The Distributed Systems Lab of the Department of Computer Science at Technische Universität Darmstadt is offering a position for a motivated

Research Assistant (PhD Student) in Systems Support for Privacy and Security

The employment is fixed-term for an initial period of 3 years.

The PhD student will be part of a larger project that sets out to answer the question of how one can verify, through monitoring, and enforce, through transformations, that data that moves between components of large distributed systems always comply with regulations without negatively impacting performance, while, at the same time, avoiding being overly restrictive. Our proposed solution comes from combining the state of the art in security and privacy with high bandwidth in-network and near-data processing. For this we use specialized hardware devices (FPGAs) and through these will show that it is possible to implement a framework for tracking data movement across different components of data processing pipelines and, given the allowed (and expected) behavior of application components, identify possible privacy leaks at runtime without slowing down the application that is being monitored. This effort is closely related to the topic of trusted computing and secure enclaves in the datacenter as, for security purposes, it is paramount that the framework is itself tamper-free and trustable – this will require us to explore ideas of using FPGAs and similar programmable hardware as Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) in the Cloud.

Qualification Requirements

The following qualifications are required:

  • The candidate must have a completed university degree (MSc) in Computer Science, Electric Engineering or an equivalent field
  • The candidate must have prior experience with specialized hardware accelerators (ideally FPGAs) and in security/privacy related topics
  • Experience with projects related distributed computing, operating systems and parallel computation is a plus
  • Industry experience (internships, placements, employment) in relevant areas is a plus

Opportunity for further qualification (doctoral dissertation) is given. The fulfillment of the duties likewise enables the scientific qualifications of the candidate.

The Technische Universität Darmstadt intends to increase the number of female employees and encourages female candidates to apply. In case of equal qualifications applicants with a degree of disability of at least 50 or equal will be given preference. Wages and salaries are according to the collective agreements on salary scales, which apply to the Technische Universität Darmstadt (TV-TU Darmstadt). Part-time employment is generally possible.


The application must be in English and must include: • A Letter of Motivation, which provides evidence of independent thinking, novelty and originality • Documentation of academic degree(s); grade transcripts that document outstanding academic achievement • Curriculum Vitae, which must include two professional/academic references (letters of recommendation will be requested, if needed, directly from the references) • Applications may also include a relevant scientific publication written by the applicant and/or the applicant’s master thesis. We are afraid that applications without the above-mentioned required documents cannot be assessed.

Please send your application electronically (if possible in a single PDF document) stating the given job code to the Dean's Office of the Department of Computer Science:

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Code No. 516

Published on

September 07, 2021

Application deadline

October 17, 2021