Foreign-Language Secretary (“Astral Sciences in Trans-Regional Asia”)

April 10, 2024
Department/Research Group

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. Around 200 employees and guests from all over the world are currently working at the Institute.

The research group “Astral Sciences in Trans-Regional Asia” (ASTRA), commencing in April 2024 and led by Prof. Dr. Anuj Misra, seeks to appoint as soon as possible a part-time

Foreign-Language Secretary (m/f/d)

(50%, TVöD Bund E8–E9b––depending on qualifications, limited until March 31, 2029)

ASTRA studies the transmission, translocation, and transcreation of astral knowledge across space and time in Asian discourses. The researchers in this group use sociohistorical, philological, and mathematical methods to study various aspects of the astral sciences across the cultural spheres of Asia and beyond. As a foreign-language secretary, you will primarily support the group leader (along with the other researchers of the group) in administering the group’s organizational processes. The working language in the group is English; the working language of the MPIWG administration is German. More information on ASTRA can be found at

Your responsibilities:

  • classic secretarial tasks (including handling emails, filing, database maintenance, coordination of appointments, minute-taking in English)
  • independent correspondence and short translations in German and English and in one or two of the following languages: Spanish, French, or Arabic
  • travel management (planning, organization, booking, and accounting in accordance with the Federal Travel Expenses Act BRKG)
  • organization and follow-up of meetings, events, and conferences (multilingual)
  • support for international employees, guests, and fellowship holders (multilingual)
  • preparation of presentation documents for conferences and of administrative documents (in English)
  • participation in planning and monitoring the group’s annual budget, in close liaison with the group leader
  • supervision and coordination of student assistants.

Your profile:

  • near-native or excellent knowledge of spoken and written German and English plus at least good knowledge of Spanish, French, or Arabic
  • professional experience in office management/administration, event organization, and business communication
  • experience of international settings (through time spent abroad) and intercultural competence
  • demonstrable IT skills in Microsoft Office Suite applications and sufficient technical proficiency to learn and navigate the MPIWG’s internal administrative systems
  • excellent organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills; a flair for problem-solving; and a confident and considerate personality as a team player
  • welcome, but not mandatory: a university degree in a humanities subject, management, or languages or certified professional training as a translator or certified professional training as a Foreign-Language Secretary.

What we offer:

  • a 50% part-time position, limited until March 31, 2029 according to the duration of the research group, with a classification according to TVöD-Bund of pay grade E8 till E9b, depending on qualifications
  • flexible working hours; the opportunity to work from home as arranged with your superior
  • annual year-end bonus; occupational pension (VBL); subsidy for public transportation within Berlin or Germany (“Jobticket”); paid leave on Christmas Eve (December 24) and New Year’s Eve (December 31) in addition to regular annual leave
  • weekly in-house yoga classes; regular information on occupational health management courses offered by our partner health insurance companies
  • access to the wide range of training courses offered by the MPG’s Planck Academy
  • 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:

Please submit your application in English or German with complete documents, preferably without a photograph, through our application portal. Include cover letter; curriculum vitae; and copies of qualifications (in a single PDF file), employment references (in a single PDF file), and certificates of language skills (in a single PDF file):

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

Applications must be received by April 10, 2024 (23:59 CEST).


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

For questions about the application process, contact Tanja Neuendorf,

Further information on the MPIWG can be found at


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