20 September 2019

JOB: Postdoctoral or PhD researcher – Research Group “"Translations and Transitions: Legal Practice in 19th Century Japan, China, and the Ottoman Empire" (Max Planck Institute for European Legal History) (DEADLINE: 31 October 2019)

We learned of a call for a PhD or postdoctoral researcher (with masterful command of Chinese) at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History. Here the call:

The Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt is a world leader in researching the history of law in Europe and beyond.

We are now looking to recruit:

one Postdoctoral Researcher (m/f/d) or one Doctoral Student (m/f/d)
from 1 January 2020, or as soon as possible thereafter,
for Dr. Lena Foljanty's research group:

"Translations and Transitions: Legal Practice in 19th Century
Japan, China, and the Ottoman Empire"

Your tasks
You will develop, co-ordinate and pursue an independent (doctoral or postdoctoral) project within the research group. The research group deals in a comparative way with the complex transformations that have taken place in Japan, China and the Ottoman Empire in the field of private law practice resulting from contact with Western legal traditions. Within the context of the research group, you will be responsible for the investigation of the transformation of legal practices in China in the field of private law in the late Qing-period as well as in the early 20th century (until 1937).

You will analyse the transformation of conceptions of law and the practice(s) of decision-making. Possible areas of investigation include, for example, the communication between the political elite pursuing reforms and the local courts, court practices as revealed in court files and judgements, civil procedure, judicial reform or the reorganisation of legal education.

You are expected to publish your findings and work together with the other members of the research group, under the guidance of Dr. Foljanty, to develop a comparative perspective.

Your Profile
You hold a first-class or high upper-second class degree in law, the humanities or the social sciences. The position is open both to early and late stage Ph.D. projects as well as to those who just completed their Ph.D. In the latter case, then you will submit a postdoctoral project.

Your CV should demonstrate your potential to pursue research at a very high international level. You are able to work independently and have a deep interest in working in an interdisciplinary and comparative fashion.

You have a masterful command of Chinese and have no difficulties working with the Chinese sources used in the period dealt with in the project. Moreover, you are fully proficient in both written and spoken English.

While knowledge of German is certainly welcome, it is not a requirement. Since German is one of the working language of the institute, we offer courses to support you in acquiring a useful proficiency of the language.

Finally, you should be able to work well in a team and are interested in closely working together within the context of the research group.

Our Offer
We offer an attractive and international work environment with an unparalleled research infrastructure and a pleasant working atmosphere. We are offering a fixed-term fulltime position (currently 39 hours per week). Payment and social benefits are based on the German Civil Service Collective Agreement (TVöD). The annual salary before tax will amount to approx. 31,180 Euro (E13 level 1, 65%). The fixed-term appointment is for three years if you are at an early stage in your doctoral studies; for those further along in their doctoral project, the appointment will be for a shorter period of time.

If you already have a doctoral degree, then we can offer you a fulltime postdoctoral position. Depending on your level of qualification, the annual salary before tax is approx. between 50,360 Euro (E13 level 1) and 73,620 Euro (E13 level 6). In this case, the postdoctoral position is limited to two years.

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.

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:
1. Letter of Motivation:
- 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 two scholars who have agreed to give a reference in the event we ask for one.

2. CV:
- Detailed CV
- If applicable a list of publications

3. Other Documents:
- Research proposal (two to three pages) and a research plan (with a time table)
- Copies of your degrees
- A writing sample of some 20 pages length (seminar paper, journal article, book chapter etc.) in English or German.

For more information regarding the work of the research group, please contact Dr. Lena Foljanty (

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

Your compelling application must be submitted online via the link on our homepage ( by the closing date of 31 October 2019.

Strong applicants will be invited for an interview at the MPI for European Legal History in Frankfurt. In cases where extreme distance makes this infeasible, an interview via skype is possible. The interviews will most likely take place in calendar week 46 of 2019.

No comments: