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Konstanz: Postdoc, collective behavior, MPI PDF Tisk Email

Max Planck Principal Investigators in the Area of Collective Behavior of Biological Systems: Konstanz, Germany

Job offers from Feb 2015

The Department of Collective Behavior at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology seeks to appoint up to four Max Planck Principal Investigators in the field of Collective Behavior,

broadly defined. Ideal candidates should have a research program that integrates experimental and theoretical studies on invertebrates and/or vertebrates – research on birds is not a requirement. Collective behavior naturally spans scales, encompassing areas ranging from the organization and evolution of the neural decision-making circuits that give rise to individual behavior, to coordinated communication among cells, or animals, to the dynamics of information exchange among sophisticated organisms and the emergence of complex societies. Successful applicants are expected to establish and lead an internationally recognized research program.

Your profile

Applicants must hold a Ph.D. in biology, biophysics, applied mathematics, computer science or a related field. The primary criterion for selection will be that candidates exhibit outstanding research promise, and are conducting ambitious, interdisciplinary research. Candidates who pursue research with a highly quantitative experimental component are particularly encouraged to apply.

Our offer

Successful candidates will be offered a Max Planck Research Lab for an initial period of 5 years, with the possibility of extension up to a further 4 years after successful evaluation and considering labor law-related and financial requirements. This includes a Principal Investigator position with a salary up to level E15 based on the German Federal Salary Scale as well as support for a research group (consumables, travel funds, technical support staff, and where possible support for excellent Ph.D. students/postdoctoral fellows). Principal Investigators are also expected to apply for third party funds.

Max Planck Institutes focus on excellence in scientific research and are supported by the Max Planck Society. Principal Investigators are expected to become faculty of the International Max Planck Research School of Organismal Biology, a competitive doctoral training program in the fields of behavior, ecology, evolution, physiology and neurobiology, which has a faculty of more than 30 leading researchers and 64 Ph.D. international student fellows. Although the principal focus will be leading a research group, candidates are also expected to contribute to the innovative teaching objectives of the department. The language of the Max Planck Institutes is English and consequently applicants must be fluent in this language; knowledge of German is not necessary. We seek candidates from all nationalities (the visa application process will be supported by the Institute).

Principal Investigators will benefit from the Institute’s interdisciplinary environment and scientific exchange with existing research groups at the Max Planck Institute and University of Konstanz as well as excellent infrastructure, including a guesthouse for visiting academics, and speedboat and plane for field research. The necessary administrative support will be provided.


The new Department of Collective Behavior is located on the campus of the University of Konstanz in the historic city of Konstanz, by Lake Constance and overlooking the Alps in southern Germany. It is approximately 50 minutes (by train or car) from Zurich International Airport and closely affiliated with the nearby Max Planck Department of Migration and Immuno-Ecology in Radolfzell.

Your application

Applications, including a CV, a description of past research activities (2 pages) and a vision statement for the future research program (2 further pages) should be sent, in PDF format, to Iain D. Couzin ( Tato emailová adresa je chráněna před spamboty, abyste ji viděli, povolte JavaScript ), Director, with subject line “Max Planck Principal Investigator Application”. In addition, applicants should arrange to have three letters of recommendation sent separately to Daniel Piechowski ( Tato emailová adresa je chráněna před spamboty, abyste ji viděli, povolte JavaScript ), Science Coordinator. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the positions are filled.

The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.

Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. All Max Planck Institutes are certified family-friendly institutions, and we offer extensive support to help researchers balance professional and home life, including assistance with childcare and support of the elderly, and flexibility in how employees arrange working hours. For details see http://www.mpg.de/equal_opportunities

For further information regarding these positions please contact Iain D. Couzin ( Tato emailová adresa je chráněna před spamboty, abyste ji viděli, povolte JavaScript ), Director.

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