Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Pleistocene Archaeology
The Department of Archaeology at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH) is a leading global centre for archaeology that combines expertise in field and laboratory methods. Our research is focused on developing and implementing cutting-edge new methods for exploring our species’ past. To do this, we work at the interface of multiple disciplines, including archaeology, ecology, biology, and evolutionary studies. We are interested in how a deep time perspective can shed new light on contemporary issues ranging from climate change and anthropogenic environmental impacts to migration, inequality, and food security.
Our community and working environment
Our student and post-doctoral community is international and diverse. We are a lively, friendly, and active department that hosts a broad variety of projects, workshops, conferences, meetings, speakers and other events. We prioritise training students and postdoctoral researchers not only in research methods and skills, but in all aspects of academic life, providing professional development training to ensure our students and postdoctoral researchers reach their best potential, and are fully prepared for the job market, for applying for funding, and for dealing with the challenges of academic life. The success of this approach is reflected in our placement rates. Although we are a young department, we have a strong record of placing postdoctoral researchers in tenure-track and other academic positions.
We are committed to encouraging diversity and actively challenging biases based on gender, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and other components of identity. We strive to undertake ethical research, and to foreground training and capacity building as a core part of our international research. To this end, we have established the International Application of Archaeological Science training programme, which is held annually in our Department, and welcomes scholars from around the world for intensive training in archaeological science methods.
Our working language is English.
We have world-leading facilities for archaeological science. These include extensive facilities for bulk and compound-specific stable isotope studies, lipid and alkane analyses, Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS), proteomics, SEM and light microscopy, and microfossil studies, as well as laboratories for archaeobotany and zooarchaeology. We are in the process of expanding our laboratory facilities to include amino acid and metabolite capabilities, and AMS radiocarbon dating. We also have extensive equipment for digital field archaeology, as well as laboratory facilities for 3-D scanning and analysis, photography and geospatial modelling. Our work is supported by expertise in database management, statistical analysis and bioinformatics, as well as central facilities for media outreach and third party funding applications. Our institute is home to an International Max Planck Research School that supports student activities and teaching.
We have active projects around the world, particularly in Africa and Asia.
We are currently offering a 2-year funded Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Pleistocene Archaeology. The suitable candidate will develop a programme of research in collaboration with their supervisor(s), will take leadership of that programme, and will see the research through to publication. Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in the Department of Archaeology are extendable in exceptional circumstances, such as when postdoctoral researchers demonstrate significant success in terms of their research programme, publication output and commitment to the building and success of the department.
We offer a flexible start date, ideally between 1 July 1 and 1 October, 2019. The successful applicant will be provided with intellectual, technical and resource support for the development of world-leading research, and will have the opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team of PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and group leaders. The pay scale is according to the German pay grade system for public employees (TVöD).
The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History provides a research-focused environment for scholars to develop innovative, world-leading projects. We seek Postdoctoral Research Fellows with a passion for cross-disciplinary, team-oriented research, and an ability to work efficiently and complete projects in a timely manner. Postdoctoral researchers are expected to publish findings in top-tier, international research journals, and to support media interest in their research. Candidates should demonstrate an ability to finish projects to the publication stage, and to formulate research articles that fill key gaps and answer central questions in their fields of study.
The successful candidate will develop projects collaboratively with supervisors in the Department of Archaeology, and work in an interdisciplinary fashion. Research projects should address the Department’s core thematic and regional interests.
We expect our postdoctoral researchers to play an active role in department life, and to contribute to supporting the department in a variety of ways. Our postdoctoral researchers help teach, train and supervise students, run committees, organise research, professional development and social events, and create a supportive environment for all staff members and visitors.
Position-specific details: Pleistocene Archaeology
A Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Pleistocene Archaeology is sought to lead and/or support several of the Department’s interdisciplinary, collaborative field projects in Africa and Asia. The successful applicant will be able to demonstrate competence in the supervision of field teams, the coordination and management of interdisciplinary scientists and collaborative research, and collaboration with laboratory groups. Candidates should also be able to demonstrate an ability to bring diverse sources of data together to publication, as well as a in depth understanding of key issues and debates in human evolutionary studies. Candidates with experience in Heritage Management/Cultural Resource Management are encouraged to apply.
The successful applicant will work in concert with their supervisors to co-develop an ambitious program of research that addresses the Department of Archaeology’s core themes and interests. They will lead excavations at diverse field locales in Asia and Africa, coordinating the efforts of large, multidisciplinary teams. Potential research topics include investigation of the relationships between climate change and human palaeodemography, Out of Africa dispersal processes, and interactions between archaic and modern humans. The successful candidate will also provide support to other researchers and students in the department, assisting in the planning and implementation of fieldwork on several projects.
The successful candidate will have a strong record of fieldwork and publication relating to Palaeolithic archaeology, and be able to demonstrate extensive experience excavating and analysing Pleistocene archaeological sites.
- Have or be about to obtain a PhD degree or qualification equivalent in Archaeology or a closely related field.
- A strong record of peer-reviewed publication.
- Training and experience in fieldwork, including excavation of Pleistocene sites.
- Experience in coordinating and managing field teams.
- Effective time management skills and ability to efficiently coordinate research analyses through to publication.
- Absolute reliability and a strong sense of responsibility.
- Ability to multi-task, find creative solutions to problems when necessary, and meet tight deadlines.
- Experience of fieldwork in Africa or Asia.
- Experience in working with interdisciplinary scientists to obtain field samples, including for diverse chronometric and environmental analyses.
- Knowledge and experience of digital technologies and GIS.
- Experience in the application of digital recording technologies in the field.
- Experience with lithic analysis or studies of other forms of material culture.
- Experience with the application of various laboratory techniques in the palaeoecological, biological and/or archaeological sciences to archaeological sequences.
- Experience working in Heritage Management/Cultural Resource Management.
The Max Planck Society is committed to employing more handicapped individuals and especially encourages them to apply. The Max Planck Society also seeks to increase the number of women in the sciences and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.
To apply, please submit, by 24 May, 2019, a cover letter expressing your experience and interest in the topic, a research proposal (3 pages maximum, not including references and figures), your CV, and your undergraduate, Master’s and PhD transcripts. Three referees should also submit reports by the deadline and it is the candidate’s responsibility to request these. They should be submitted through the application portal.
Submissions will only be accepted if they are sent through the online application portal and are received in full by 24 May.
Please note that while the research proposal offers the evaluation committee an opportunity to assess the candidate’s ability to design an interdisciplinary field research project, and may feed into the final research programme, the research project undertaken by the successful applicant will be designed and decided in concert with the Postdoctoral Researcher’s supervisors in the Department of Archaeology.
Shortlisted candidates will be informed by 31 May, 2019 and should be available to attend our recruitment workshop and interviews in Jena, Germany 12-13 June, 2019.
If you have any questions about the application process, please contact email@example.com. For questions about the research and position, please contact Professor Michael Petraglia (firstname.lastname@example.org), Professor Nicole Boivin (email@example.com) and/or Dr. Patrick Roberts (Roberts@shh.mpg.de).
Other Postdoctoral Research Fellowships available in the current round
We are also offering Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in the following areas:
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Palaeoenvironmental Biomarkers
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Zooarchaeology
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Geoarchaeology
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Ancient Proteins
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Global Markers of the Anthropocene Project
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Radiocarbon Dating
Please see our website for further details.