Postdoctoral research and habilitation

Postdoctoral research and habilitation

at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

You have already earned your doctoral degree and would like to pursue habilitation or undertake a research project as a postdoc? Then take the initiative and apply for corresponding position at our Institute! The most important information can be found below.

What is the research environment at the Institute?

Daily work at our MPI is characterized by internationality and academic curiosity. Legal scholars from around the world come together to conduct comparative research on German, foreign, and international private law. The Institute’s library stands at the disposal of all staff members as well as the roughly 1,000 yearly guest researchers. With approximately 540,000 holdings compiled from more than 200 countries, it is Europe’s largest library specialized in foreign and international private law, and it boasts one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of private law.

Who will supervise my research project and how can I expect to interact with other Institute researchers?

As a postdoctoral researcher or habilitation candidate at the Institute, you will be assigned either to one of the three working groups led by our Directors, to a specific research group, or to one of the centres of regional expertise. Within this setting, you will exchange ideas on your research topic with other junior researchers and you will be supervised by the respective director, the head of the research group, or the head of the centre of expertise. In addition, you are always in a position to talk with the other scholars working at the Institute and to attend academic events and build your own network of contacts. In addition to work on your research project, where thematically appropriate you can participate in Institute projects and thus gain important experience in academic collaboration.

What kind of working space will I have at the Institute?

Every postdoctoral researcher and habilitation candidate receives an office space at the Institute, here in the heart of Hamburg. From your desk you will be able to access a comprehensive catalogue of national and international legal data banks.

The international working environment at the Institute will also benefit your work on your research project. Renowned scholars from all over the world regularly visit the Institute, whether as attendees at international conferences and symposia or as guest researchers working in the Institute's library.

What financial support will I receive as a postdoc or habilitation candidate at the MPI?

Habilitation candidates and postdocs generally receive a full-time contract for a term covering the period foreseen for completion of the planned research or habilitation project consistent with rules set out in the Academic Fixed-Term Contract Act (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz). Salary and benefits conform to the Wage Agreement for Public Services (TVöD).

The participation of junior researchers at national and international conferences is also financially supported. Furthermore, each junior researcher has the opportunity to spend up to three months abroad for research and study, e.g. in the context of a “visiting researcher” program. Participation in the Institute’s own exchange programs with the universities of Oxford and Cambridge is also possible.

As the Institute is exclusively a research institute, there is no obligation to instruct any university courses. Such activities can, however, be undertaken as secondary employment if desired.

What additional professional support can I expect?

If you choose to join the Institute as a postdoc or habilitaiton candidates, you will become part of a larger team of individuals working on their doctoral degrees or their postdoctoral or habilitation projects. This allows for an intensive academic exchange with similarly disposed individuals.

This is complemented by structured supervision of habilitation candidates and postdocs, which, in addition to regular annual meetings with the supervising figure at the Institute, also features a one-time consultation with an external scholar to assess the status of your project. Furthermore, academic exchange and networking with former Institute researchers is supported.

As a postdoc or habilitation candidate, you will have the opportunity to organize conferences or workshops at the Institute yourself and, as supported by a student assistant, gain leadership experience.

In terms of personal development, the Planck Academy of the Max Planck Society as well as internal Institute training courses offer an extensive range of workshops and seminars that are open to all Institute staff.

What are the prerequisites for a postdoctoral position?

Within the scope of the Institute’s research areas you will be able to pursue postdoctoral and habilitation projects for qualification purposes in the meaning of the Academic Fixed-Term Contract Act (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz). Applicants for a position should have obtained a legal degree with above average marks (in the German system at least vollbefriedigend), completed their doctoral dissertation, and possess very strong German or English skills and, preferably, knowledge of at least one other language. Applications are equally welcomed from individuals who have earned their degrees outside of Germany or who possess degrees in academic disciplines having a relation to the field of law.

What documents should I include with my application?

Applicants seeking a position as a postdoc or habilitation candidate should submit the following documents through our application portal:

  • Cover letter, including information on your area(s) of research and a description of your research project
  • Comprehensive resume (tabular form)
  • Diploma(s)
  • Transcript of grades, doctoral certificate
  • Letters of reference (as appropriate)
The MPG supports the equal treatment of women and men and hopes that female candidates will feel especially addressed by this invitation to make application. The MPG is, furthermore, committed to employing a greater number of disabled individuals. Applications from disabled individuals is, therefore, particularly encouraged.

Who can I turn to with further questions?

Questions about postdoctoral research or habilitation at our Institute can be addressed to the Human Resources Department at .

Go to Editor View