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Max-Planck-Insti­tut für Wis­sen­schafts­ge­schichte

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 (Dept I)

Work­ing field:

The Max Planck Insti­tute for the History of Sci­ence, Ber­lin, Rese­arch Group "Know­ledge in and of the Anthropo­cene" (Dpt. 1), is offe­ring a posi­tion for a

Post­doc­to­ral Fel­low

for two years, star­ting from Octo­ber 1, 2019. The posi­tion is estab­lished in the frame­work of a coope­ra­tion bet­ween the MPIWG, the Anthropo­cene Working Group (AWG) set up by the Inter­na­tio­nal Com­mis­sion on Stra­ti­gra­phy, and Haus der Kul­tu­ren der Welt (HKW).

The rese­arch under­ta­ken by the can­di­date is sup­po­sed to cri­ti­cally assess and engage with the shif­ting mate­rial and epis­temic cul­tures of the geo­lo­gi­cal sci­en­ces in light of the Anthropo­cene con­cept, both in an his­to­ri­cal and in con­tem­porary per­spec­tive. It may com­prise of one or several of the fol­lo­wing areas of study:

  • com­pa­ra­tive history of mate­ri­als and geo­che­mi­cal/bio­tic signals rele­vant to defi­ning a stra­ti­gra­phic mar­ker for the Anthropo­cene (such as plastics, fly ash, radio­ge­nic iso­to­pes, car­bon iso­to­pes, heavy metals, che­mi­cal and orga­nic com­pounds, etc.)
  • history of geo­che­mi­stry and bio­geo­che­mi­stry
  • recent history of stra­ti­gra­phy, incl. chemo- and bio­stra­ti­gra­phic methods
  • mate­rial cul­tures of the geo­lo­gi­cal sci­en­ces
epis­temic trans­for­ma­ti­ons of the geo­lo­gi­cal sci­en­ces in the wake of the Anthropo­cene hypo­the­sis


Can­di­da­tes should hold a doc­to­rate in the history of sci­ence, sci­ence stu­dies or rela­ted fields at the time the posi­tion begins, and be able to show evi­dence of scho­l­arly excel­lence in the form of initial inter­na­tio­nal publi­ca­ti­ons. The can­di­date is expec­ted to work in an inter- and trans­di­sci­pli­nary set­ting and be in regu­lar exchange with the AWG and HKW on mat­ters con­cer­ning the rese­arch.

What we of­fer:

The posi­tion is pri­ma­rily devo­ted to rese­arch, with no tea­ching and with minor admi­nis­tra­tive duties for the Rese­arch Group. Remu­ne­ra­tion is based on the TVöD-Bund pay sca­les (E13, or up to E14 depen­ding on qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons).

The Max Planck Insti­tute for the History of Sci­ence is an inter­na­tio­nal and inter­di­sci­pli­nary rese­arch insti­tute. The working lan­guage is Eng­lish; it is expec­ted that can­di­da­tes will be able to pre­sent their own work and dis­cuss that of others flu­ently in that lan­guage.

How to ap­ply:

The Max Planck Society wis­hes to increase the pro­por­tion of women in those areas in which they are cur­r­ently under­re­p­re­sen­ted. We the­re­fore spe­ci­fi­cally encou­rage women to apply. The Max Planck Society is com­mit­ted to employ­ing more dis­ab­led indi­vi­du­als, and app­li­ca­ti­ons from dis­ab­led people are espe­ci­ally wel­come.

App­li­ca­ti­ons should include a cur­ri­cu­lum vitae (inclu­ding list of publi­ca­ti­ons), a descrip­tion of the spe­ci­fic rese­arch inte­rest in the topics rela­ted to the pro­ject (750 words maxi­mum), and the con­tact details of two refe­rees who are wil­ling to pro­vide a refe­rence if the can­di­date will be short­listed.

Can­di­da­tes are requested to sub­mit, via our online app­li­ca­tion por­tal:
Only elec­tro­nic sub­mis­si­ons via this por­tal will be accep­ted. 

Dead­line for sub­mis­si­ons: June 15, 2019 (23:59 h PST).

Short­listed can­di­da­tes will be infor­med by July 1, 2019, and inter­views will take place in the week com­men­cing August 5, 2019.

For ques­ti­ons regar­ding the expec­ted posi­tion please con­tact Chris­toph Rosol ( For ques­ti­ons about the Insti­tute, admi­nis­tra­tive mat­ters, or the app­li­ca­tion por­tal, please email the office of Depart­ment 1 (