PhD Positions in Private, Secure and Trustworthy Machine Learning (m/f/d) - Groups Boenisch & Dziedzic

St. Ingbert, Germany

Dr. Franziska Boenisch and Adam Dziedzic, Ph.D. of the SprintML Lab are looking for motivated PhD applicants in the area of Private, Secure and Trustworthy Machine Learning. The positions are not project-bound, so they allow PhD candidates to freely choose and work on their preferred research directions within trustworthy machine learning.

Our current projects include designing, implementing, and analyzing privacy frameworks for large language models, studying privacy leakage in self-supervised vision encoders from both a theoretical and attack-driven perspective, protecting confidentiality for generative and non-generative machine learning models by proposing defenses against model extraction, and assessing general trustworthiness aspects of state of the art machine learning frameworks, including adversarial robustness, biases, and intellectual property protection.


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    What we offer

    • Competitive 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. 

    • You have solid programming skills in Python and prior experience in one of Python’s machine learning libraries, preferably PyTorch.

    • You have completed some coursework on machine learning during their studies and bring a solid base knowledge around the topic.

    • We maintain a trustworthy, inclusive, and safe space and are looking for curious and creative new colleagues willing to learn & grow in an enjoyable and friendly team atmosphere.

    • Excellent English, but no German! CISPA is an 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 excellent research environment with close individual supervision, worldwide collaborations, and with significant funding for travel and equipment.

    • 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.

    If you want to learn more about Franziska and her work at CISPA, check out this short blog post.

    If you want to learn more about Adam's work, check out this Youtube channel.

    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.