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Postdoc position (m/f/d) in the Anthropology of Common Concerns

Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Halle (Saale), Sachsen-Anhalt (DE)
In accordance with the Collective Wage Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD, level E13)
Closing date
Mar 31, 2024

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Position Type
Fellowship , Postdoc
Full Time
Economic Anthropology
Organization Type

Job Details

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 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 Department of Anthropology of Economic Experimentation is offering

a Postdoc position (m/f/d) in the Anthropology of Common Concerns

(starting as early as possible after 1 May 2024)


The Department of Anthropology of Economic Experimentation is seeking a researcher with the highest potential to advance the anthropology of common concerns.

As the shared style of thinking that defines the department, the common concerns approach identifies research questions according to the concerns that people are grappling with in their everyday lives (including those that are not clearly articulated), collects data through back -and-forth conversations and the exchange of ideas (instead of one-way information extraction), and delivers analyses that will assist the research subjects and other publics to clarify their situations for themselves. In developing this approach, the department is actively experimenting with bringing anthropology, political economy, philosophy and psychoanalysis together, though we do not expect all of our researchers to do the same.

The position is open with regard to subject matter and regional foci. However, applicants must have carried out long-term, in-depth field research on a particular social issue, and have accumulated rich ethnographic data on subjects’ experiences and perceptions. Researcher will be expected to reconceptualize their accumulated data along the lines of the common concerns approach. Applicants should be committed to broad conceptualization beyond particular case studies, and to developing analysis that is both intellectually deep and publicly relevant. The department will support supplementary field research, public engagement, and participation in conferences.

Your Profile

Applicants should hold a Ph.D. in anthropology or a related discipline, or submit evidence indicating that such a dissertation will be successfully completed before the designated starting date.

Our Offer

The postdoctoral position will be for a duration of four years. Employment will be on a full-time contractual basis. Remuneration is in accordance with the Collective Wage Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD, level E13). The workplace is Halle (Saale), a dynamic, historical town in central Germany (Sachsen-Anhalt) that is home to the renowned Martin Luther University and numerous scientific institutions. Our modern campus is in a quiet, picturesque neighbourhood near the centre of town.

The Max Planck Society is committed to raising the proportion of women in science; we thus explicitly encourage applications from female researchers. Individuals with disabilities will be given priority, assuming equal qualifications.


Please submit your application electronically by 31 March 2024 following the link for vacancies on our homepage (under ‘Career’), or by going directly to the online application form using the link below.

• CV, including list of publications

• 2 writing samples (chapter or article length)

• 1-2 page summary of Ph.D. thesis

• 2000-word plan for the reconceptualization of your research. How do you plan to generate intellectual insights from your data that will be meaningful for your research subjects and for others? You may describe what your interlocutors are most concerned with, how those concerns are related to their political-economic context, and the unique contribution your own analysis will offer. By the end of the fellowship, we hope that you will have developed one or two big ideas that will address some pressing issues of the day, and have lasting impacts.

• copies of university degrees

• names of two referees

Informal enquiries concerning the positions may be directed to

If you have any questions about the application, please contact: Human resources management Nadine Wagenbrett (

We look forward to receiving your completed online application under:

Further information on the research agenda of the Max Planck Institute is available on our website:

QR Max Plank


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