Research Position

The Department Anthropology of Economic Experimentation @MaxAnthropology MPI for Social Anthropology Halle (Saale) is offering a research position (postdoc) in migration and mobility studies; deadline 2 April 2023



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 Department “Anthropology of Economic Experimentation” is offering

a research position in migration and mobility studies
(starting as early as possible after 1 August 2023)


Essential Duties & Responsibilities
The Department “Anthropology of Economic Experimentation” is seeking a researcher with the highest potential to advance migration and mobility studies.

Migration and mobility studies is a strategic component of the research programme of the Department. We expect the postholder to (1) develop his/her own high-impact research projects, with a focus on the interactions among political economy, mobility infrastructure, and migrants’ concerns, (2) engage in public outreach, including with migrants, NGOs, art communities and think tanks, and (3) lead the development of the Mobility Lab (MoLab), particularly by developing broad theorization based on material accumulated through the MoLab Inventory. The MoLab was initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way of conducting real-time observation of the mobility dimensions of this unprecedented phenomenon, and has been developed into an ongoing observatory of the forms of mobility associated with contemporary forms of economic organization. MoLab now contains around 100 entries (in both text and multimedia format), and continues to grow.

Applicants must have carried out in-depth field research related to migration or/and mobility. They should be committed to broad conceptualization beyond case studies and contributing to the “common concerns” approach. As the shared style of thinking that defines the Department, this approach identifies research questions not according to gaps in academic knowledge, but through understanding the concerns people are grappling with in their everyday lives and which reflect their subjective experience of objective social contradictions. In addition, the applicants should have strong skills in leading collective research and publishing.

Your Profile
Applicants should hold a Ph.D. in anthropology, sociology or a related discipline or submit evidence indicating that such a dissertation will be successfully completed before the designated starting date.

Our Offer
The research position will be for a duration of four years. Employment will be on a full-time contractual basis. Remuneration is in accordance with the Collective Wage Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD, level E13). The workplace is Halle (Saale), a dynamic, historical town in central Germany (Sachsen-Anhalt) that is home to the renowned Martin Luther University and numerous scientific institutions. Our modern campus is in a quiet, picturesque neighbourhood near the centre of town.

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.

Please submit your application electronically by 2 April 2023 by following the link for vacancies on our homepage and enclose:

  • cover letter, including how you would develop broader insights based on the some of entries in the MoLab Inventory
  • CV, including list of publications
  • 2 writing samples (chapter or article length)
  • 1-2 page summary of Ph.D. thesis
  • 2000-word project proposal (this will form a basis for discussion if the applicant is short-listed)
  • copies of university degrees
  • names of two referees
Informal enquiries concerning the positions may be directed to office.xiang(at)

If you have further questions regarding the application procedure, please contact:
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Personnel Administration
Nadine Wagenbrett (wagenbrett(at)

We look forward to receiving your completed online application.

Further information on the research agenda of the Max Planck Institute is available on our website:


Nähere Informationen

office.xiang[ at ]