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 interests, including the anthropogenic shaping of environments and species; the impacts of past climate change on human societies; the co-evolution of humans and domesticated species; human dispersals and migration; and the effects of increasing complexity, urbanisation and globalisation on human populations and societies. Preference will be given to candidates proposing projects focused on Asia and Africa.
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.
Postdoctoral Research Fellows are sought to develop methods and applications in ancient protein research, including 1) Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry; 2) palaeoproteomics; and 3) bioinformatics. Successful candidates will undertake cutting edge research on ancient proteins and assist the department in building on its growing expertise in the field of ancient proteins. Successful applicants will help expand the range of archaeological and evolutionary questions that can be addressed through the study of proteins, and develop methods and computational approaches to improve approaches to ancient proteins.
The extraction, identification and analysis of proteins from human and animal-derived remains (bones, shell, teeth, etc.), as well as other archaeological sources, has emerged as an exciting new area of interdisciplinary research. The applicant will be offered the opportunity to drive this field forward in archaeology, focusing on such areas as 1) the use of palaeoproteomics for the study of phylogenetic relationships in extinct humans and mammals; 2) the use of palaeoproteomics to study human evolution; 3) the use of palaeoproteomics to study ancient diet, health and disease; 4) the use and development of ZooMS (collagen fingerprinting) to identify and screen osteoarchaeological material; and 5) the development of palaeoproteomics and bioinformatics methods.
The successful applicant will be encouraged to work with other researchers in the Department as well as internationally, including those engaged in biomolecular, palaeoenvironmental, evolutionary and field archaeological research. Applicants from modern proteomics and biochemistry backgrounds are encouraged alongside those from the archaeological and evolutionary sciences. The successful applicant will have a proven track record of peer-reviewed publication in their relevant discipline.