Postdoctoral Fellow (“Astral Sciences in Trans-Regional Asia”)

Mai 01, 2024

The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) is an internationally respected research institute of the Max Planck Society (MPG) with currently two research departments, several research groups, and a graduate school. At the MPIWG, around two hundred scholars from all over the world investigate the sciences past and present, working together on a collective, collaborative, and transdisciplinary basis. The MPIWG is renowned worldwide as a hub for reflection on the role of the sciences in politics and society. It is located in southwestern Berlin, close to the campus of the Free University Berlin and other research institutions.

The Max Planck Research Group “Astral Sciences in Trans-Regional Asia” (ASTRA) led by Prof. Dr. Anuj Misra seeks to appoint

a Postdoctoral Fellow (m/f/d)

– 12 months, stipend –

starting September 1, 2024 (preferably) or later.

The Research Group ASTRA studies the transmission, translocation, and transcreation of astral knowledge across space and time in Asian discourses. The researchers in this group use philological, mathematical and sociohistorical methods to study various aspects of the astral sciences across the cultural spheres of Asia and beyond.

ASTRA is pleased to offer a one-year postdoctoral fellowship (stipend) as part of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) Fellowship Program.

This fellowship aims to support an early-career scholar working on a topic closely aligned with ASTRA's research interests, particularly in the history of astral sciences in Southeast Asia or Central Asia. However, we encourage applications from scholars working on other geographical regions as well.

Applicants must have:

  • a PhD in one of the following:
    • History and philosophy of science
    • Antique, medieval, or early modern studies
    • Language, regional, or cultural studies
    • Exact sciences (mathematics, astronomy, physics, etc.) with an emphasis on historical studies
  • specialized research skills relevant to their proposed project (e.g., skills in philology, codicology, paleography, history of mathematics)
  • excellent English language proficiency (spoken and written) for effective communication with international colleagues
  • self-motivation, a collaborative spirit, and a strong commitment to professional development.

We offer:

  • a postdoctoral stipend commensurate with rank and experience for your period of residence, and reimbursement for a return ticket to and from your place of residence.
  • a work space with access to the Institute’s resources (including the MPIWG Library)
  • a cooperative style of work with close contact with all research and research-support units, and the opportunity for direct, personal dialogue
  • an international setting with staff and guests from more than forty countries

The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer that strives to foster an inclusive workplace. As an institute of the MPG, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science supports a working community for all, free from discrimination and harassment. We explicitly encourage applications from qualified individuals who belong to groups that are often underrepresented in the workplace due to age, disability, ethnicity, family status, gender, nationality, race, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, or religion.

Please follow the links to find out more about the MPIWG’s policies on gender equality and hiring practices for people with disabilities, as well as Germany’s anti-discrimination laws as outlined in the General Equal Treatment Act.

Your application:

Further details of the MPIWG Fellowship Program for Postdoctoral Fellows can be found here

Submit your complete application through the ASTRA application portal:

Please make sure to choose the option “Postdoctoral Fellowship (stipend)” when asked for the type of fellowship/research stay during the application process. We kindly request that you refrain from including a photograph.

Your application package should include:

  • Cover Letter: Please state your preferred fellowship period, any existing external funding sources (if applicable), and contact information for two external referees (name, affiliation, and email address).
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV): Maximum 2 pages.
  • List of Publications: No page limit.
  • Academic Writing Sample: Your thesis, a recent paper, or another relevant sample.
  • Research Proposal (Max. 750 words): Clearly indicate how your project aligns with one or more of ASTRA's three thematic domains and provide a detailed work plan outlining deliverables, milestones, potential risks, and contingencies.

Applications must be received by 1 May 2024 (23:59 CEST).

Please note that we can only accept electronic applications submitted through the portal.


If you have any questions about the position specified, please contact Prof. Dr. Anuj Misra (he/him),

Further information on the MPIWG can be found at


Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Boltzmannstraße 22, 14195 Berlin, Deutschland