Head of Administration

October 04, 2022

The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) is a research institute composed of three research departments and four research groups. At the MPIWG, around three 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 an internationally respected 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.

Because our long-serving Head of Administration will soon be retiring, we seek to appoint as soon as possible a new

Head of Administration

(permanent full-time contract, salary based on the TVöD scale up to grade 14)

to join us in shaping a new era for our Institute in its continuing structural and substantive development.

You will lead a team of currently sixteen administration and general services staff that provides constructive and essential support for research at the Institute with a strong service orientation. You will design, monitor, and optimize working processes in the Institute’s administration, oversee the budget, and advise the Institute’s management and the service units proactively on all relevant issues. You will report to the Managing Director and be part of a team including other members of the Institute’s middle management.

Your responsibilities

  • Leading the administration (human resources, finance, purchasing), which also includes general services (facilities management, reception, guest accommodation)
  • Maintaining effective organization of structures and processes for the management—planning, coordination, organization, and monitoring—of all administrative procedures and in-house processes
  • Undertaking planning and controlling in all areas of the Institute’s budgeting and business management, coordinating technical facilities, and supervising construction and maintenance projects
  • Using an effective internal control system to ensure compliance with all statutory, funding-law, and Max Planck Society (MPG) provisions around administration and questions of finance, human resources, and purchasing
  • Representing the interests of the Institute externally and vis-à-vis the General Administration of the MPG in all non-research–related matters
  • Advising and supporting the three directors on all administrative and organizational matters

Your profile

  • You have a university degree in public administration, business studies, or law, or a comparable qualification in research management.
  • You are passionate about research, with both detailed expertise and an ability to see the bigger picture regarding all the administrative and legal aspects of a publicly funded research institute.
  • You possess many years of experience in management, along with strong social and communication skills; you always keep your staff’s needs in view and help them to meet the challenges of new working styles, mobile collaboration, and virtual leadership.
  • You enjoy teamwork, appreciating and promoting collaboration in a spirit of mutual trust both with your own staff and with other colleagues and superiors.
  • Ideally, you have experience in change management, understand the advantages of professional process and project management, and are familiar with digital processes and SAP.
  • You have an easy, self-assured manner and a constructive, results-oriented working style; you are able to deal with conflicts, work under pressure, and think creatively in the design of new workflows.
  • You have excellent language skills (German and English at a minimum), are used to working in international contexts, and enjoy collaborating with people from many different backgrounds.

What we offer

We can offer you a family-friendly, cooperative working atmosphere and a responsible position with varied tasks in an international setting, short decision-making processes, the opportunity for direct, personal dialogue, and a team-oriented working style. The Institute management encourages and supports employees’ continuing professional development. Remuneration is based on your qualifications within the TVöD (Bund) salary scale.

The Max Planck Society (MPG) is an equal opportunity employer that strives to foster an inclusive workplace. We therefore specifically invite applications from qualified individuals who belong to groups that are often underrepresented in the workplace due to disability, ethnicity, nationality, race, sexual identity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic background.

Your application

Please submit complete documents (including covering letter, résumé, testimonials, and contact details of one referee) through our applications portal: https://recruitment.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/position/23330829

Applications must be received by October 4, 2022 (23:59 CEST).

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


For any questions about the position, please contact the Managing Director, Prof. Jürgen Renn (rennoffice@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de). For questions about the application process, please contact Ms. Tanja Neuendorf (applications@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de).

More information about the MPIWG can be found at https://www.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/



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