Post-doctoral Research Positions

The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology's Law & Anthropology Department invites applications for Postdoctoral Research Positions; deadline: 30 November 2022



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

Postdoctoral Research Positions


The Law & Anthropology Department offers a stimulating interdisciplinary forum where both anthropologists and legal scholars 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. With this comes a growing demand for empirically grounded (ethnographic) knowledge and its translation into normative thinking at various levels of decision-making. The Department prioritizes research proposals that address this demand for translation in the increasingly plural European context, combined with, where relevant, research settings elsewhere (multi-sited ethnography). Illustrations of suitable research areas and topics include, inter alia: diversity under state law; conflicts and tensions between religious and secular state law; transnational communities and their need for adequate legal protection; international migration and private international law; alternative approaches to justice; the challenges and constraints to legal professionals in a plural society; cultural heritage and protection of minority claims; memory and justice.

Your Profile

Both legal scholars and anthropologists who are actively involved in the study of the abovementioned topics are welcome to apply.


  1. an excellent PhD (or doctoral degree) in law or social / cultural anthropology;
  2. clear evidence of familiarity with and knowledge of the topic to be 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 will contribute to the development of the Department’s research agenda, giving due attention to issues of applied and comparative knowledge. They 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. There are no teaching obligations, although postdoctoral fellows are expected to provide informal supervision to doctoral students. For those wishing to gain teaching experience, opportunities exist at Martin Luther University in Halle as well as at other universities and institutions. The Department is currently developing a collaborative database and digital repository of case law analysis having to do with how and to what extent cultural and religious diversity is granted legal recognition in various Europe countries (see Postdoctoral researchers are expected to contribute relevant data from their own research to help build up this major research and policy instrument.

Our Offer

The three-year positions are to start on 1 February 2023. 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 30 November 2022 by following the link for vacancies on our homepage. Interviews with shortlisted applicants will be held in December 2022.

Applicants are asked to submit the following materials:

  • cover letter (if you have a dissertation or book manuscript you intend to try to publish in your time here, please mention that explicitly in your cover letter);
  • curriculum vitae, including full list of publications;
  • writing sample (chapter or article length);
  • 1 - 2 page summary of the doctoral thesis;
  • a detailed project proposal (max. 5 pages) providing evidence that the project can be completed within the scheduled three years and information on how the research will be disseminated (publications envisaged, etc.); 
  • photocopies of university degrees;
  • 3 letters of recommendation (to be sent directly to marencakova[ at ]

Informal enquiries concerning the positions may be directed to Prof. Marie-Claire Foblets (foblets[ at ]

If you have further questions regarding the application procedure, please contact:
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Personnel Administration
Carolin Klevenow (klevenow[ at ]

We look forward to receiving your completed online application.