Open PhD Positions

We have 3 openings for doctoral researchers at the HCI Lab at Saarland University and the newly established Sensorimotor Interaction Group at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics. Both labs are co-located at Saarland Informatics Campus in Saarbrücken, Germany.

We are searching for curious and inquisitive minds who want to conduct cutting-edge research and push the boundaries of HCI in one or multiple of the following areas:

Research Area 1: Haptic Feedback, Perception, Graphics, and VR
We conduct research towards better understanding how to use alternative sensory modalities. This includes making virtual worlds more immersive through touch interactions with virtual objects, presenting information through alternative channels including EMS and tactile cues, and modifying our body experience, for example to create the illusion of movement, even where there is none.

Some of our previous work in this area:

Research Area 2: Wearable and body-based interaction, devices, or robots
We investigate how bodies can be used for interaction by designing novel technologies which are either wearable or which directly connect to the body. Research questions include the design of novel technologies and input methods for on-skin interaction, as well as technologies which extend human abilities through robotic appendages or EMS intervention.

Some of our previous work in this area:

Research Area 3: Fabrication, new materials, or soft robotics
To integrate interaction anywhere and in any form, we design novel fabrication methods, materials and actuation methods for embedding input, output and behavior into everyday materials. We investigate how novel printing, knitting, weaving, casting, or dying methods can be used to create multi-material structures which can sense their environment, communicate to users, or even display independent behaviors.

Some of our previous work in this area:

The HCI Lab at Saarland University, led by Jürgen Steimle, specializes in developing novel interaction techniques, interactive devices, rapid fabrication, and sensing methods in the fields of mobile, embedded, and wearable computing. The Sensorimotor Interaction Group at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, led by Paul Strohmeier, investigates novel ways of perceiving virtual worlds, how to augment and extend our perception, and how to closely integrate digital systems with our body. We have a strong presence at CHI and UIST and ongoing collaborations with major international institutes. The groups share the same lab space and collaborate closely.


We seek outstanding candidates with strong technical skills and profound interest in Human-Computer Interaction to conduct research on how to interact with computers of the future. Work in the group involves conceiving innovative forms of interaction, implementing software and/or hardware prototypes, and empirically evaluating them in user studies.

A successful candidate must have:

  • a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Computer Science or a related area, or is about to receive it
  • strong technical competencies in at least one of the following areas: machine learning, AR/VR, computer vision/graphics, embedded systems, statistics, electrical engineering or other areas related to the research done in our groups
  • creativity, independence
  • excellent programming skills

Also, your application should demonstrate that you are able to:

  • independently and creatively solve problems
  • work as part of a larger team
  • communicate well in written and spoken English

Salaries are internationally competitive, based on state employees salary scheme TV-L E 13, and include health insurance and social insurance. The start date is flexible, but fall 2021 is preferred.

To ensure equity and diversity, applications from women and minority genders as well as from people underrepresented in science (e.g. researchers who are marginalized due to disabilities, ethnicity or cultural background, sexuality, migration experience, first generation, etc.) are especially welcome.


Saarbruecken can count itself amongst the leading locations for computer science research in Europe. Five co-located CS research institutes with a global reputation form Saarland Informatics Campus (SIC): Saarland University with three associated departments, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), the Center for Bioinformatics and the Cluster of Excellence on Multimodal Computing and Interaction, overall with around 800 researchers in Computer Science. You can find more information on

Saarbrücken is a mid-sized thriving student city in the Saarland Region of Germany. It is home to a charming 18th century downtown area, with a plethora of outdoor places for having a drink and enjoying both traditional Saarlandian cuisine, and food from all over the world. Its location right at the border to France and close to Luxembourg guarantees a vibrant, interesting mix of cultures. The campus is located within woodland parks and can be easily reached by bicycle from all residential areas (in fact, all commutes in the city can be done by bicycle). It is well connected to both Paris and Frankfurt via high-speed trains. Feel free to get in touch regarding questions about life in Saarbrücken.


We start reviewing applications on June 30th 2021. Applications will be considered until the positions are filled. Please submit

  • a cover letter (describing research experience, fit for position and future interests)
  • your CV
  • study transcripts
  • documentation of any self-supervised projects or portfolio
  • names and contact information of two references

Please send your application via e-mail to Mona Linn, Should you have questions about the position, please do not hesitate to contact us, Paul Strohmeier and Jürgen Steimle, directly.