Doctoral Student Researcher

The Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, investigates the attentional, cognitive, and affective mechanisms of aesthetic perception and evaluation.

The Institute invites applications for a

Doctoral Student Researcher
fixed term (36 months), salary scale 13 TVöD 65%

to work on the DFG-funded research project The Forager Folklore Database (FFDB). This project involves analyzing the story content and structure of oral folktales in historical hunter-gatherer societies and creating a digital database of pertinent folktales.

Your responsibilities

The doctoral student researcher will collaborate in setting up the database. This involves:

  • searching for and examining appropriate text collections, catalogues, and research literature;
  • self-reliant data entry of acquired results via the user interface of the database as well as assistance in organizing existing datasets;
  • assisting in annotating the folktales according to predefined categories and in further elaborating them;
  • co-supervising the process of generating digital full texts by student assistants.

Our requirements

  • a master’s degree and a PhD project in the humanities or social sciences (preferably in liter-ary studies and/or anthropology/ethnology);
  • basic competencies in philological methods (bibliography, textual criticism/edition);
  • basic competencies in narrative theory and narrative text analysis;
  • good proficiency in oral and written English and German.

Our offer

  • a highly interactive working atmosphere in an international, interdisciplinary research insti-tute; 
  • a modern and well-equipped workplace in an attractive neighborhood with excellent infra-structure in Frankfurt’s Westend district;
  • the possibility of remote working.

The position begins as soon as possible after July 1, 2022 and has a fixed term of three years. The agreed working time currently amounts to 39 hours per week. Payment is based on the Collective Wage Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD Bund E13 65%). The offer is complemented by an annual bonus. (Visit for more information.)

The Max Planck Society strives for gender equality and diversity. We are also committed to in-creasing the number of individuals with disabilities in our workforce. Therefore, applicants of all backgrounds are welcome. 

Your application

For applying please send a concise motivation/cover letter (1–2 pages) in which you explain your interest in the research project and how it relates to both your previous studies and your PhD plans. (If you have already started your dissertation project, please also indicate its current institutional affiliation, if applicable.) Your application should further include: your detailed CV; copies of relevant degrees and/or certificates; a short summary of your Master’s thesis (one page); and names and contact information of two references who have previously agreed to be contacted. Please combine these materials in a single PDF file and send it by e-mail, no later than May 29, 2022, to, with PhD FFDB in the subject line.

For questions about the project or concerning your PhD plans please feel free to contact Dr. Katja Mellmann (phone 0049-69-8300479-840). If you have any questions concerning the application process, please contact