Max-Planck-Institut für ethnologische Forschung
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is one of the leading centres for research in social anthropology. Common to all research projects at the Max Planck Institute is the comparative analysis of social change; it is primarily in this domain that its researchers contribute to anthropological theory, though many programmes also have applied significance and political topicality.

Department ‘Integration and Conflict’ of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is recruiting

A new group of researchers

Positions (starting March 15th, 2014) include:

• PhD positions/grants
• Postdoctoral positions/grants
• Researchers (TVöD) (see below)

The positions are to be awarded in the context of the following research programme:

Department ‘Integration and Conflict’ headed by Prof. Günther Schlee

Integration and conflict are central points of reference for the analysis of the interaction of ethnic groups and states. The construction, meaning, and communication of identity offer an important field of research within this frame of reference. The analysis of descriptions of the self and others in processes of peaceful and violent interaction and, in particular, the development of identities in confrontations with other groups, are at the centre of this research program. Description and analysis of conflict mechanisms also play an important role here.
Further background information concerning these projects and our Department can be found on our homepage:

Essential Duties & Responsibilities
The department is known for its research on Africa. Presently, applications for research in East and Northeast Africa are particularly welcome. Another focus is on Central Asia ( An advertisment for a PhD position with a regional focus on Siberia has been published separately.

Applicants are also welcome to submit doctoral research projects in the context of the interdisciplinary program of the Max Planck Research School for Retaliation, Mediation, Punishment (IMPRS REMEP). This program has its focus on the fundamental question common to the social sciences and humanities regarding how peace, social order, and human security are negotiated, constructed, maintained, and regained. Further details on the IMPRS REMEP can be found on

Another project is planned in cooperation with the Max Planck Fellow Group on “Connectivity in Motion: Port Cities of the Indian Ocean” headed by Prof. Burkhard Schnepel. The research site should be an Indian Ocean port city.

Within the general themes of identity/identification and difference, we run a programme on 'Kinship Universals and Variation'. Qualifications in the anthropology of kinship would therefore be highly welcome, so that at least some of the selected individual projects can contribute to this comparative framework.

The program will take place in Halle/Saale and the group will work together also in Halle/Saale.

Your Profile
Good field research skills, the ability to work in a team, and communication skills with good written and spoken English are required. As a rule dissertations are written in English. Acquisition of the German language is encouraged, especially if there is relevant literature on the research topic in German. Field Research is carried out in the local language. The MPI aims at assisting in language learning.

Our Offer
PhD positions are generally awarded for 2 years, with the possibility for two six-month extensions. We expect our PhD students to complete a one year period of fieldwork as part of their studies. Postdoctoral grants are for two years (a one-year extension is possible). Postdoctoral grants can only be awarded to scientists who have received their doctorate within the last ten years. The grants are not taxed and are free from social security stipulations.
TVöD positions are for three years (with the possibility of a two-year extension). TVöD positions are open to scientists who have completed their doctorate.

The Max Planck Society strives to employ more persons with disabilities and explicitly encourages applications.

Applications should include the standard documentation and a project proposal referring to the research agenda of the Department ‘Integration and Conflict’.

Standard documentation includes:
• cover letter
• CV including a list of publications
• project proposal (five pages only)
• photocopies of university degrees
• name of 2-3 referees, whom Prof. Günther Schlee may contact for confidential references

The main regional foci are in West Africa, Northeast Africa, Central Asia and Siberia. However, other areas in the world will be considered if the suggested project fits particularly well into the thematic field of the Department.

Final selection will be made following interviews in January 2014.

Please submit your application electronically by November 30th 2013 following the link for vacancies on our homepage.

Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Robert Gille

Informal enquiries may be directed to Prof. Günther Schlee (

We look forward to receiving your completed online application under .

We look forward to receiving your completed online application.

You may print the job advert using this link.

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