PhD Position in Transeurasian Historical Comparative Linguistics 


Job Offer from July 06, 2021

The Archaeolinguistic Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena (Germany) invites applications for a full-time position for a doctoral researcher in historical comparative linguistics of the Transeurasian languages. The position is for 3 years with the possibility of 1 year extension.

The main goal of the Archaeolinguistic Research Group is to use language as a source of information on human prehistory in North and East Asia, essentially the time span prior to the development of written records back to about 10 000 years ago. Our focus is on the genealogical and areal relationships between the Transeurasian languages, i.e. the Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic, Koreanic and Japonic languages.  

We offer research in an interdisciplinary and international team located at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena. Doctoral students will be embedded in the Doctoral Program of the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. Renumeration is based on the TVöD (Bund) guidelines (65% of EG 13).

Applicants should have completed an MA with excellent study results in linguistics or in at least one of the Transeurasian languages. They should be familiar with historical comparative linguistics. Ideally, they have linguistic knowledge of one or more Transeurasian languages and some command of Russian. Candidates are expected to have a strong commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork.

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 areas whe re they are underrepresented 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.

For consideration please compile the following documents into a single PDF file with max. 5 MB and upload it following this link:

  • a cover letter (motivation and qualifications, 1 page max)  
  • curriculum vitae  
  • contacts of two referees  
  • research proposal (3 pages max)

Upon uploading the file, candidates will be asked to submit names and contact details of two referees. 

Research proposals may cover a broad range of topics relating to the historical comparison of the Transeurasian languages, including diachronic phonology, morphology or typology, cultural reconstruction, ancient language contact, modelling language dispersal in time and space, interdisciplinary research triangulating archaeology and genetics, etc. 

We start reviewing applications August 1, 2021. The position is available until filled. The earliest possible starting date is October 1, 2021.

If interested, please send the application documents specified above to the group’s principal investigator, Prof. Dr. Martine Robbeets () by preference by August 1st, 2021. For supplementary information and questions contact 

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