Research Scholar (Dept. II, Laboratory for Oral History and Experimental Media)

April 27, 2023

The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG), Berlin, Department II: Knowledge Systems and Collective Life, directed by Dr. Etienne Benson, seeks a Research Scholar to head the department’s laboratory for oral history and experimental media, with a starting date of September 1, 2023, or earlier.

The MPIWG is a world-leading research institute for the history of science and related fields of study. Department II focuses on the relationship between knowledge systems and collective life. Researchers in the department use historical and ethnographic methods to explore the relationship between these overlapping domains in the past and present. More information about the department and its research themes can be found at:

The department is currently in the process of establishing a laboratory for oral history and experimental media. The purpose of the laboratory is to support the use of oral history and community-engaged methods by researchers in the department, and to facilitate experimentation with the use of audiovisual and other media for scholarship and communication.


In close cooperation with the director, the successful candidate will develop and implement a strategic vision for the laboratory, including the laboratory space and equipment, training and consultation for researchers, management of research data, collaboration with other units at the MPIWG, and the development of external partnerships. The laboratory head will also be expected to conduct independent research in a field related to the department’s research themes.

Your Profile:

The successful candidate will have a PhD in the history of science and technology, science and technology studies, history, anthropology, the environmental humanities, media studies, or a neighbouring field in the humanities and social sciences. The candidate will also have experience with oral history recording, ethnographic filmmaking, or the use of other non-textual media in a research context. Fluent spoken and written English is expected.

Our Offer:

We are offering a five-year, full-time contract with the possibility of extension. Remuneration is based on the TVöD-Bund pay scale E14. The workplace is Berlin, Germany. The working language of the department is English.

The Max Planck Society (MPG) is an equal opportunity employer that strives to foster an inclusive workplace. As an institute of the MPG, we support 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, socio-economic background or religion.

Visit these webpages to learn more about the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) and its policies toward gender equality and hiring practices for persons with disabilities as well as Germany’s anti-discrimination laws as outlined in the General Equal Treatment Act: 

Gender equality


General Equal Treatment Act

Candidates are requested to submit (as pdf files):

  • a cover letter
  • curriculum vitae (including a list of publications)
  • a writing sample (e.g., an article or book chapter)
  • contact information for three scholars who could submit letters of recommendation if requested

Please submit your application in English by April 27, 2023 (23:59 CET) using the following link:

Please note that only complete electronic submissions uploaded to this link will be accepted. Applications sent via email will not be accepted.


For questions concerning the position and the Institute, please contact the department’s research officer: Dr. Kerstin Hinrichsen.


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