Postdoctoral scientist

Defining and understanding extreme events in biological, societal and earth systems


The Max Planck Research Group ‘Extreme Events’ (EXT, Extreme Events in Biological, Societal and Earth Systems) is based at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, and is an intersectional project working closely with the nearby Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry. We are pleased to announce a vacancy for a postdoctoral scientist for three years, starting in summer 2019.

The overarching theme of the Extreme Events project is to explore the notion, character and implications of extreme events from various disciplines and at different scales. It will explore the detection, definition, impacts and prediction of different forms of extreme events in biological, societal and earth systems.

This postdoctoral position will focus on defining extreme events, particularly using statistical and quantitative approaches. The candidate will work with biological, cultural and earth system datasets – from published data, collaborations with diverse researchers and new data generated within the project – and apply various statistical analyses to explore the nature of extreme events. As well as having excellent skills in scientific analysis, the candidate will possess strong communication and collaboration abilities.

The ideal applicant will have a strong background in computer science and statistics, broadly construed. They should have completed a PhD on a relevant topic. Ideally they would have a broad knowledge of extreme events in different systems, but this is not necessary. They must have a strong track record of publications and presentations, and demonstrate an ability to work with closely colleagues from the Extreme Events team and from collaborating institutions in a highly multidisciplinary project.

Our offer    

We offer an interesting and challenging full-time position in a dynamic and stimulating research environment. The start date will be in summer 2019. Remuneration will follow the public service pay scale (TVöD), according to qualification and experience. Social benefits are paid according to the regulations of the Civil Service.

The Max Planck Society is committed to employ more handicapped individuals and especially encourages them to apply. The Max Planck Society also seeks to increase the number of women in areas where they are under-represented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

How to apply

Please submit your application as a single PDF file in English by May 10, 2019 by email to

Dr. Huw Groucutt
hgroucutt [at]

Your application should include cover letter summarising your experience and future vision, CV of no more than 4 pages, list of publications and relevant certificates (degree certificates, etc.). Reference letters from three referees are also due by May 10, 2019, and should be sent by email directly to Huw Groucutt.