PhD and Postdoc Positions related to Usable Privacy and Security (m/f/d) – Group Golla

Saarbrücken, Germany

Dr. Maximilian Golla is looking for talented PhD students and Postdocs. Our group is particularly interested in end-user behavior with a strong focus on user authentication and privacy controls.

In more detail, our research covers the following topics:

Passwordless Authentication: To make FIDO2 and passkeys successful, we explore and study usability and security challenges and develop and design prototypes to assist users in having fewer passwords.

Usable Privacy: We support users in connecting the dots in the behavioral advertising ecosystem, helping them make more informed privacy decisions.

More detailed information on the work of the group can be found on 
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    What we offer

    • Full time-gross base salary for E13 according to the scale of the TVöD (German Federal Employment Agreement) 

    • Comprehensive benefits package that includes health insurance coverage, 30 days of paid vacation and a robust pension scheme.

    • Possibilities for personal and professional growth, encompassing language classes, research support, as well as extracurricular and social activities

    • Our onboarding team will provide you with all the necessary support for a seamless and successful start to your journey with us

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    What we expect

    • You have a Master’s degree from a research-oriented institution of higher education in a subject relevant to our research.

    • A background in computer science and motivated to contribute towards our goal of making computer privacy and security easier for everyone.

    • A technical background (e.g., statistics and programming) is a plus but not a requirement.

    • We maintain a trustworthy, inclusive, and safe space and are looking for new colleagues willing to contribute to an enjoyable and friendly team atmosphere.

    • Excellent English, but no German! CISPA is a fully international research institute. Knowing German is really not necessary, although daily life is a bit smoother if you speak a few words and if you want to learn German, we offer free courses.

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    Work @ CISPA

    • We promote a flat hierarchy that encourages working together as a cohesive team and contributing one’s perspectives and ideas.

    • We offer an exceptional research infrastructure and a robust science support system.

    • Our location St. Ingbert is near Saarbrücken which is a city with international flair (e.g., an International School and distinguished cuisine influenced by the proximity to the French border). The city is also known for its green spaces, parks and proximity to nature, providing opportunities for relaxation and outdoor activities.

    Application Process

    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.

    In case of interest in working at CISPA, please press the "Apply now" button at the end of the page. Please upload your documents in PDF format on our application platform. Applications via email cannot be accepted.

    For any questions regarding the application process, please contact us at

    About CISPA

    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's mission is 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 provides a highly international and diverse working environment, currently hosting researchers of over 40 nationalities.

    CISPA headquarter 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).

    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.