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PhD: Researcher in data flow analysis for Privacy F/M



Requisition ID: 286614
Work Area: Software-Research
Expected Travel: 0 - 10%
Career Status: Student
Employment Type: Regular Full Time



SAP started in 1972 as a team of five colleagues with a desire to do something new. Together, they changed enterprise software and reinvented how business was done. Today, as a market leader in enterprise application software, we remain true to our roots. That’s why we engineer solutions to fuel innovation, foster equality and spread opportunity for our employees and customers across borders and cultures.

SAP values the entrepreneurial spirit, fostering creativity and building lasting relationships with our employees. We know that a diverse and inclusive workforce keeps us competitive and provides opportunities for all. We believe that together we can transform industries, grow economics, lift up societies and sustain our environment. Because it’s the best-run businesses that make the world run better and improve people’s lives.



Maintaining security is a constantly shifting task, and we need to respond with continuous learning and research. The portfolio of SAP Security Research contains those topics that we believe are most important for SAP’s security future. 
SAP’s vision to secure business is built on 3 ideals: Zero-Vulnerability, to harden the software by eliminating vulnerabilities, Defensible Application, to enable the software to identify and prevent attacks, and Zero-Knowledge, to make any theft of data useless through encryption.
Considering these aspects, SAP Security Research covers the following focal areas: Anonymization for Big Data, Secure Internet of Things, Software security analysis, Open-source analysis, Deceptive application, Applied cryptography, Quantum technology, and Machine Learning as enabler for the next generation of security.



The collection and processing of personal data is ubiquitous in today’s society, bringing benefits such as predictive maintenance, efficient navigation services and target advertisement. Developers of systems which collect information about their users, however, face increasing challenges about how to manage this data responsibly. On the one hand, regulations, such as the EU’s European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), place strict requirements on how personal data can be collected and processed. On the other hand, systems are becoming more complex, with increasingly frequent release cycles, making detection and prevention of violations more and more challenging.
For example, modern embedded (IoT) devices collect continually collect data about their surroundings and transmit them via the internet to back-end servers. Devices like autonomous cars, smart screens and smart glasses record personal information of all passersby, such that opting out is no longer possible. The result is a conflict between individual privacy rights and the benefits of big data analytics to society as a whole.
One promising solution to this problem is so-called dynamic data-flow tracking, which allows the automated tracking of personal data and mitigation of any policy violations. Personal data is tagged as it enters a system, and tracked from inputs, across networks and through the back-end services. This method is appealing as it is non-intrusive and does not require any modification to existing code. It is also deployed at runtime, and thus does not suffer from false positives inherently associated with static techniques.

The successful candidate is expected to research cutting-edge techniques to address some of the challenges facing data-flow tracking in the field of data protection, for example:

  •  Investigate novel techniques for identification of personal data sources, for example by deploying machine learning techniques
  •  Explore innovative solutions to track personal data across the typically dispersed nature of modern microservice applications
  • Identify bottlenecks in performance in the state-of-the-art, and how they can be overcome, for example in combination with static analysis and compiler optimizations


In order to achieve these goals, the candidate is expected to analyze existing methods and the challenges facing them, conceptualize and design novel solutions, implement proof-of-concept prototypes and assess these against real-world case studies. An additional important part of this position is the dissemination of research results, both inside SAP via e.g. transfer activities and patent filings, and externally via academic conference papers and presentations. 
The successful candidate will be integrated within our research team in Mougins, France and will be a first-class participant in our research activities, actively participating in the Mission and Goals of SAP Security Research

We are looking for a PhD candidate with a creative and analytical mindset, who is willing to work on cutting edge technologies in the area of Data Privacy and Web Applications



  •  University Level: MSc (top 10% performer in university will be favored) or engineering degree
  •  Excellent programming skills (C/C++, Java, JavaScript, Python)
  •  Experience in modern software development tools (Git, Docker, Debuggers)
  •  Good skills in web technologies (HTTP, HTTPS, server/client-side programming languages)
  •  Knowledge of data privacy, computer security and/or big data processing
  •  Fluency in English (working language). Knowledge of French, German or other language is a plus but not a prerequisite
  •  Excellent oral and written communication skills
  •  Willingness to travel (mainly in Europe)


  •  None required


Success is what you make it. At SAP, we help you make it your own. A career at SAP can open many doors for you. If you’re searching for a company that’s dedicated to your ideas and individual growth, recognizes you for your unique contributions, fills you with a strong sense of purpose, and provides a fun, flexible and inclusive work environment – apply now.

To harness the power of innovation, SAP invests in the development of its diverse employees. We aspire to leverage the qualities and appreciate the unique competencies that each person brings to the company.

SAP is committed to the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity and to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with physical and/or mental disabilities. If you are in need of accommodation or special assistance to navigate our website or to complete your application, please send an e-mail with your request to Recruiting Operations Team (Americas: Careers.NorthAmerica@sap.com or Careers.LatinAmerica@sap.com, APJ: Careers.APJ@sap.com, EMEA: Careers@sap.com).

Successful candidates might be required to undergo a background verification with an external vendor.

Additional Locations

PhD: Researcher in data flow analysis for Privacy F/M

Facility:  286614
Posted Date:  Aug 28, 2021
Work Area:  Software-Research
Career Status:  Student
Employment Type:  Regular Full Time
Expected Travel:  0 - 10%

Mougins Cedex, FR, 06254

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