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Andrea Ruffing

Summer School 2024: Usable Security

Scientific event in July for phD students and graduate students takes place in Saarbruecken from July 22 - 26, 2024.


We are inviting applications from undergraduate, graduate students and researchers in the area of Cybersecurity and related fields. This year's first summer school will be focusing on Usable Security. During our annual scientific event, students will have the opportunity to follow one week of scientific talks and workshops, present their own work during poster sessions and discuss relevant topics in Usable Security with fellow researchers and expert speakers. The program will be complemented by social activities. 

Application Process: Please fill in the application form and upload your CV, a Motivation Letter, University Certificate of Transcript of Records. 

Notification of Acceptance: Several rounds of acceptance, roughly 3 weeks after application at the latest. 

Fee: 200,-€  (includes full program, food and beverages during the week, and social activities)

Application Deadline: June 30, 2024

Travel Grant: We are offering travel grants for students who participate actively in the whole event and present their work during a poster session. With your application, you can apply for a grant of up to 500,-€  per person (actual travel cost spent, economy flight, train ticket 2nd class). Please do not book any travel arrangements before you have been selected by our jury and accepted to our Summer School. After acceptance, please send your travel arrangements to for approval prior to booking anything. We will confirm if/that your expenses will be covered and you will be reimbursed after completing the Summer School successfully. 

Presentations: There will be at least one session, during which participants can present their own work / scientific poster. The presentation is not mandatory to receive a certificate of attendance, but we are highly encouraging you to contribute your work to this session and  as it will provide you with valuable feedback from an expert audience and might kindle interesting discussions. 

When: July 22 - 26, 2024

Where: CISPA - Helmholtz Center for Information Security, Saarbruecken. 


Invited Speakers


Blase Ur (University of Chicago)

Heather Richter Lipford (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

Susan E. McGregor (Columbia University)

Cori Faklaris (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

Lujo Bauer (Carnegie Mellon University)

Kent Seamons (Brigham Young University)

Marian Harbach (Google)

CISPA Speakers

Sascha Fahl 


Please have a look at last year's school, Summer School 2022, or our Digital Summer School 2021 to get a general idea of the event. 

If you have any questions or queries, our Summer-School team will be glad to help via

If you want to be informed about scientific events and regular summer schools, please register to our newsletter



Summer School FAQ

1.       Can I attend several Summer Schools?

 Yes, if you attended one of our Summer Schools, of course you are welcome to apply for any of the following years. If there are two Summer Schools in one year, you can apply for both Summer Schools. It is advisable to mention a specific research focus in your application that aligns with your interests and your prior education.

2.       What criteria are considered in the selection process of participants? 

Our jury selects the participants of the Summer Schools. We have strict criteria for selecting participants for our Summer School due to the high number of applications compared to the limited available spots. We give priority to those currently studying or with a background in the Summer School's topic. A foundational knowledge in the field is required, and participants should have reached a certain academic level. For instance, individuals in the early stages of a Bachelor's degree may not qualify. This is important because the Summer School is interactive, and having prior knowledge is crucial for active participation.

 3.       How does the travel grant work?

You can apply for a travel grant during your application if your travel costs are not reimbursed by your employer. Our jury will select participants and approve the travel grant within availability. You will only receive reimbursement after successful completion of the Summer School which means actively attending every day of the event. Another requirement for reimbursement is that you actively participate in the Summer School by presenting a poster during the poster session. There might be additional requirements for a specific Summer School which will be mentioned on the event’s website. If your travel grant was approved you need to hand in receipts after completion of the Summer School for all expenses in connection with your travels. The grant is limited to 500€ unless stated otherwise on the event’s website. The participation fee secures your spot for the event and covers catering, drinks, course materials and the full program. Thus it cannot be refunded via the travel grant. Only receipts dated within one day before the start of the event until the last day are eligible for reimbursement. Exceptions require prior approval via email. Please book accommodations from our recommendation list when possible or contact us for approval prior your booking.

4.       What do I have to consider for the format of my poster presentation?

Your poster should be in portrait format, A0 size, please bring your printed poster with you. If you don’t have the possibility to print it yourself, send it as a PDFX file via email to us within the deadline mentioned being accepted to our event. Each presentation will be limited to 5 minutes, followed by a short discussion.

5.       What if I have certain dietary requirements?

If you have specific dietary restrictions, please include that information in your application. We strive to accommodate all dietary needs to the best of our ability. Additionally, rest assured that there is always a vegetarian option available for individuals with restrictions concerning meat.

6.       What do I have to bring?

Bring your own laptop. Course materials and catering during the event will be provided and is included in the fee. You will receive handouts and presentations after the event of every speaker who agreed to distribute them.

7.       Do I get a certificate of participation?

Yes, a certificate will be provided if you successfully attend all days of the Summer School.

8.       What if I bring a person who does not participate and we share a room?

We can only reimburse costs for participants. If you bring your partner or a friend to share your hotel room, please provide receipts and comparison prices for the expenses that would have occurred if you traveled alone, and we will reimburse accordingly.

9.       What if I want to share a room with another Summer School participant?

Both individuals should ensure the hotel receipt includes both names. Submit this receipt, and each of you will receive half the reimbursement for the hotel room cost.

10.   What if I have to cancel my participation?

If you cancel at short notice after confirming and paying the participation fee, refunds cannot be issued. You can, however, name a substitute participant with similar qualifications. Refunds are contingent on having enough time to rearrange event planning (e.g. transport and catering).