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The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is one of the leading centres for research in social anthropology. Common to all research projects at the Max Planck Institute is the comparative analysis of social change; it is primarily in this domain that its researchers contribute to anthropological theory, though many programmes also have applied significance and political topicality.
The International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) “Global Multiplicity: A Social Anthropology for the Now”, a cooperation between the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Leipzig University, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, is offering 2 positions as Doctoral Researcher (m/f/d).

Supervision for these two positions will be guaranteed by Leipzig based IMPRS-members.

Founded in 1409, Leipzig University is one of Germany’s largest universities and a leader in research and medical training. With around 30,000 students and more than 5000 members of staff across 14 faculties, it is at the heart of the vibrant and outward-looking city of Leipzig. Leipzig University offers an innovative and international working environment as well as an exciting range of career opportunities in research, teaching, knowledge and technology transfer, infrastructure and administration.

Engaging with multiplicity is essential for understanding 21st-century social worlds, which are invariably constituted through the interaction of multiple social realities, lifeworlds, world views, approaches to future-making, and forms of knowledge (making). All the major problems that the world faces today have multiple dimensions, intersect with other problems, and have to be addressed through multifaceted measures, thus necessitating the development of appropriate conceptual tools. The IMPRS “Global Multiplicity” is in close connection with the Graduate School Global and Area Studies at Leipzig University and will train the next generation of researchers to deal with such multiplicity. By bringing together scholars working in anthropology, or with anthropological methods and approaches, the IMPRS will provide much-needed synergy in the study of key contemporary challenges, including climate change, the digital revolution, the crises of modernities, and questions of justice and equality. Doctoral positions will be based at one of the participating institutions: MPI for Social Anthropology Halle, Leipzig University, MLU Halle-Wittenberg, and FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg.

About the positions

  • Fixed term for three years
  • 65 % of a full-time position 
  • Planned remuneration: salary group 13 TV-L
  • The positions are to start between December 2023 and January 2024


  • 2 Doctoral Researcher (m/f/d), New Global Dynamics at the Leipzig University:

We are interested in projects on new global dynamics with an ethnographic focus in the fields of infrastructure, urban space, political or economic reordering, mobilities, citizenship, or religion.
(For details, see:


  • Master’s or equivalent degree in a project-related field (social anthropology or a closely related discipline)
  • a genuine interest in empirical research that draws on the theories and methods of social anthropology
  • you are proficient in English and speak, or are willing to learn, the languages required for your research project
  • motivation to be a proactive team player in an international and interdisciplinary research consortium

What we offer

  • we offer ideal conditions for Doctoral researcher supervision and training with experienced professors
  • prolonged periods of ethnographic fieldwork and/or archival research are expected and will be supported by adequate funds
  • a modern workplace and attractive working conditions (mobile working)
  • flexible working hours and work-life balance
  • goal-oriented staff development throughout your working life, with opportunities for continuing professional development

Please submit your application electronically at the MPI’s vacancies webpage ( by 15 September 2023 and include the following documents:

  • Signed cover letter explaining your interest in and suitability for the IMPRS, identifying the specific position(s) you are interested in
  • If you have no prior training in anthropology, please submit an additional statement (max. 500 words) addressing your interest in the research school
  • Curriculum vitae including a list of publications
  • Three-page proposal for a dissertation project, including details about the state of preparation, methodology, and a possible timeline 
  • Writing sample (publication or chapter from your MA thesis)
  • Copies of all relevant degree certificates and academic transcripts from both the bachelor’s and master’s level
  • Names and contact details of two referees

For any questions, please contact Patrick Desplat ( and Megan Maruschke (megan.maruschke(at) If you have further questions regarding the application procedure, please contact: Martina Keilbach (Coordinator Graduate School Global and Area Studies at Leipzig University), Email: keilbach(at)

We look forward to receiving your completed online application.