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.

The Law & Anthropology Department invites applications for

3 Postdoctoral research positions

One of the aims of the Law & Anthropology Department is to offer a stimulating interdisciplinary forum where both anthropologists and lawyers can engage with one another and conduct cutting-edge, policy-relevant research linked to the intensification of exchanges and encounters among and between societies, communities, and cultures in today’s world. Of particular interest for this call are projects that that engage in empirically informed research in an effort to find legislative, administrative, judicial, or practical solutions to issues of accommodating diversity (cultural, religious, ethnic, etc.) under state law. Appointees will contribute to the development of the Department’s research agenda, not only by gaining insights into how solutions in concrete cases could – or could not – be achieved, but also to critically assess the various normative frameworks within which accommodation takes place. Appointees are expected to engage with the methodological and epistemological challenges that accompany the effort to combine law and anthropology.

Both lawyers and anthropologists who are actively involved in the study of the accommodation of diversity are welcome to apply. Preference will be given to research proposals that address the European context.

  1. an excellent PhD (or other doctoral degree) in law, social / cultural anthropology, or other relevant discipline in the human sciences;
  2. clear evidence of familiarity with the topic addressed in the research proposal;
  3. an interest in empirical field research (this can include relevant legal practice);
  4. a solid publication record with articles in peer-reviewed journals;
  5. excellent command of written and spoken English and evidence of other relevant language skills (depending on the topic and the regional focus).
Successful applicants are expected to collaborate with the other colleagues in the Department, contribute to teamwork and a collegial atmosphere, and generally strive to ensure cross-fertilization within the Department. This includes the expectation that they provide informal supervision to doctoral students. For those wishing to gain teaching experience, opportunities exist at the Martin Luther University in Halle. The Department is currently developing a new project that seeks to gather information on judicial cases related to religious and cultural diversity from different European countries and organize it in the form of a database. Postdoctoral researchers will be expected to contribute data from their own fields to help build up this major research instrument.

Positions are to start on 1 October 2018. Employment will be on a full-time contractual basis. Remuneration will be awarded in accordance with Germany’s Collective Wage Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD). The positions are awarded for three years, and are open to an extension, subject to a positive evaluation, for those envisaging a (German) ‘Habilitation’ degree.

The workplace is Halle/Saale (Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany).

The Max Planck Society is committed to raising the proportion of women in science; we thus explicitly encourage applications from female researchers. Individuals with disabilities will be given priority, assuming equal qualifications.

Application procedure
Applicants are asked to submit the following materials:

Please submit your application materials electronically by 15 March 2018 by following the link for vacancies on our homepage (under ‘Career’), or by going directly to the online application form using the link below.

Interviews with shortlisted applicants will be held in spring 2018.

If you have further questions regarding the application procedure, please contact:
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Personnel Administration
Janka Diallo (

Max-Planck-Institut für ethnologische Forschung
Janka Diallo

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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