machine Learning, Formal Methods, Software Engineering, and Theoretical Computer Science.
  • Health insurance, 30 days paid time off and a pension scheme
  • Opportunities for development and growth from language classes, research support to extracurricular and social activities.
  • Our onboarding team will support you with all information needed for a successful start.

We offer
What we expect:

  • You have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from a top-tier, research-oriented institution of higher education in a subject relevant to our research.
  • You should have an outstanding academic record (at or near top of your class).
  • You are proficient in spoken and written English.
  • You have strong letters of recommendation from your academic advisors.
  • You have an in-depth understanding of your topics of interest and how they map to our faculty, which should be reflected in your cover letter (e.g., by specifying which groups you would want to work in).

Interested? We look forward to your application!

Apply now (deadline May 1, 2024, Aoe) for our general call
Check out per-group openings 

Highlighted Positions

Your application

Qualified candidates who wish to pursue a doctoral degree in a research area covered by CISPA faculty may apply at any time. We will accept applications throughout the year for exceptionally strong candidates. Admitted applicants will have an opportunity to visit the center and its partner institutions and interact with faculty and students before making their decision. Admitted students are advised by CISPA faculty. All doctoral researchers at CISPA will be a member of a graduate program at our partnering degree-granting universities. For example, PhD Students in Saarbrücken are part of the Saarbrücken Graduate School of Computer Science at Saarland University, with whom we have a long-standing close collaboration.

CISPA is committed to increasing the representation of women, minorities, and individuals with disability in Computer Science. In accordance with the Equal Opportunity Plan, CISPA aims at increasing the number of women in Computer Science, and explicitly encourages women to apply. Applications of severely disabled candidates with equivalent qualifications will be given priority. In general, we welcome applications regardless of gender, nationality, ethnic and social origin, religion/belief, disability, age, sexual orientation and identity.


CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security is a German national Science Institution within the Helmholtz Association and provides a unique work environment that offers the advantage of a university department and a research laboratory alike. CISPA has the mission to rethink the digitized world of the future from the ground on up an make it safer through innovative cutting-edge research. CISPA is committed to the highest international academic standards. We offer a world-class research environment that grants extensive resources to a wide range of researchers and constitutes an attractive destination for the best talents and scientists from all countries.

CISPA is located in Saarbrücken, in the tri-border area of Germany, France and Luxembourg. The CISPA campus is located close to Saarland University, which is known for its excellence in Computer Science, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)

CISPA provides a highly international and diverse working environment, currently hosting researchers of 40 nationalities.

For more information about CISPA, see

All information on the processing of your personal data, your statements in the application process and your data privacy rights can be found in our data privacy policy.