Postdoctoral Program for the Study of Societies at MPI Cologne

The MPIfG offers up to four postdoctoral positions each year. They are awarded for two years, usually beginning on October 1.

The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG) provides an attractive environment for postdoctoral researchers to pursue their own research projects within the scope of the Institute's research program. Postdoctoral researchers can apply for a two-year contract based on the Public Service Wage Agreement (TVöD E 13). Postdoctoral researchers receive their own office at the MPIfG and actively participate in the intellectual life at the Institute.
The MPIfG conducts basic research on the governance of modern societies. It aims to develop an empirically based theory of the social and political foundations of modern economies by investigating the interrelation between social, economic and political action. Building on the disciplinary traditions of sociology and political science, the Institute's research program aims to combine and develop the approaches of new economic sociology and comparative political economy.
Projects at the institute are clustered in four research areas:

  • Sociology of Markets (led by Jens Beckert)
  • Political Economy of European Integration (research group led by Martin Höpner)
  • Transnational Diffusion of Innovation (research group led by Mark Lutter)
  • Economization of the Social and the History of Complexity (research group led by Ariane Leendertz)


Scholars of all nationalities whose research relates to the substantive concerns of the institute's research program and whose PhDs have been completed less than three years before the position would begin are eligible for the MPIfG Postdoctoral Program. Applicants must hold their doctoral degree or be scheduled to receive it before the contract begins. Young researchers who have completed their dissertation and hold appointments as assistant professors, "wissenschaftliche Assistenten," or "Juniorprofessoren" are encouraged to apply if they can get a leave from their university positions.


Contracts are based on the Public Service Wage Agreement (TVöD E 13) and the guidelines of the Max Planck Society. They are subject to income tax and social security contributions.

Selection Criteria

Successful candidates are chosen on the basis of scholarly excellence, a research proposal outlining a project to be pursued at the MPIfG, and a job interview in person or via video conference.

The Max Planck Society aims to increase the share of women in academic positions. It supports all employees in achieving work and family life balance and has been certified by the “berufundfamilie” audit. We are committed to employing more individuals with disabilities and explicitly encourage them to apply.

Application date
31 Jan 2017
Date of residence
1 Oct 2017
1 year, renewable
Europe Germany
Humanities History Social sciences Business and Administrative Sciences Communication Sciences Demography Economics Environmental Sciences Gender Studies Geography International Relations Law Pedagogic & Education Research Political science Psychology & Cognitive Sciences Social Anthropology Sociology
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 3 years
Grants available