CISPA is currently in the founding process to join the German Helmholtz Association as a new member. It is consequently undergoing significant organizational changes, which are not yet reflected on this webpage.

For further information on the above mentioned founding process, please refer to the official press release by the State Chancellery of Saarland.

Recent News on the Transformation Process


The location of the first construction phase has been agreed upon. For further information, please refer to the official press release .


CISPA Awards

Since 2011 our researchers from PhD students to faculty have been awarded a set of more than 30 prestigious prizes and honors. We present on this page a selection of these. You may also find recent awards in the CISPA news.

Selection (since 2011)

ERC Synergy Grant

Michael Backes, Peter Druschel, Rupak Majumdar, and Gerhard Weikum

The ERC Synergy Grant was awarded to four CISPA researchers in 2013 to execute their joint project imPACT on Privacy, Accountability, Compliance, and Trust in Tomorrow’s Internet. The ERC Synergy Grant is the most distinguished research prize in Europe and was for the first time awarded to computer scientists. CISPA researchers received 10 Million Euros to conduct foundational research on how to protect users on the Internet from unauthorized disclosure of their private data and how to identify perpetrators and hold them accountable without impairing rights to privacy and freedom of expression and information.

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ERC Advanced Grant

Andreas Zeller

The ERC Advanced Grant is a prestigious European research prize given to outstanding scientists at an advanced stage in their career. It was awarded to CISPA faculty Andreas Zeller in 2011 for his project SPECMATE: Specification Mining and Testing. The award comes with a funding of 2.3 Million Euros.

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ERC Consolidator Grant

Bernd Finkbeiner

The ERC Consolidator Grant is given to successful researchers to consolidate and back up their research teams fostering a successful career in science. The ERC Consolidator Grant was awarded to Bernd Finkbeiner, professor at Saarland University and associated faculty of CISPA for his project OSARES (Output-Sensitive Algorithms for Reactive Synthesis) on the automatic synthesis of distributed embedded systems in 2016. The award came with a funding of 2 Million Euros.

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ERC Consolidator Grant

Derek Dreyer

Another ERC Consolidator Grant was awarded to Derek Dreyer, tenured faculty at MPI-SWS and associated faculty of CISPA for his project RustBelt in 2016.
In this project, he aims to build the first formal foundations for safe systems programming in Mozilla’s new language, Rust. The award came with a funding of 2 Million Euros.

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ERC Starting Grant

Matthias Hein

The ERC Starting Grant is the European research prize for the most promising young scientists. It was awarded to Matthias Hein, professor at Saarland University and associated faculty of CISPA for his project NOLEPRO – Nonlinear Eigenproblems for Data Analysis in 2012. The award came with a funding of 1.27 Million Euros.

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ERC Starting Grant

Jürgen Steimle

The ERC Starting Grant was also awarded to Jürgen Steimle, professor at Saarland University and associated Faculty of CISPA for his project iSkin, a novel class of skin-worn sensors for touch input on the body in 2016. Steimle received a funding of 1.5 Million Euros.

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ERC Proof of Concept Grant

Andreas Zeller

The ERC Proof of Concept Grant was awarded to Andreas Zeller, CISPA Faculty and professor at Saarland University for his project BOXMATE in 2017. Zeller received a funding of 150,000 Euros.

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Academia Europaea Erasmus Medal

Kurt Mehlhorn

CISPA researcher Kurt Mehlhorn was awarded the Erasmus Medal of the Academia Europaea in 2014, as the first computer scientist in the history of the academy. “Mehlhorn has made fundamental contributions to algorithm science; data structures, computational geometry and algebra, parallel computing, VLSI design, complexity theory, combinatorial optimization and graph algorithms. His breadth is unrivalled. […] [His work] has spawned a revolutionary development and many subsequent libraries such as the Computational Geometry Algorithms Library (CGAL) and STXXL (Standard Template Library for Very Large Data Sets).”

The Erasmus Medal is given to scientists who have maintained over a sustained period the highest level of international scholarship and recognition by peers. Among the earlier award winners are three Nobel laureates.

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Google Faculty Research Award

Peter Druschel, and Deepak Garg

CISPA researchers Peter Druschel and Deepak Garg have won the Google Faculty Research Award in 2014. Their award, granted in the field of computer systems, supports their work on enforcing declarative data policies in distributed systems. The Google Research Awards supports world-class, full-time faculty and was is conferred on selected recipients chosen from 691 proposals in 2014. The intent of the Google Research Awards is to support cutting-edge research in Computer Science, Engineering, and related fields.

Otto Hahn Medal

Ndapandula Nakashole

The Otto Hahn Medal is awarded by the Max Planck Society for excelling young researchers. The medal was awarded to CISPA researcher Ndapandula Nakashole (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 2013 for her outstanding and cutting-edge research on scalable knowledge extraction methods for Web and text sources. The Max Planck Society honores up to 30 young scientists and researchers each year with the Otto Hahn Medal for outstanding scientific achievements since 1978.

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Intel Early Career Faculty Honor

Dominique Schröder

The Early Career Faculty Honor Program was created to promote the careers of the best and brightest early career faculty members at the top universities around the world. Awardees are selected through a competitive and rigorous application process and they receive recognition as well as a cash award to help fund their research and sponsor travel to Intel to collaborate with Intel researchers. CISPA researcher Domique Schröder received the award in 2013 for his research on providing novel techniques for verifiability and accountability in the setting of emerging technologies such as cloud storage and computational outsourcing.

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Google Focused Research Awards

Gerhard Weikum, and Andreas Zeller

The CISPA researchers Gerhard Weikum and Andreas Zeller were each individually awarded with a Google Focused Research Award in 2011. Gerhard Weikum was awarded for his work on knowledge harvesting that builds a foundation for reasining about online privacy. Andreas Zeller was awarded for his work on software testing. Google occasionally supports multi-year projects through the Focused Research Awards program. The awards are for research in areas of study that are of key interest to Google as well as the research community.

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IEEE Security & Privacy Outstanding Community Service Award

Michael Backes

CISPA researcher Michael Backes was honored with the Outstanding Community Service Award by IEEE Security & Privacy in 2014. He chaired the conference, which is the most distinguished international conference on security and privacy worldwide, from 2012 to 2013.

ACM SIGCOMM Test of Time Award

Paul Francis

The ACM SIGCOMM Test of Time Award recognizes papers published 10 to 12 years in the past in Computer Communication Review or any SIGCOMM conference that is deemed to be an outstanding paper whose contents are still a vibrant and useful contribution today. CISPA researcher Paul Francis received the award in 2011 for his 2001 paper, “A Scalable Content-Addressable Network”, which was coauthored with Mark Handley, Richard Karp, Sylvia Ratnasamy, and Scott Shenker. This paper is one of four highly influential papers that laid the foundation for P2P systems based on distributed hash tables (DHTs).

ACM SIGPLAN Most Influential PLDI Paper Award

Rupak Majumdar

The ACM SIGPLAN Most Influential PLDI (Programming Language Design and Implementation) Paper Award is given each year for a paper that is ten years old and has been highly influential in the area of programming languages. CISPA researcher Rupak Majumdar received the award in 2011; his 2001 paper, “Automatic Predicate Abstraction of C Programs”, was coauthored with Thomas Ball, Todd Millstein, and Sriram Rajamani. The paper presented the predicate abstraction technology underlying the SLAM project. The technology is now part of Microsoft’s Static Driver Verifier in the Windows Driver Development Kit. This is one of the earliest examples of automation of software verification on a large scale and the basis for numerous efforts to expand the domains that can be verified.