Research Assistant (m/f/d) | Full-time for 2 years

Scientific and Technical Assistance Leipzig
Developmental and Evolutionary Biology & Genetics Behavioral Sciences Cognitive Research
Job Offer from January 12, 2022

About us

Our Comparative Cultural Psychology Research Unit at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI EVA) studies children in different human societies as well as great apes to understand unique human cultural diversity as well as the universal cognitive mechanisms that make it possible. The MPI EVA in Leipzig is the world's leading research institute for one of the most fundamental questions in science: What makes humans human?

Your tasks

We are currently looking for a research assistant (RA) who will be responsible for coordinating the data flow to create a database on great ape cognition. This includes standardizing data sets in “R”, creating meta files, contacting authors, etc. This work therefore requires knowledge in “R” as well as an interest in detailed work, reliability as well as accuracy.

The main tasks for the RA can be divided in two parts:

  • Assistance on the collection of the data sets: The RA will contact contributing authors of experimental studies via email or other platforms (e.g., Slack). The RA will discuss the content of the data sets with the authors to interpret the data files.
  • Standardization of datasets: The RA will be responsible for coordinating the upcoming flow of data. That is, to collate and standardize the diverse data sets in “R” as well as the creation of meta files.

The main place of work will be at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. Salary will be according to TvÖD E9.

Our requirements

  • Data management and data processing skills: The RA will work with different types of data sets (raw data files, summarized tables etc.) and formats (xlsx, csv, sav). The RA will make extensive use of “R” to standardize the diversity of data sets. In coordination with the other team members, the RA will also use git software to keep track of the changes in the original files and generated data sets. Mid/advance experience in “R” and Microsoft Excel is recommended.
  • Organizational and methodological skills: The project involves working with and keeping track of multiple datasets and email correspondences with many researchers worldwide. This requires an interest in detailed work, reliability as well as accuracy.
  • Social and communicative skills: The RA will assiduously contact international researchers via email or other communication platforms. Therefore, excellent social skills and English communicative skills are required.

Our offer

  • A very diversified job in a scientifically driven international team in one of the best research institutes worldwide
  • Independent work and room for own ideas and creativity
  • flexible working hours and an employee- and family-friendly environment
  • Active participation in research questions on the development of social thinking and behavior in children and apes
  • The Max Planck Society provides its employees with a comprehensive training program and social benefits in accordance with the regulations of the public sector


Great, then we should definitely get to know each other and look forward to your application! Please send the following documents in English language to and  with the reference “Application Research Assistant EVApeCognition”:

  • 1-2 pages of Interest Letter
  • CV

We consider applications until the position is filled.

The Max Planck Society and the Department of Comparative Cultural Psychology of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology are very committed to equal opportunities, diversity as well as gender equality. We actively support the compatibility of work and family and have set ourselves the goal of employing more severely disabled people as well as groups that are underrepresented in science and especially in the given field of activity. Therefore, we explicitly encourage them to apply and welcome applications from all backgrounds.

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