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Postdoctoral Research Fellow (m/f/d)

Max Planck Institute for European Legal History - Department for European and Comparative Legal History

The Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt is a world leader in researching the history of law in Europe and beyond. Its two research departments with more than 60 scholars, the unrivalled collections of its specialized library and its numerous national and international co-operations make it the central research hub for a global scientific community investigating the past, present and future of legal regimes. 

The Department for European and Comparative Legal History is looking to recruit, from 1 October 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter, 

a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (m/f/d)

for the research field Legal Transfer in the Common Law World under the directorship of Professor Stefan Vogenauer.

Your tasks

You will develop, co-ordinate and pursue an independent project within the research field. Your research will turn on the development of rules, principles, doctrines and institutions of English law outside England, for example in selected jurisdictions of the British Empire.

You will publish your findings and actively contribute to the research activities of the Institute under the guidance of Professor Vogenauer. 

Your profile

You hold a first class degree in law, the humanities or the social sciences and you produced an outstanding doctoral thesis or an equivalent portfolio of publications in one of these disciplines. You are fully proficient in the English language and willing to learn German if necessary. 
Your CV should demonstrate your potential to pursue research at the highest international level. You are able to adopt interdisciplinary approaches, work independently and efficiently, have excellent communication skills and the capacity to work in a team.

Our offer

We offer an attractive and international research environment with unparalleled facilities and a good working atmosphere. Generous opportunities for personal and career development are provided. Support may be granted for research trips and conference travel in Germany and abroad. There is no obligation or expectation to teach, although teaching activities are encouraged.

Applicants may seek a part-time or a full-time position (39 hours per week), with mandatory presence in Frankfurt required. Remuneration and social benefits are based on the German Civil Service Collective Agreement (TVöD). Depending on your qualification and relevant experience, the annual salary before tax will be on a scale from EUR 51,100 (E 13 band 1) to EUR 74.300 (E13 band 6) for a full-time position. The position is a fixed-term appointment for three years in the first instance, with the possibility of renewal for a further fixed-term period subject to satisfactory performance and the requirements of the 2007 Act on Academic Fixed-term Contracts (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz).

We are located on Campus Westend, one of the most beautiful university campuses in Europe, right at the heart of the thriving and cosmopolitan city of Frankfurt am Main, the centre of finance, banking and the legal professions of Europe’s biggest economy.

The Institute belongs to the Max Planck Society, Germany’s most successful research organization. Since its establishment in 1948, no fewer than 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its researchers, putting it on a par with the most prestigious research institutions worldwide. The mission of the Max Planck Society is to conduct fundamental (ie, non-applied) research in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences and the humanities at the highest possible level. Its 86 Institutes are scattered across Germany and beyond, and they focus on research fields that are particularly innovative and require unusually extensive resources. 

The Institute is part of Max Planck Law, the network of eleven Max Planck Institutes that engage in advanced legal research. The first of these was established in Berlin in 1924. Today, we cover a broad range of legal studies, from the anthropology of law to tax law, at nine different locations across Germany and Luxembourg.

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.

The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality. We welcome applications from all backgrounds.

Application procedure

Your application should be written in either English or German and contain the following documents:

Personal statement:

  • cover letter with reference to your research proposal and an explanation as to how your profile matches the selection criteria;
  • names and addresses (postal and electronic) of three scholars who have agreed to provide a reference for you.


  • detailed CV;
  • list of publications.

Other documents:

  • research proposal (up to ten pages);
  • transcripts of your achievements at school and university, copies of degree certificates;
  • two of your publications of some 20 pages length each (journal articles, book chapters etc.).

Your application must be submitted online via the following link by the closing date of 31 August 2020:  

Please provide your referees with all the documents that you submit for your application and ask them to send their references to by 31 August 2020. References may only be submitted by email. They do not have to be signed as long as they are emailed from the official mail address of the referee. 

Strong applicants will be invited for an interview, probably during the week beginning 14 September 2020.


Informal enquiries as to the substance of the research fields may be directed to Professor Stefan Vogenauer ( 

Questions as to the terms and conditions of employment may be directed to Ms Rita Gommermann ( 

Location: Frankfurt - Germany
Salary: €51,000 to €74,300
£43,018.50 to £62,672.05 converted salary*
Hours: Full Time, Part Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 28th July 2020
Closes: 31st August 2020
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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed
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