Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History PhD Program 2019, Germany


January 31, 2019

Opportunity Cover Image - Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History PhD Program 2019, Germany

Open positions

PhD positions at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH)

The MPI-SHH pursues an integrative approach to the study of human history. “Hard” facts as bones, teeth, plants, stones and “soft” facts as languages, history, or religions can say a lot about human history. It is our task to understand and interpret them. The International Max Planck Research School for the Science of Human History (IMPRS-SHH) is seeking for researchers knowing well how to decode such facts and data and looking for new ways of decoding them. The IMPRS-SHH is a cooperation of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and Friedrich Schiller University, both situated in Jena, a traditional as well as a modern university town in the heart of Germany. The IMPRS-SHH is offering 16 PhD positions for 14 projects as listed below. Applicants must have a Master’s degree and may apply for up to three projects.


  • 01 Ancient proteins as indicators of climatic and evolutionary change. Involved subjects: Archaeology, Earth Sciences, Palaeoenvironments, Palaeontology, Geoscience.
  • 02 Co-estimating Human Mobility and Language Dispersal with Ancient DNA and Linguistic Data. Involved subjects: Population Genetics, Linguistics, Spatial Modeling, Demographic history.
  • 03 A comprehensive analysis of microorganisms and viruses from ancient samples using minion sequencing techniques. Involved subjects: Bioinformatics, Archaeogenetics.
  • 04 Contact and change in the diversification of the Indo-Iranic languages. Involved subjects: Historical Comparative Reconstruction, Language Evolution.
  • 05 Cross Linguistic Strategies of Denotation. Advancing data and methods in lexical typology. Involved subjects: Historical Linguistics, Language Evolution, Cognition.
  • 06 Dog-Human Cooperation – A Comparative Approach. Involved subjects: Comparative Psychology, Animal Cognition, Communication, Cooperation.
  • 07 Environments and the Palaeolithic Cultures of Central Europe. Involved subjects: Archaeology, Earth Sciences.
  • 08 Eurasian Corridors of Communication – Fruits, Crops, and Words. Involved subjects: Historical Comparative Reconstruction, Contact Linguistics, Linguistic Palaeontology, Archaeobotany, Isotope Analysis.
  • 09 The evolution and diversification of the Caucasian languages. Involved subjects: Historical Linguistics, Language Evolution, Caucasian Languages.
  • 10 Evolution of Nonverbal Communication – Music and the Voice“. Involved subjects: Cognitive Neuroscience, Communication, Genetics, Linguistics, Psychology.
  • 11 Functional morphology and variability of the auditory system – frameworks in the search for human speech evolution. Involved subjects: Physical Anthropology, Zoology, Audiology, Hearing Physiology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Linguistics, Radiology.
  • 12 Late Bronze Age Kuckenburg – settlement, burial ground, fortification and-or place of sacrifice? Involved subjects: Archaeology, Isotopes Analysis, Archaeogenetics, Archaebotanic, Archaezoology.
  • 13 Domestication of Perennial Plants – Evolution and Dispersal. Involved subjects: Archaeobotany, Evolutionary Ecology, History, Agronomics, Palaeontology, Plant Biology.
  • 14 Reconstructing lost worlds – Quaternary continental Ostracoda as tools in geoarchaeology. Involved subjects: Micropalaeontology, Palaeoecology, Palaeoclimate.

Being integrated into state-of-the art ongoing research at the MPI-SHH and FSU, the IMPRS-SHH provides doctoral researchers a stimulating environment and optimal conditions for their PhD projects and custom-made preparation for the time thereafter, both with regard to aca­dem­ic and non-academic careers. We offer a clearly structured doctoral program with three pillars: a mentoring program for individual supervision by outstanding scientists, a scienti­fic program of high academic standard, and a transferable skills program.

Participating disciplines include Agronomics, Archaeobotany, Archaeogenetics, Prehistoric Archae­o­logy, Archaeozoology, Audiology, Bioinformatics, Comparative Psychology, Cognitive Neuro­science, Contact Linguistics, Demographic History, Earth Sciences, Evolutionary Ecology, Genetics, Geoscience, Hearing Physiology, Historical Linguistics, History, Linguistic Palaeon­tolo­gy, Linguistics, Micropalaeontology, Palaeoecology, Palaeontology, Physical Anthro­polo­gy, Plant Biology, Population Genetics, Psychology, Radiology, Zoology.

Among others, the following methods and subjects are important: animal cognition, cognition, communication, cooperation, DNA, domestic dogs, isotope analysis, historical comparative re­con­struction, language evolution, palaeoenvironments, spatial modeling.

The language of the IMPRS-SHH is English. The graduate school provides a regularly attended coordination office supporting the PhD students from all over the world.

Starting date

The preferred starting date of PhD appointment: September 1st, 2019 / or on individual basis between July 1 and October 1, 2019

Contract type

TV-B/L 13 (50% / Max Planck support contract or contract with university), temporary, 3 years (extension possible)

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

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Publish Date
December 14, 2018