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.

As a postdoctoral researcher at the MPIfG, you will have either one of the directors or a research group leader as your advisor. You will develop and expand your qualifications, and you’ll have the opportunity to participate in internal and external trainings, national and international conferences, and even organize your own workshop if you like. As a postdoctoral researcher, you’ll let us know what your individual needs are and what you need specifically for your projects, and we’ll support you in your career development.

We offer a two-year employment contract with pay and benefits according to the German Public Service Wage Agreement (TVöD E 13). You’ll be provided with an office at the MPIfG and actively participate in the intellectual life of the Institute.


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 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 Schedule

  • As of November 1 - Applications are accepted for positions starting in October of the following year
  • January 31 - Application deadline
  • February-March - Interviews
  • April- Notification about hiring decision
  • October 1 - Beginning of the contract
Application date
31 Jan 2018
Date of residence
1 Oct 2018
2 years
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