Open Positions

PhD Students and Postdoctoral Researchers

The Software Security research group (Prof. Dr. Kevin Borgolte) at the Ruhr University Bochum is (RUB) recruiting multiple highly-motivated PhD students and postdoctoral researchers in the area of Software and Internet Security, and more broadly system security, particularly with (but not limited to) a focus on the automated analysis of software systems and network applications. Current research topics are:

  • Automatic vulnerability discovery, focusing on addressing and improving existing trade-offs in soundness, completeness, precision, accuracy, and approximation.
  • Automatic vulnerability discovery, focusing on systematically understanding advantages, disadvantages, and limits of machine learning techniques for vulnerability discovery.
  • Mobile application analysis for security & privacy, focusing on network protocol analysis for mobile IoT companion apps for the Android and Apple iOS operating systems.
  • Program analysis, focusing on algorithmic complexity attacks and defenses, especially analyzing, finding, and defending against high-level sophisticated attacks and regular expression denial-of-service attacks.
  • Program analysis, focusing on network protocols, including analysis of network applications, their underlying network protocols, and how the applications and protocols are being used in the real world.
  • Developing analysis techniques for Internet Security measurements, such as Internet-wide IPv6 measurements, and assessing the impact of novel security and privacy protocols, like DNS-over-HTTPS.

Core responsibilities are the development of new, efficient, and scalable analysis techniques, by combining theory and practice, implementing prototypes, and rigorously evaluating them.

If you are interested in the positions or have any questions about them, please send an email to [email protected]. For applications, please include:

  • Letter of motivation
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Master’s or Bachelor’s transcript for PhD student positions, Doctoral certificate for postdoctoral researcher positions (or confirmation of completed requirements)
  • Two (2) or more references (names and email address)

The salary will be according to TV-L (full time), based on pay scale classification and personal qualification. Employment periods for PhD students are typically 3-4 years with a Master’s degree, and 5-6 years with a Bachelor’s degree. Employment periods for postdoctoral researchers vary depending on circumstances, but are generally 1-2 years. There is no teaching requirement if the position is fully funded by third-party funds at the time of recruitment.

At Ruhr University Bochum we support applications in areas they are underrepresented, including in Computer Science. We especially welcome applications by female candidates, minorities, and persons with disabilities.

About RUB

RUB is one of the leading research universities in Germany. The research group is part of the Faculty of Computer Science, the Cluster of Excellence “CASA - Cyber Security in the Age of Large-Scale Adversaries” by the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security. RUB is regarded as one of the top research institutions in security, home to Europe’s largest and oldest IT security study programs, maintains extensive networks with the scientific community and industry, and has produced numerous successful cyber security start-ups. In fact, Bochum is considered the IT security hotspot in Europe. In addition, the Max Planck Society established the Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy in the immediate vicinity, which has a particularly stimulating effect on our research (see also projects).


For PhD positions, you have an above average Master’s degree in Computer Science (Informatik) or IT security. Candidates without a Master’s degree, but with an excellent Bachelor’s degree will be considered for a US-style PhD position, which combines Master studies and doctoral studies, with full-time employment in the research group starting with the Master’s studies.

For postdoctoral researcher positions, you have a doctoral degree in Computer Science, focusing on Software or Internet security, or program analysis. During your doctorate, you contributed to the scientific state of the art, as shown by prior publications in the relevant security & privacy or program analysis conferences.

You can thoroughly and rigorously analyze and understand software and network systems and processes. You look forward to joining a flexible, energetic, and performance-oriented team, and you distinguish yourself in your ability to communicate and collaborate with international partners.

Ideally, you have established practical experience/knowledge in some of the following (depending on area):

  • Development and implementation of program analysis techniques
  • Evaluating of analysis methods and security mechanisms/techniques
  • Experience with efficient and scalable data analysis techniques
  • Knowledge of relevant techniques in program analysis, such as taint analysis, data flow tracking, symbolic execution, or SMT solvers
  • Knowledge of relevant techniques in network measurements and protocol analysis
  • Programming experience (especially in C, C++, Assembler, Python, Java, and/or Rust)

The working language in the research group and in the Computer Science department is English. Fluent spoken and written English is a requirement. Working languages at RUB at large are English and German. German is not a requirement. The university is offering language courses in German as a second language.

Experience with Git and LaTeX is desired. Prior contribution to open source projects will be assessed positively. We are committed to making research results and prototypes publicly available as open science.