The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Post-Doc Position

Job Type: Postdoc

Application Deadline: August 30, 2015

1 Post-Doc Position for 12 months (to start October 1, 2015, or later): “The Formation of Epistemic Networks and Centers of Knowledge in the Mediterranean, 5th to 16th Centuries”

This Post-Doc position is part of the larger project “Convivencia: Iberia to Global Dynamics, 500-1750” 1750’ of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt (Thomas Duve), the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max Planck Institute (Gerhard Wolf), the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (Jürgen Renn), and the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale (Günther Schlee), in cooperation with David Nirenberg (Chicago University), associate to the Max-Planck-Society.

The position is also part of the project “Globalization of Knowledge” of the MPI for the History of Science, Department I.

The project will investigate the process of formation and evolution of knowledge in the Mediterranean region. It looks for mechanisms that allowed for the organization and expansion of epistemic networks.

Proposals for one of the following research topics are invited:

  1. Social and economic history of remedies as objects of knowledge, healing, commerce and legal practice across different faith-communities from the Western Mediterranean to the Northern Black Sea.
  2. The integration of natural philosophy in theological-philosophical networks of higher education or/and princely households in the Mediterranean region (1200–1500).
  3. Portolan books and sea charts (13th to 16th Centuries) as objects of cross-culturally constructed knowledge and identities.

Preference is given to approaches that aim to explore the factors that determined possibilities and constraints for the codification and modification of knowledge.

The MPIWG is an international and interdisciplinary research institute. The colloquium language is English; it is expected that candidates will be able to present their own work and discuss that of others fluently in that language. Fellowships are endowed with an employment contract TVöD E14 in the German pay scale system. For more information about working at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, please contact the Research Coordinator Dr. Ohad Parnes:

Candidates must submit the following application documents no later than August 30, 2015:

  • Cover letter (1 – 2 pages)
  • CV (including publication list)
  • Research proposal (3000-5000 words)
  • Copies of degree certificates
  • Writing sample (max. 5000 words)

Please note that only electronic submissions will be accepted. Please upload your application to the following address:*

Please also note that three letters of recommendation are requested by August 30, 2015. The referees will be contacted automatically. Letters received after the deadline will not be accepted.

The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates of all nationalities are encouraged to apply. Applications from women are especially welcome. The Max Planck Society is committed to promoting more handicapped individuals and encourages them to apply.

For questions concerning the research project and Department I, please contact Dr. Sonja Brentjes (; for administrative questions concerning the position and the Institute, please contact Ms. Claudia Paaß, Head of Administration (


Posted: August 07, 2015