Postdoctoral Research Assistant Data Science

Developmental and Evolutionary Biology & Genetics Immunobiology and Infection Biology & Medicine Social Sciences Linguistics

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Job Offer from August 16, 2019

The 'Lise Meitner' Pan African Evolution Research Group (Pan-Ev) at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the Extreme Events Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology are pleased to announce a vacancy for a postdoctoral research assistant in modelling and data science. The position will be for up to four years and shared between the two groups, both based in Jena, Germany. The candidate will be given an initial 3 years contract with the possibility of extension of a further 12 months.

The overarching research topic in Pan-Ev is to develop innovative interdisciplinary methods and conduct fieldwork in underrepresented regions of Africa to understand human evolutionary processes across the continent.  The Extreme Events group is conducting complementary research looking at the character and impacts of extreme events in biological, societal and earth and systems.

The candidate’s job will be to help develop approaches and models to better understand the archaeological and ecological data being generated by both groups, supporting the PIs and other research group members. The candidate will also spend some time with project collaborator, Dr Yoan Diekmann at the University of Mainz.

The ideal applicant will have a computational background, e.g. in computer science, statistics or physics, or a strong track record of having applied methods from these areas. In depth knowledge of statistical data analysis and modelling and interest to creatively apply these skills are essential. Interest (but not necessarily experience) in human evolution and its relationship with culture and environment is a prerequisite. Prior experience with archaeological, climatic and cultural data and their multivariate analysis, e.g. in an Approximate Bayesian Computation framework, are a plus.

Prerequisites also include evidence of strong oral and written communication skills as evidence by an outstanding publication and presentation record, commensurate with career stage. The ability to complete tasks in a timely and structured fashion is also required for the position. Willingness to travel is essential.

The position offers a unique opportunity to the successful candidate to develop cutting edge research across two overlapping groups concerned with understanding key evolutionary processes in human prehistory. The candidate would ideally start the position not later than the beginning of 2020, but a start date is open to negotiation. Please send any queries to

The Max Planck Society is committed to employ more handicapped individuals and especially encourages them to apply. The Max Planck Society also seeks to increase the number of women in areas where they are under-represented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

Remuneration will follow the public service pay scale (TVöD), according to qualification and experience. In addition, social benefits are offered according to the regulations of the Civil Service.

Please submit your application as a single pdf file in English until October 15, 2019 using the link below. References are also due at October 15 2019.

Your application should include cover letter, CV of no more than 4 pages, list of publications and relevant certificates.

Contact for more information:

Dr. Eleanor Scerri



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