Your application

Deadline: May 31, 2020

Please submit your application in English providing us with:

  • Cover letter, expressing your experience and interest in the selected area of specialism.
  • Research proposal (2 pages maximum, not including references and figures) that demonstrates your ability to design and plan a project in the selected research area. (See full job offer for details.)
  • CV
  • Academic transcripts (undergraduate and master's)
  • Names of 3 referees who will provide letters of reference. (See full job offer for details.)

Submissions will only be accepted if they are sent through the online application and are received in full by 31 May.

Please submit your application via this link, due May 31, 2020.

Further information

Dr. Nicole Boivin
Dr. Nicole Boivin
Phone:+49 3641 686-701Fax:+49 3641 686-710

Personal website

Patrick Roberts
Patrick Roberts
Phone: +49 3641 686-730
Anja Schatz
Anja Schatz
Phone: +49 3641 686-702

Department of Archaeology PhD positions available in Jena

The Department of Archaeology is offering up to five 3-year funded PhD positions. The following fields are eligible: biomolecular archaeology, palaeoproteomics, ZooMS, anthropogenic extinctions, environmental change, archaeobotany, Palaeolithic archaeology, and geoarchaeology. Candidates are sought who can propose innovative research projects in these areas that will contribute to the four main themes of the Department of Archaeology: Biological and Cultural Diversity, the Anthropocene, Climate and Society, and Globalisation. For more information on what these themes entail, please visit our webpage.

Proposed projects should take into account the multidisciplinary research approach of the Department of Archaeology, as well as its regional focus on Africa and Asia. Successful students will work under the supervision of several departmental staff and have access to the department’s newly-formed laboratory facilities for research in archaeobotany, osteoarchaeology, stable isotopes, biomolecular archaeology, proteomics, Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS), and Geographical Information Systems. We also possess extensive resources and equipment for field excavation and museum studies. Our department’s resources and state of the art research facilities combine with our interdisciplinary research approach to provide graduate students with a unique learning experience and strong foundation for a future career in academia.

Depending on the focus of the proposal, candidates will be expected to demonstrate significant field or laboratory experience. Prospective students are encouraged to contact the Department’s Director and other potential supervisors within the Department of Archaeology to discuss their proposals in advance of application, though demonstration of research independence is encouraged. Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of multidisciplinary archaeology, ranging from excavation through to a series of scientific analyses and publication. Applicants should be able to demonstrate competence in working alongside interdisciplinary archaeological field and scientific teams, coordinating as well as participating in research.

The successful applicant will work in concert with their supervisors and diverse site and laboratory teams to undertake comprehensive archaeological and archaeological scientific research at current and future field sites of the Department of Archaeology, or other sites, museums or materials of interest. Topics focusing on the relationship between climatic/environmental change and human behaviour, the long-term impacts of humans on biodiversity and landscapes, human and animal dispersal processes, the interface between human culture and biology, and the contacts between human societies at different points in the past will be particularly welcomed by the selection committee. An existing publication record is advantageous but not necessary for entry into the programme. Experience of communicating science to the public through presentations, blogs, and other media is also advantageous.

Your qualifications


  • Have or be about to obtain a Masters degree or qualification equivalent in Archaeology, Geoarchaeology, Archaeological Science, Biomolecular Archaeology, Biology, Chemistry or a closely related field.
  • A strong record of examination at undergraduate and masters level.
  • Training and experience in the proposed methodological specialism.
  • Practical experience with proposed field and/or laboratory techniques.
  • Effective time management skills and ability to efficiently coordinate research analyses through to publication.
  • Candidates are expected to be enthusiastic about learning and exploring interdisciplinary research topics. They must also be willing to work as part of a research team and help build up and develop the Department of Archaeology’s research programme and thematic aims.
  • We are looking for individuals who are fascinated by archaeology and archaeological science, passionate about research, and keen to be part of a young, growing, and dynamic interdisciplinary Department.


  • Experience of fieldwork or laboratory research focused on Asia or Africa.
  • Experience working in cultural resource management (contract archaeology) or in academic excavation and scientific research settings.

We offer

  • Intellectual, technical and resource support for the development of world-leading research.
  • The opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team of PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and scientific staff.
  • Access to cutting-edge facilities and equipment.
  • Access to the institute’s exciting interdisciplinary environment, including enrollment in its new interdisciplinary International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) run between the Institute and Friedrich Schiller Universität, Jena. This will provide additional student support and training.
  • An excellent, friendly research environment.
  • An English language working environment.
  • Full funding for top applicants (3 years)

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:

Submit, by May 31, 2020:

  • A cover letter expressing your experience and interest in the selected area of specialism.
  • A research proposal (2 pages maximum, not including references and figures) that demonstrates your ability to design and plan a project in the selected research area. Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate competence in the subject area, an understanding of the broader relevance of their research, and the ability to think creatively and critically in designing a project. The proposal is designed to allow assessment of an applicant’s research and writing skills and may or may not form the basis of the final project, which will be decided in concert with the successful applicant’s supervisors.
  • Your CV.
  • Your undergraduate and master’s transcripts.
  • Names of 3 referees - Please note that when submitting your documents in our application portal you'll be asked for contact information of your referees. Your referees will receive an email containing a link where they can upload their letter of recommendation. Please note that the deadline for submission of these letters is the same as the one for the applications.

Submissions will only be accepted if they are sent through the online application and are received in full by the application deadline.

For more information please contact:

Dr. Nicole Boivin at:

Prof. Michael Petraglia at:

Dr. Patrick Roberts at:

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