IT Researcher (EN)

March 15, 2019
Department/Research Group

A world leading research institute in its field, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science is among the forerunners in the innovative application of digital methods for research in the humanities. To strengthen its digital research and take advantage of the growing opportunities of digital scholarship, the Institute is seeking an expert in Digital Humanities in the role of an

IT Researcher (f/m)
initially for two years, with the possibility of a permanent contract (up to TVÖD E14)

As IT Researcher you will be working together with individual scholars as well as research groups on projects in the History of Science that seek to employ Digital Humanities methodologies. You will be involved in projects that include e.g., automated analysis of text corpora, the creation of custom databases, data analysis using visualization tools, application of methods from network analysis, and machine learning and image recognition.

Your task will be to select and implement suitable methods for specific research projects and to collaborate with scholars in developing research questions that are relevant to be answered using digital tools. Aware of current developments within and outside of the field of Digital Humanities, you will be able to propose new research directions that make use of novel approaches and methods developed within industry and academia.

The Institute is keen to conduct cutting-edge digital scholarship, while making use of established standards for data representation and exchange (Linked Data, CIDOC-CRM, IIIF, etc.). Projects are expected to build on and contribute to a common digital research infrastructure, producing sustainable digital research outputs that can be reused and shared openly.

As a scholar, you will publish your contributions to the research projects in Digital Humanities journals and conferences, and conduct original research in your particular field of expertise.  

Your work will consist of:

  • Collaborating on digital research projects at the Institute with individual scholars as well as research groups
  • Evaluating and implementing digital research methods that leverage Machine Learning for Natural Language Processing, Text Analysis, Image Analysis and Recognition, among other common methods of the Digital Humanities workflow
  • Supporting scholars in their Digital Humanities work through advice, teaching and organizing workshops
  • Contributing to the Institute’s digital research infrastructure and digital toolset, consisting of both off-the-shelf software and custom implementations
  • Keeping track of current developments in industry and academia, and evaluate and implement novel digital methods in all areas of Digital Humanities
  • Conducting original research in the area of Digital Humanities and initiate joint research projects with other researchers and external partners

Your Profile:

  • PhD degree, or Master’s degree and equivalent research experience in an area relevant for the Digital Humanities (computer science, HCI, linguistics, information science, digital history, etc.)
  • Interest in the History of Science and prior experience in working in a humanities context
  • Experience in managing projects and agile development methods
  • Ability to communicate complex issues to both technical and non-technical audiences
  • Experience in working with text and image analysis using state-of-the-art methods, including applications of machine learning
  • Familiarity with current development methods and ability to rapidly acquire new knowledge in relevant programming languages and software libraries
  • (desirable) Experience in software operation, system integration, API implementation and system architecture (Docker, S3, REST services, Linked Data Platform)
  • (desirable) experience in user experience research and user interface design
  • (desirable) experience with Asian languages

The Max Planck Society wishes to increase the proportion of women* in those areas in which they are currently underrepresented. Women* are therefore specifically encouraged to apply. The Max Planck Society is committed to employing more disabled individuals, and applications from people with disabilities are especially welcome. At the Institute, we attach great importance to the compatibility of work and family life. We support our employees through the family-friendly organization of working hours, including opportunities to work from home and helping them to find suitable childcare and schools.

Please send your application—cover letter, curriculum vitae, copies of certificates, a writing sample (for example a publication) and contact details of two referees—as separate PDF documents exclusively through our online application portal:

Your application must be received by

March 15, 2019 (23:59 CET).

Please note: we can only accept applications submitted electronically through the application portal.


For inquiries, please contact Tanja Neuendorf or Florian Kräutli.