Postdoctoral Fellow (Dept. I) (EN)

Juni 15, 2019

The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Research Cluster "Knowledge in and of the Anthropocene" (Dept. I), 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.

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.

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 I.


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