Three (3) Postdoctoral Research Positions | Center for Humans and Machines

Job Code: 09/2020

Job Offer from March 12, 2020

The Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence theme at the Center for Humans and Machines (Director: Prof. Dr. Iyad Rahwan), Max Planck Institute for Human Development, is seeking applications for three (3) Postdoctoral Research Positions (E 13 TVöD; 39 hours/week). Funding for each postdoctoral position is available for two years, with possibility of extension for a third year. The positions are available from April 1, 2020, or later.

Job Description

The Ethics & Governance of Artificial Intelligence explores the psychological and social mechanisms that shape people’s trust in intelligent machines, how people react when this trust is breached, and how desirable machine behavior can be agreed-upon and enforced.

We seek to hire a post-doctoral researcher to work on ambitious, high-impact research projects within the theme, to be developed with the director and external collaborators. The “Ethics & Governance of Artificial Intelligence” theme has already produced world-class research, which led to articles published in Nature, Science, PNAS, Nature Human Behaviour, Nature Communications, and Nature Machine Intelligence. The post-doctoral researcher will be part of our efforts to explore novel questions through sophisticated experimental design and creative data collection methods.

The successful candidate will have no formal teaching requirements. The position will include generous support for computational equipment, experimental subject recruitment, travel to conferences and collaborators, and funds for hiring free-lance designers and developers to produce bespoke experimental platforms.


We are looking for a postdoc with a strong interest in the psychological and behavioral aspects of human-machine interaction.


The successful applicant must have the following:

  • A PhD in a field of behavioral / social science, such as in social psychology, judgment and decision-making, political science, economics, or related field, or in human-oriented Computer Science (e.g. HCI, CSCW, game design).
  • Demonstrated ability to produce high-impact research, as evidenced by a strong publication record in top behavioral science, HCI or interdisciplinary journals.
  • Strong quantitative skills, ranging from the design of psychological experiments, to conducting advanced statistical inference. Preference will be for candidates who possess statistical maturity and an ability to identify and avoid weaknesses that threaten replication and generalization.
  • Demonstrated understanding of causal inference methodologies.
  • A commitment to following the best methodological practices in behavioral sciences, such as pre-registration of studies, sharing of computer code and writing reproducible research reports, open sharing of data whenever feasible, etc.
  • Extensive experience in designing and conducting psychological experiments in the lab, online via crowdsourcing platforms such as Amazon Mechanical Turk and / or recruitment of panels (e.g. via YouGov or Qualtrics).
  • Expertise in at least one programming language for data analytics, such as R or Python.
  • High proficiency in English.


Proficiency also in one (or more) of the following skills will be advantageous to the successful applicant:

  • Knowledge of fundamentals and/or recent literature in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
  • Advanced programming skills in R or Python, and proficiency with libraries for data manipulation and analysis, machine learning, etc.
  • Experience designing or building interactive experimental tools (e.g. Web-based games).
  • Expertise in mathematical / evolutionary modeling.
  • Ability to work independently, as well as coordinating feedback from teams of senior collaborators.

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

To apply, please send (as ONE FILE and via email, with the sentence “Postdoc application Ethics & Governance of Artificial Intelligence” in the subject line) a statement of research interests, a CV, a copy of relevant certificates, (p)reprints of three publications lead by the applicant, and a list of four references to Prof. Dr. Iyad Rahwan, MPI for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin ( We are kindly asking you to submit your application without a photo. Applications will be evaluated on a first-come-first-serve basis, and will continue to be received until October 1st or the positions are filled. Should you have any questions please turn to

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