Postdoctoral Program

The MPIfG provides an attractive environment for qualified postdoctoral researchers to pursue their own research projects within the scope of the Institute’s Research Program.

Postdoctoral Positions at the MPIfG

The MPIfG usually advertises two two-year positions for postdoctoral researchers each year in October, generally to begin on September 1 or October 1 of the following year.

As a postdoctoral researcher at the MPIfG, you are appointed one of the directors or the research group leaders as your advisor and continuously develop and expand your qualifications while working on your own research project. Within the scope of your project, you have the opportunity to conduct field work, participate in internal and external training as well as national and international conferences, or organize your own workshop.You also have access to the many lecture and discussion events hosted by the Institute. While our postdocs are under no obligation to teach, you can usually take a seminar at one of our partner universities, Cologne or Duisburg-Essen, if you wish to do so.Our aim throughout your time as a postdoctoral researcher is to respond to your and your project’s needs and to support you in your career development.


Scholars of all nationalities whose research relates to the Institute's Research Program are eligible to apply for the MPIfG's postdoctoral program. Applicants must have held their doctoral degree for no longer than three years before the starting date of their contract with the MPIfG. Applicants must have submitted and defended their doctoral dissertation (or already have a fixed date in the near future for the defense) before the contract begins.

The MPIfG likewise encourages early career researchers who have completed their dissertation or hold an assistant professor position to apply to the program if they are able to take leave from their university.


Contracts are based on the German public service wage agreement (TVöD E 13, full-time) and the guidelines of the Max Planck Society. They are subject to income tax and social security contributions.

Selection Criteria

Successful candidates are chosen on the basis of scholarly excellence, a research proposal outlining a project to be pursued at the MPIfG, and a job interview in person or by video. Postdocs are expected to reside in the Cologne area and actively participate in the intellectual life of the Institute.
The Max Planck Society is committed to improving the opportunities for women in science and explicitly encourages women to apply, supports all employees in achieving work and family life balance, and holds "audit berufundfamilie" certification. We are committed to employing more people with disabilities.

Application Schedule

Schedule Process Step
Beginning of October Applications are open for positions starting in September or October of the following year
December 15 Application deadline
End of January/Beginning of February Interviews
End of February Notification of hiring decision
September 1 or October 1 Start of contract

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