Group Leader (Data Manager) and Team Members (Data Analysts) for MAPSS (Mongolia Archaeological Project) (f/m/d)

Ausschreibungsnummer: shh_p036

Stellenangebot vom 19. Januar 2021

MAPSS – “Mongolian Archaeological Project: Surveying the Steppes” – is a special research project led by the Department of Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH). Following a grant from the Arcadia Fund, our institute in Jena is leading a five-year archaeological documentation programme that will begin the process of constructing a comprehensive database for Mongolian Archaeology. With support from the Mongolian Government and the National Museum of Mongolia, this is an exciting opportunity to bring together Mongolian Archaeological Data for the benefit of scholars and researchers in the future. The Principal Investigator is Professor Nicole Boivin, the Director of the Department of Archaeology, MPI-SHH Jena, and an international advisory board for the project will feature many of the world’s leading voices on Central Asian Archaeology.

For the project core team there will be a Mongolian-led Archaeology Group, responsible for collating archaeological documentation in Mongolia, with Dr. Jamransjav Bayarsaikhan as Group Leader (Archaeology). Working alongside will be a Data Management Group, comprising three posts which are advertised here: one Group Leader (Data Manager), and two Data Analysts.

The Archaeological Data Management Group will be responsible for implementing and customizing, according to the project’s needs, the ARCHES V5.0 data platform.

Arches is an open-source software platform developed jointly by the Getty Conservation Institute and World Monuments Fund for cultural heritage data management. The Arches Platform is a comprehensive solution for data management, data discovery and visualization, and project/task management. The open, flexible and customizable design of the platform provides a wide range of uses for individuals and organizations in the cultural heritage field and beyond.

Post #1: Group Leader (Data Manager)

We seek a Data Manager with a passion for cross-disciplinary, team-oriented research, and an ability to work efficiently and complete projects in a timely manner. They should be educated to PhD level - preferably in archaeological science, although other related disciplines may be acceptable.

The Data Manager will coordinate data collection and compilation efforts among project collaborators, manage data access, data validation, and data storage.
While a heritage management or academic archaeology background is preferred, we are looking for experience in platform-development and software deployment, configuring data using graph-based modelling and customizing a database.

Post #2 & 3: Data Analysts

We also seek two Data Analysts, also at post-doc level, who are passionate about archaeological science, documentation and GIS.

The Data Manager will work closely with two Data Analysts working with remote sensing, responsible for undertaking detailed remote survey of Mongolia, locating and cataloguing known sites, as well as identifying and documenting newly discovered sites. We will seek analysts with complementary skills, to ensure that the project possesses the full skill set required to analyse diverse sources (aerial photography, satellite imagery) and remote regions (steppe, desert, mountain). Images will be taken and processed, and stored in the ARCHES V5.0 database with the support of the Data Manager.

While working solely on MAPSS and solely with the MAPSS team, the Data Management Team members will be employees of the Max Planck Society. The Max Planck Society is one of Europe’s premier research organisations, with a talented, multinational workforce. Our particular Institute, the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History is a leading global centre for the study of the human past. The institute’s Department of Archaeology is focused on developing and implementing cutting-edge new methods for exploring our species’ evolutionary origins and development. To do this, we work at the interface of multiple disciplines, including archaeology, biology, ecology, and evolutionary studies. We benefit from rich international partnerships, and exceptional research facilities.

Our student and post-doctoral community is international and diverse, and we are committed to attracting, retaining and developing the best global talent within an environment that enables our staff to realize their full potential. Our working language is English.


In all three team positions, professional and personal skills are paramount.

Essential Attributes:

Technical Skills (All Team Members):

  • Traditional Statistics
  • Coding - Python3 and/or R
  • Remote sensing - satellite imagery processing etc
  • GIS - e.g. ESRI ArcGIS or QGIS/Grass
  • Data science – Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (i.e. Mask R-CNN)
  • Mobile GIS capture platforms (iOS and Android)
  • PostGres Database Management or similar
  • Experience with Javascript (Node.js etc)

Project Skills (Team Leader):

  • Liaise with a diverse range of technically skilled stakeholders including Key Team Members (Germany and Mongolia), Field Specialists, IT Infrastructure
  • Providing guidance on data brokering to access data where needed, including appropriate creative common licence and permissions.
  • Develop and implement procedures for effective data management and sharing, including creation of data sharing agreements where necessary
  • Adherence to legal requirements and departmental standards and policies, including licensing requirements, handling of sensitive data, etc.
  • Manage incoming and outgoing data throughout the data life cycle
  • Use of metadata to manage data

Personal (All Team Members):

  • Be self-motivated, possess attention to detail, take ownership of assigned activities
  • Ability to break complex activities into achievable tasks
  • Ability to work within tight timeframes and deliver on outcomes
  • Have excellent written and oral communication skills

Our offer

  • Three full-time 5-year positions within an exciting, international and diverse professional environment promoted by an open culture and a spirit of community. Remuneration will follow the public service pay scale (TVöD Bund), according qualification and experience up to EG 14 for the Group leader position and up to EG 13 for the Data Analysts. In addition, social benefits are paid according to regulations of the Civil Service.
  • A lively, friendly, and active working environment within an Institute that hosts a broad variety of projects, workshops, conferences, meetings, speakers and other events.
  • Membership of a Department that prioritises training students and postdoctoral researchers not only in research methods and skills, but in all aspects of academic life, including 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.
  • A flexible start date, though we ideally aim to fill the positions as soon as possible.

The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History is located in the university town of Jena, situated in the heart of Europe. The second largest city in Thuringia, Jena is a centre of education and research, and home to one of Germany’s oldest universities as well as several other Max Planck institutes and research centres. The Institute’s facilities are set in the environment of a clean, green city set within the Saale river valley. Public transit links to nearby towns, including the UNESCO-listed cultural centre of Weimar, are excellent. Jena is ranked amongst Germany’s most family-friendly cities.

The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History offers flexible work hours and terms of employment that promote in as far as possible employee work-life balance. Education and training are also provided based on employee needs. The Institute assists incoming staff members and their families in settling in their new location.


The Max Planck Society is committed to employing more individuals with disabilities 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. We are committed to encouraging diversity and actively challenging biases based on gender, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and other components of identity.

The Max Planck Society is supporting the compatibility of family and career and is certified according to the "berufundfamilie" audit.

To apply, please submit by 1st March 2021 a cover letter outlining your motivation for applying for the position, 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.

Please specify if you are applying for the Group Leader (Data Manager) position, or simply one of the two other Data Analyst positions.

Submissions will only be accepted if they are sent through the online application portal and are received in full by 1st March 2021.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact For questions about the research and position, please contact Professor Nicole Boivin ()

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