Student assistant positions (m/f/d) | Data entry for Carneiro Database Project

Young Researchers Leipzig
Developmental and Evolutionary Biology & Genetics Behavioral Sciences Cognitive Research

Job Code: LH-11-2024

Job Offer from June 27, 2024

Deadline for applications is August 14, 2024

The Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution (DLCE) at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) under the directorship of Prof. Russell Gray, invites applications for a student assistant position to assist Dr. Václav Hrnčíř with data entry in the Carneiro Database Project.


The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology unites scientists with various backgrounds (natural sciences and humanities) whose aim is to investigate the history of humankind from an interdisciplinary perspective with the help of comparative analyses of genes, cultures, cognitive abilities, languages and social systems of past and present human populations as well as those of primates closely related to human beings.

About DLCE

The Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution aims to answer big picture questions about human history. Our focus is on describing and explaining the major patterns of linguistic and cultural variation across the globe. We tackle these questions by developing novel language documentation methods, global linguistic and cultural databases, and analyses using evolutionary theories and computational methods.

About the Carneiro Database

Robert Carneiro was an American anthropologist who studied universal patterns in human cultural evolution. In 1960s, he created a database of about 100 world societies, for each of which he collected information on hundreds of cultural traits (including architecture, economics, law, religion, subsistence, warfare etc.). The database has never been published, instead it was stored in a museum’s archive. The goal of our project is to digitize the database and integrate it into the larger online database D-PLACE to serve as a resource for further research on cultural diversity and evolution.

Main tasks

As a student assistant in this project, you will copy the hand-written codings from scans of Carneiro’s database into spreadsheets, including comments and references.

Selection criteria

  • Language skills in both spoken and written English
  • Strong communicative skills both with peers and supervisors
  • Ability to use spreadsheet programs (and ideally some knowledge of BibTeX)
  • Ability to work independently and manage time well

Our offer

  • First-hand experience in our world-class research institution
  • Part-time position, initially limited to 6 months (1 semester) with flexible work hours
  • An inspiring, international, interdisciplinary environment with leading domain scientists in our department

How to apply

Please submit your application in English, including the following:

  • Cover letter (max. 1 page), explaining research experience, research interests and reason for interest in this project as well as your skills and knowledge of relevant software (Excel/Libreoffice/BibTeX)
  • your CV
  • copy of Bachelor’s degree certificate (if applicable)
  • copy of a valid/current enrolment certificate with a German University (Immatrikulationsbescheinigung)
    [NB. you may compile several PDFs into one for submission]

Please apply online (see link below). Only complete submissions via this link will be taken into consideration.

The Max Planck Society is committed to employing individuals with disabilities and especially encourages them to apply. Additionally, we seek to increase diversity of our workforce in areas where it is underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourage women and members of underrepresented groups to apply.

For queries, please contact: .

We look forward to receiving your completed online application.

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