Postdoctoral Associate (m/f)

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

The Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, Germany, is one of 83 research institutes of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences e.V. The Institute is dedicated to foundational research, especially in the fields of foreign private and private international law as well as the law of civil procedure. The Max Planck Society is Germany's most successful research organization. Since its establishment in 1948, no fewer than 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its scientists, putting it among the top 5 research institutions worldwide according to the Times Higher Education Ranking.

The Max Planck Research Group “Changes in God's Law - An Inner Islamic Comparison of Family and Succession Law” is a research unit carrying out internationally acclaimed comparative research on family and succession law in Muslim jurisdictions, making it one of the very few academic entities dedicated specifically to this field of research. Established in 2009, the unit’s research paradigm is built on three pillars: first, an interdisciplinary approach and a consideration of the law in practice; second, a comparative examination of the law within the Islamic world; and, third, a study of the influence procedural rules have on the shaping of the law. By having regard for these three pillars, a fuller and less distorted picture of family and succession law emerges that reflects the dynamics of legal developments in the examined countries.

The Max Planck Institute invites applications for a full time (39 h/week) fixed-term position as

Postdoctoral Associate (m/f)

within its Research Group beginning November 2016 or later.

Principal duties include:

  • pursuit of the applicant’s own academic research agenda
  • the joint authoring of scholarly articles, chapters and reports
  • assistance in the preparation of expert opinions for German courts
  • contribution to and organization of workshops and conferences

We are expecting the successful candidate to:

  • hold a PhD in Law, Middle Eastern Studies, Anthropology or in a related field inclusive of sound research expertise in legal studies or a specialization in family law as found in contemporary Muslim societies
  • present a research project related to family law and having in particular a focus on children in contemporary Muslim societies; proposals related to other areas of family or succession law will also be considered
  • have at least a working knowledge of Arabic (MSA)
  • have a strong academic record
  • have an active and supportive approach to inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary research that will help to foster links both within the Institute and externally
  • be in residence and participate actively in the intellectual life of the Institute

The acquisition of German language skills is encouraged but is not a precondition for application.

What we offer:

  • a competitive salary according to the German public service salary scale (TVöD Bund up to EG 14) plus social benefits
    (details available at
  • reimbursement of field research expenses and financial assistance for language classes
  • financial and editorial assistance for publications
  • access to one of the leading libraries on the laws of the Muslim world
  • an attractive locale – Hamburg was ranked 14th among the most livable cities worldwide according to the Economist (2014)

Applications should include:

  • a cover letter and CV with a list of academic publications
  • a formal transcript documenting completed university courses and performance
  • a research proposal (3 pages max.)
  • the names of two potential academic referees

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.

Applications should be submitted no later than 31 October 2016 by e-mail to or by postal mail to

Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht
Frau Dr. Nadjma Yassari, LL.M. (SOAS)
Kennziffer: PRIV 22-2016
c/o Verwaltung
Mittelweg 187
20148 Hamburg

Interviews with shortlisted applicants will be held in November 2016.