Postdoctoral Fellow (Dept. III)

December 01, 2023
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 three research departments, several research groups, and a graduate school. 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 renowned worldwide as a 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 Freie Universität Berlin and other research institutions.

Department Artifacts, Action, Knowledge, Director: Prof. Dagmar Schäfer, seeks a

Postdoctoral Fellow

  • ­for three years, with employment contract, TVöD-Bund pay scales (E13) –

starting on 1 April 2024.

Your responsibilities:

  • Support collaborative research efforts within the department.
  • Conduct an individual research project under the "Reclaiming Turtles all the way down" working group.
  • Contribute to research questions on integrating scholarship from historically minoritized communities (e.g., Indigenous Knowledges, nomadic knowledges, knowledges of resistance) and histories of science into a common discourse.
  • Coordinate a multi-year lecture series titled "Manners of Reckoning: Epistemology, Cosmology, Ontology, and Worlding" across departmental units.
  • Facilitate understanding of different concepts of temporal normality in various knowledge systems.
  • Participate in the research activities of the Institute and departmental activities, and present your own work.

Your profile:

  • Hold a university degree (Master or German university degree “Diplom”) and a Ph.D. degree before starting employment.
  • Possess experience in long-term or deep-time studies of Animal-Plant-Human interactions, spanning ancient history to the age of encounter and the recent past.

What we offer:

  • Flexible working hours; the opportunity to work from home as arranged with your superior; the opportunity to work part-time
  • 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 with 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 with complete documents, preferably without a photograph, through our application portal:

To apply, please submit the following documents:

  • Cover letter (in which candidate indicates interest in Departmental project(s))
  • Curriculum vitae, including list of publications
  • Research prospectus (maximum 750 words)
  • Writing sample (5000-8000 words)
  • Names and contact details of at least two referees.

Please note that only complete electronic submissions uploaded to this link will be accepted. Applications sent via email will not be accepted. Applications may be submitted in German, English, or French.

Applications must be received by 1 December 2023 (23:45 CET).  

Applications will be reviewed in late January and short-listed candidates will be interviewed by mid-February 2024. Only successful candidates will be notified.


For questions concerning the research project and Department III, please contact Lisa Onaga ( For technical questions regarding the application portal or for administrative questions concerning the position and the Institute, please first contact the Department assistant (


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