Postdoctoral Research Position | Center for Humans and Machines

Job Code: 37/2019

Job Offer from October 18, 2019

The project “Hybrid Collective Intelligence” at the Center for Humans and Machines, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, is seeking applications for a Postdoctoral Research Position (E 13 TVöD; 39 hours/week).
Funding for the postdoctoral position is available for two years, with possibility of extension for a third year. The position is available from December 1, 2019, or later.

Job Description

The “Hybrid Collective Intelligence” theme (PIs: Prof. Rahwan and Dr. Pescetelli) seeks to quantify the impact that digital technologies have on human social learning. This research will advance the fields of cultural evolution and computational social sciences using rigorous experimental and observational methodology, together with strong analytic and computational techniques. We expect that the post-doctoral researcher will conduct rigorous online experiments, supervise quantitative and technical aspects of the project, and apply statistical inference to collected data.

The successful candidate will have no formal teaching requirements. The project is part of the Center for Humans and Machines (director: Iyad Rahwan) at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (MPIB) in Berlin. The successful candidate will closely work with Prof. Rahwan and Dr. Pescetelli to produce high impact publications in top journals.


We are searching a postdoc with a strong interest and established expertise in behavioral science and/or computer science. The successful applicant must be comfortable working with social scientists and computer scientists. The position is open to candidates holding a doctoral degree in either computer science or in a social science discipline (experimental psychology, anthropology, or related fields).


The successful applicant needs to possess:

  • Expertise in conducting large online experiments (e.g. on Amazon Mechanical Turk) involving multiple simultaneous participants.
  • Demonstrated prior work in causal inference and experimental methodology
  • Outstanding experience in data science, as demonstrated by a track record of publications in top scientific journals.
  • Demonstrated interest in computational social science
  • Experience in working with large datasets
  • The ability to work independently.
  • Willingness to work in a multidisciplinary and fast paced environment
  • High proficiency in English.


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

  • Experience with Machine Learning, in particular state-of-the-art generative models, e.g. GANs and VAEs.
  • Familiarity in Bayesian statistics, Bayesian networks and graphical models
  • Expertise in phylogenetic models

Application Details

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.

To apply, please send (as ONE FILE and via email, with the sentence “Postdoc application in Hybrid Collective Intelligence” in the subject line) a statement of research interests, a CV, a copy of relevant certificates, (p)reprints of two publications, and a list of two references to Prof. Dr. Iyad Rahwan, MPI for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin ( Receiving of applications will continue until the position is filled and evaluation of applicants will start on a first-come-first-serve basis. We are kindly asking you to submit your application without a photo.

Signed Dr. Brigitte Merz

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