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Max-Planck-Insti­tut für Wis­sen­schafts­ge­schichte - Max Planck Research Group “Prac­tices of Val­id­a­tion in the Bio­med­ical Sci­ences”

Das MPIWG ist eines von mehr als 80 Insti­tu­ten der Max Planck Gesell­schaft e.V. und eines der füh­ren­den For­schungs­zen­tren für die Wis­sen­schafts­ge­schichte.

Postdoc­toral Fel­low (m/f/d)


The post is ten­able as soon as pos­sible (salary: 100% TVÖD E13) for a period of three years.

Work­ing field:

The newly appoin­ted Postdoc­toral Fel­low will work within the Max Planck Research Group “Prac­tices of Val­id­a­tion in the Bio­med­ical Sci­ences”. The research group exam­ines how eval­u­at­ive cat­egor­ies and meth­ods of val­id­a­tion have been trans­lated and trans­muted across sci­entific approaches to study­ing health and dis­ease, from the late 19th to the early 21st cen­tury.

We are look­ing for an enthu­si­astic and ded­ic­ated postdoc­toral researcher to join us.
You will be expec­ted to develop your own research within the frame­work of the group, in dia­logue with and expand­ing our exist­ing pro­jects. You will con­duct inde­pend­ent research while also reg­u­larly par­ti­cip­at­ing in the work­ing life of the group, attend­ing our sem­inars, webinars and work­shops, and con­trib­ut­ing to the over­all intel­lec­tual milieu. We invite cre­at­ive and thought­ful sub­mis­sions which address prac­tices of val­id­a­tion in the bio­med­ical sci­ences through spe­cific his­tor­ical cases. Broad them­atic areas of inquiry could include but are by no means lim­ited to:

  • How have val­id­a­tion prac­tices been estab­lished, revised and policed in rela­tion to his­tor­ic­ally spe­cific moral, eco­nomic and polit­ical con­cerns?
  • How have prac­tices of val­id­a­tion been used in bound­ary work dur­ing dif­fer­ent crises or chal­lenges in bio­med­ical research?
  • How were valid­ity claims medi­ated and propag­ated through spe­cific tech­no­lo­gies, mater­i­als and forms of com­mu­nic­a­tion?

We wel­come in par­tic­u­lar pro­pos­als with a reflex­ive dimen­sion which prob­lem­at­ize clear-cut in/out, internal/external, sci­entific/meta, actor/ana­lyst dicho­tom­ies. This could involve, for example, reflect­ing on the use of eval­u­at­ive cat­egor­ies – such as valid­ity – across diverse con­texts and sites, not just the labor­at­ory, but the courtroom, the board­room or the archive.

All can­did­ates who have a com­pleted PhD in a rel­ev­ant field are eli­gible for this pos­i­tion, but we want to par­tic­u­larly encour­age early career research­ers (max. 2 years after their PhD) to apply. Those with exper­i­ence work­ing on the his­tory and philo­sophy of bio­med­ical sci­ences bey­ond our exist­ing cov­er­age are espe­cially wel­come. We look for­ward to read­ing your applic­a­tion.


  • a com­pleted doc­toral degree in the His­tory of Sci­ence or cog­nate dis­cip­lines.
  • abil­ity to speak flu­ently and pro­duce aca­demic pub­lic­a­tions in Eng­lish.
  • abil­ity to com­mu­nic­ate in Ger­man is highly desir­able.

What we of­fer:

A ver­sat­ile work­place with a fam­ily-friendly cli­mate and an inter­na­tional aca­demic atmo­sphere. The salary is based on the Ger­man pub­lic ser­vice salary scale TVÖD, level E13.

How to ap­ply:

Please sub­mit your applic­a­tion in Eng­lish (Cover let­ter, CV, short Research Pro­posal (max. 1500 words), copy of PhD cer­ti­fic­ate, copy of PhD thesis (PDF), two let­ters of recom­mend­a­tion, proof of lan­guage abil­it­ies, if avail­able) and exclus­ively through the fol­low­ing applic­a­tion portal:

by Octo­ber 31, 2021, 23:45 CET.
Only applic­a­tions sub­mit­ted in this way will be con­sidered.

For ques­tions about this pos­i­tion and the Max Planck Research Group, please con­tact Dr. Lara Keuck: For tech­nical ques­tions regard­ing the applic­a­tion portal, for admin­is­trat­ive ques­tions con­cern­ing the pos­i­tion and the Insti­tute, please first con­tact the group’s sec­ret­ary Birgitta von Mallinck­rodt:

Max-Planck-Insti­tut für Wis­senschafts­geschichte, Max Planck Research Group “Prac­tices of Val­id­a­tion in the Bio­med­ical Sci­ences”, Boltzmannstraße 22, 14195 Ber­lin, Ger­many