Thesis, Hiwi, and Internship Opportunities
We have the following openings. Please check back every other month or so, as new positions become available frequently. A good command of English is required for all positions. Experience with iOS or macOS is a big plus. If you are interested in any of these positions please contact us.
PhD Candidates (Doktoranden)
As of July 2023, we are currently looking for PhD students!
Since starting out in 2003, we've become one of Germany's leading HCI research groups in terms of archival CHI publications (see CHI Ranking Germany).
We typically have an opening or two for fully funded Ph.D. students coming up each year. These positions generally have a mix of research and teaching duties. For more information about our work, check out our latest publications. If you wonder whether you should apply, please check this list of some characteristics of our successful Ph.D. students, and contact Clarissa de Gavarelli with your CV, complete grade transcripts, recent projects and interests, and links to any publications, to see if there is an open matching position. Please note that we may not be able to consider applications that are incomplete or sent to other addresses.
Bachelor's and Master's Thesis Candidates
We always have interesting thesis topics to work on as part of our current research projects. Just contact us with a short mini-CV including your grade transcript, activities, and interests — see below for more details on how to apply.)
- Soft Robotics & Learning Programming (contact Anke Brocker)
- Textile Interfaces (contact Oliver Nowak or René Schäfer)
- Shape-Changing Interfaces (contact Anke Brocker, Oliver Nowak, or René Schäfer)
- Dark Patterns (contact René Schäfer)
- Usability of Integrated Development Environments, new Debugging Tools (contact Adrian Wagner)
- Energy Awareness, Smart Homes, and Serious Gaming
- Other topics in HCI and Media Computing, e.g., HCI Design Patterns: contact us.
After you have talked to us about a topic and we have agreed that you want to look into it, you have 4 weeks to familiarize yourself with the topic ("Einarbeitungszeit") and decide if you want to register or drop it.
Once registered, you have 4 months for a Bachelor's thesis, or 6 months for a Master's thesis, until you must submit it. A Bachelor's thesis+talk in Computer Science is 12+3 credits, a Master's thesis+talk is 30 credits. At 30 hours per credit, that's 450 hours of work for a Bachelor's thesis, or 900 hours of work for a Master's thesis, after registering the thesis. Especially with a Master's thesis, this means you have a full-time job with your thesis during that time, which we expect you to spend mostly at our lab. Make sure you have that time available.
We also encourage you to register your thesis by mid-November or mid-May, so you can turn in your thesis and give your talk before the end of the semester. (For other programs like Technical Communication, check with your study coordinator for requirements.)
Please be aware that everything you have read here regarding registration and work on your thesis is dependent on university or faculty requirements which are subject to change. The Study Center Computer Science has an up-to-date overview and step-by-step instructions on how to successfully get through all the administrative hurdles.
No Advising of Industry-Initiated Theses
We do not have the capacity to be the first or second advisor for industry-led Bachelor or Master thesis projects. We invest significant time into advising our thesis students, and we focus this effort on those thesis projects that are part of the ongoing research projects at our chair. In 2018, the computer science department adopted the same policy throughout the department.
Secondary Advisor (Zweitgutachter) for B.Sc. and M.Sc. Theses
We welcome students who would like our group to take on the role of secondary advisor ("Zweitgutachter"). Please send your request as early as possible to our administrator Clarissa de Gavarelli with the information described at the bottom. We will assign one of our Ph.D. students to you who will meet with you and your advisor a few times over the course of your thesis, and who will advise you on (as applicable) (a) aspects of Human-Computer Interaction, user interface design, and usability, (b) how to scientifically evaluate your system in, e.g., user studies, and (c) good academic and scientific practice in conducting and publishing your research. Our final secondary review of your work will reflect upon those qualities in your work accordingly. If we hear from you only weeks before you're done, we'll have to use the same standards for evaluation but won't be able to give you early input to help you achieve those standards.
Student assistants (Hiwis)
- We are always looking for dedicated, self-reliant student assistants. Just talk to the PhD student of your choice, or contact us for more information.
UROP: Summer Research Internships for North American Undergrads
Are you an undergraduate student from the U.S. or Canada? Each summer, you can get involved in exciting research projects at our lab - and you get a stipend to cover your living expenses too! Check out the UROP pages, and contact us to apply and identify a project together. See below for some helpful information to include in your email to us.
How to apply for B.Sc. and M.Sc. Theses, Hiwi Jobs or Internships
Send a 2-page academic CV, along with a copy of your grade record from the university so far, as PDF to Clarissa de Gavarelli. If you have a B.Sc., include a copy as well. The CV should include a short listing of your academic and, if applicable, professional career, a list of your interests and skills, short details about any projects you've worked on at the university or outside, and a bit about yourself. In particular, point out anything you may have done that is related to HCI, or any publications you have already had.
Mention if you have any special topics or project ideas you're excited about, but note that "skills and interests" are not project-related ("I want to do something with haptics"), but orthogonal to that. For most projects in our group, we need students with a variety of skills and interests, e.g.,
- software development (especially for macOS and iOS),
- hardware and electronics (e.g., Arduino),
- algorithms and mathematics (e.g., when you need to do some signal processing, geometry processing, or computer vision),
- interface and graphic design, or
- user study design and evaluation.
If you tell us your skills and interests, we can find those projects together that match your strengths best. The students that are most highly sought after are those that combine an excellent grade record with useful skills in the above areas, and who are willing to work with us on one of the larger projects and topics we are working on in our lab. If you have a specific "pet project" that you really want to do for your thesis, or if you want to do your thesis elsewhere, be aware that our group may be able to offer you less support. Look for overlaps between your own interests and the interests of our researchers.
After you send us those materials, we'll contact you to get together for project ideas. You can also contact individual Ph.D. students directly after sending those materials if you think particular Ph.D. students might be a good match. If you don't hear from us within two weeks, please ping us again.