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PhD 2022 : JOB OFFER: PhD Student Position


When May 16, 2022 - Jun 17, 2022
Where Rostock, Germany
Submission Deadline Jun 17, 2022
Categories    data science   life sciences   sociology   demography

Call For Papers

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) is inviting applications from qualified and highly motivated students for a PhD student position in the Lab of Digital and Computational Demography.

The MPIDR is one of the leading demographic centers in the world. It is part of the Max Planck Society, a network of more than 80 institutes that form Germany’s premier basic-research organization. Max Planck Institutes have an established record of world-class research and they offer a unique environment that combines the best aspects of an academic setting and a research laboratory.

The Lab of Digital and Computational Demography, headed by MPIDR Director Emilio Zagheni, is looking for candidates with strong quantitative and programming skills and with research interests in human mobility, health, and disease ecology.


Human mobility is a key process in health and disease ecology, shaping the mixing patterns that facilitate the spread of both pathogens and vectors. The successful candidate is expected to contribute and advance a project that uses novel techniques to study human mobility and its implications for disease dynamics and inequality. Particular attention would be devoted to links between mobility and mosquito-borne diseases, including the analysis of multiple sources of mobility data and mosquito surveillance as a way to better inform models of mosquito risk and epidemiological patterns.


This project will be supervised by an interdisciplinary team of renowned scholars that includes Daniela Perrotta (MPIDR), Emilio Zagheni (MPIDR), John Palmer (Universitat Pompeu Fabra - UPF), and Frederic Bartumeus (Centre d'Estudis Avançats de Blanes – CEAB-CSIC). The PhD student is expected to be in residence at the MPIDR and enrolled in the PhD program of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at UPF. Additionally, the PhD student will receive support for research visits at UPF and CEAB-CSIC, in order to complete mandatory coursework and to have further scientific exchange with the research team in Barcelona.

For questions and additional information regarding the PhD project, please contact Daniela Perrotta (

The PhD studentship offers an excellent opportunity for motivated students to work with a highly international team of researchers, to take advantage of the interdisciplinary intellectual environment at the MPIDR, as well as substantial support for travel, research training and data acquisition.

The admitted student is expected to be part of the International Max Planck Research School for Population, Health and Data Science (IMPRS-PHDS) that merges demography, epidemiology and data science. IMPRS-PHDS equips doctoral students not only with advanced knowledge of the theory and methods of demography and epidemiology (broadly defined as ‘population health’), but also with strong technical skills in statistics, mathematical modeling, and computational and data management methods (broadly referred to as ‘data science’). PHDS supports strong interdisciplinary research training and exchange within a network of universities in Europe and the US. The research school offers a core training program in Rostock, extensive networking opportunities across partner sites, and high-quality supervision across at least two institutes. For more information on the IMPRS-PHDS curriculum please see


Applications must be submitted online via this portal by June 17, 2022 and include as a single pdf file, in English:

Curriculum Vitae, including a list of your scholarly publications.

(1) A motivational statement (maximum two pages) explaining why you applied, how your research interests fit with the project; how the MPIDR could foster your career development; and describing your technical skills and areas of expertise.

(2) Copies of transcripts of undergraduate and master’s degrees. Applicants should hold a master’s degree or equivalent at the time of starting the PhD.

(3) Names and contact information for 2 academic referees.

(4) One writing sample.

The starting date is flexible, but no later than November 1, 2022. The PhD student is offered a 3-year contract with remuneration based on the salary structure of the German public sector (Öffentlicher Dienst, TVöD Bund) currently starting at 34,295.22 € gross a year. Online interviews will be held on July 11-12, 2022.

The MPIDR is an equal opportunities employer. Our work atmosphere includes respectful treatment of each other, with gender, nationality, religion, disability, age, cultural origin, and sexual identity playing no role. We aim to have an institutional culture that enables everyone to develop their individual skills and competencies.

The Max Planck Society offers a broad range of measures to support the reconciliation of work and family. These are complemented by the MPIDR’s own initiatives. The Society has been awarded the certificate “Work and Family” which is granted to institutions committed to establishing a family-friendly corporate culture by binding target agreements. The MPIDR collaborates with a network of local day-care centers that provides childcare places for the children of Institute staff. The Max Planck Society has contracts with a private family service company that offers services such as arranging child care on short notice in various cities in Germany for parents who attend conferences, care services for children of school age up to 14 years, and support for those caring for family members and relatives. The MPIDR also practices flexible working-time models, which include at least one home office day per week, and scheduling meetings only within core working hours. To help accompanying spouses and partners find appropriate work at their new location, the MPIDR works in close cooperation with Dual-Career Partners in regional networks.

Our Institute values diversity and is keen to employ individuals from minorities.

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.

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