Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen

Complex Systems Neurosciences Structural and Cell Biology


Type of Job


Postdoctoral Positions (m/f/d) - Physics, Complex Systems & Neural Networks

Job offer from April 21, 2020

For the independent Max Planck Research Group of Dr. Viola Priesemann we seek to fill Postdoctoral Positions (m/f/d) in Physics, Complex Systems & Neural Networks. 

The Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization at Göttingen, Germany, is an international research institute. It performs both experimental and theoretical fundamental scientific research and currently employs about 300 people.

We are looking for Postdoctoral researchers to join our team. We are investigating the spread of COVID-19 and address three central questions: How did past governmental measures impact the infection rate R? How will the case numbers develop under specific scenarios? What is the impact of specific social distancing measures on R? We have already developed an SIR model and use Bayesian inference to assess the central epidemiological parameters [1,2]. Our results are central in advising decision makers in politics and health care. We are a highly active and hard-working team, and work in close contact with clinicians, epidemiologists, and politicians. At the moment, we are all working from home – but on the long run we hope you can join us at the MPI in Göttingen. Women, like everyone else, are warmly encouraged to apply. Please check our github page and our prior work [1-3]. Applications are accepted any time, until the positions are filled; starting date is as soon as possible.

Your profile

We are looking for excellent, enthusiastic and self-motivated researchers with strong programming skills to join our research team. You should hold a PhD in the quantitative sciences, e.g. physics, mathematics, statistics, epidemiology, computer science or theoretical biology. The position requires a solid background in modelling dynamical systems and/or statistical data analysis and inference. If you have a keen interest in COVID inference and modeling and if you are a creative, bright and independent mind, please send us your application. Please outline your programming skills, your past scientific achievements, any prior work you might have already done related to COVID-19 spread and a brief outline of the questions you are most interested in.

Fluency in both written and spoken English is required; German is an asset.

Our offer

We are offering excellent working conditions in a highly international and interdisciplinary research environment. The postdoctoral positions are limited to two years with the possibility of extension. Working hours are fulltime. Salary is based on remuneration group 13 of the TVöD-Bund, if the objective and subjective classification require-ments are fulfilled. Social benefits according to the regulations for the public service (Federal Service). Furthermore, we offer opportunities regarding work life balance as well as health promotion services. The starting date is flexible, but should start as soon as possible.

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.

Your application

Please apply online with the reference no MPIDS-W045 and submit a CV, a motivation letter (requirements below), a transcript of records (university and high school), a list of publications and contacts of up to three referees.

Please consider these questions in your motivation letter:

  • Did you already do some modelling on COVID-19? If yes, please describe briefly.
  • What research projects/questions about COVID-19 spread do you have in mind?
  • What programming languages do you speak? How fluent are you in them?
  • Link to your scientific web page or google.scholar profile, if available.
  • Briefly describe your background in statistics (if any).
  • Briefly describe your background in dynamical systems (if any).
  • Briefly describe your background in scientific modelling (if any).
  • Briefly describe your background in science communication (if any). 

Written applications will not be sent back. 


[1]  (under review)

[2] (our code - and announcements of regular online meetings)

[3] Three central past publications of our team:

Wilting & Priesemann, Nature Communications (2018)
Zierenberg, Wilting & Priesemann, Physical Review X (2018)
Cramer et al., Nature Communications, in press

Please contact Dr. Viola Priesemann  should you have further questions.

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