The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science (MPG) and its institutes have once again received the certificate berufundfamilie (family and career) for 2012. After 2006 and 2009, the MPG has been confirmed for the third time as a family conscious employer by the berufundfamilie gGmbH, a society of the nonprofit Hertie Foundation.

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Head of press department

Founded in 2014, the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH) in Jena is a young and highly dynamic research institution that assembles scientists from all over the world who work across a wide range of disciplines bridging the natural sciences and the humanities, including genetics, linguistics, archaeology, anthropology, and history. The overarching goal of the MPI-SHH is to explore big picture questions in human biological and cultural evolution from the Paleolithic until today, addressing a broad range of themes from human dispersals and migrations, early forms of globalization, and language spread, using state-of-the-art analytical methods in genome sequencing, proteomics, archaeological science, language databases, bioinformatics, and phylogeography.

We are seeking a

Head of press department

to start as soon as possible.

The main tasks of the position are:

  • Writing and editing of press releases in both English and German about a broad range of scientific topics
  • Communication with internal and external scientists, research institutions, and the central press department of the General Administrative Headquarters in Munich
  • Elaboration and implementation of strategic outreach measures across different media (online; print; radio; TV) in cooperation with the Scientific management of the Institute
  • Development of social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter)
  • Elaboration and implementation of new PR concepts
  • Editing and maintenance of institute website
  • Editing and translating scientific manuscripts in German and English
  • Event organization
  • Supporting the Scientific Coordinator in a range of other tasks, e.g. preparation of annual reports, production of display material, nominations for scientific awards, etc.

Qualifications for the position include:

  • A degree in communication/journalism, Philology, or another field related to the institute’s research profile
  • Strong background in science communication, journalism, and/or public relations work
  • Excellent communication skills in both written and spoken language
  • Perfect knowledge of both English and German (native speaker or similar)
  • Capacity to formulate texts for different target audiences using precise and engaging language
  • Ability to translate complex scientific ideas into an accessible format for a public audience
  • Competence in the strategic use of social media
  • Experience with managing outreach activities
  • Ability to work independently and as a team player
  • Experience with web-editing using CMS advantageous
  • Skills in photography, filming, sound recording advantageous

We are looking for an open-minded, dynamic, creative, and curious individual who possesses a high degree of initiative, very good social skills, and who is enthusiastic about the research topics treated at our Institute.  

We offer a 50 % position for two years with the prospect of becoming permanent. Payment is according to TVöD up to pay group E12 depending on qualifications and including usual employee benefits of public service.

The Max Planck Society is committed to employing more handicapped individuals and especially encourages them to apply. The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

Please submit your application via email by no later than 15th February 2017 to Candidates are requested to submit their application in English and as a single pdf file that includes a letter of motivation, curriculum vitae, copies of certificates, and five relevant work samples. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to perform a journalistic writing task as part of the selection process. 

Information regarding the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History can be found at

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