Job Offer

Postdoc / Research Scientist Positions

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) is seeking to appoint several full-time post-doctoral research scientists to join the Laboratory of Population Health, the Research Group on Labor Demography, or the Laboratory of Fertility and Well-Being.

Successful candidates will have the opportunity to develop their own research agenda, collaborate throughout and beyond the MPIDR, and supervise PhD students. We are seeking creative, self-driven, and collaborative scholars, with strong communication skills. Your PhD can be in any area that provided you with the necessary skills for high-quality demographic research; recent recruits have had PhDs in fields such as Demography, Sociology, Economics, Epidemiology, Statistics and Anthropology.

We provide a stimulating, research-oriented community, an excellent infrastructure for doing science, and opportunities to work with exciting datasets, including both large surveys as well as linked survey-register-based datasets that combine demographic, behavioral, and genetic information and allow for family-based and intergenerational analysis. The starting contract is up to 4 years with remuneration commensurate to experience, starting from approx. 56,000 EUR per year for recent PhDs, up to approx. 70,000 EUR per year for more senior scientists. Contract extension is possible. The successful candidate is expected to work locally at the MPIDR in Rostock, Germany. Relocation support is available.

We welcome applications from researchers working in any area of fertility or family formation, economic and labor demography, or population health analysis. In addition, we are particularly interested in strengthening the following research areas:

Laboratory of Fertility and Well-Being

1. The union-fertility nexus

Union formation is often a prerequisite for childbirth, and lifetime fertility is linked with partnering dynamics. However, the two are often studied as separate processes.  We are interested in integrating the union-fertility nexus, and welcome research in this area from methodological, theoretical, and applied perspectives.

2. Cultural and psychological underpinnings of fertility and family formation

Demography has much to gain from focusing more explicitly on variation in culture, and how it may be relevant for shaping fertility and family formation. Cultural framings may be particularly relevant for the connection between family formation behaviors on the one hand, and mental, physical, and emotional processes on the other. We are interested in research on the intersection of family formation, psychology, and culture.

3. Covid-19 and fertility

The current pandemic is likely to affect fertility, yet, it is not known how, where, among whom, and why. We are interested in research on the fertility and family formation responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and its containment measures from both descriptive and explanatory angles.

Research Group on Labor Demography

4. Technology-induced job displacement

Technological advances are expected to lead to major shifts in the demand for labor. The resulting job displacement will likely be concentrated in certain occupations and sectors, and hence affect certain population groups, regions and communities more strongly than others. We are interested in studying the interplay between technology-induced job displacement and population processes including, but not limited to, fertility, mortality or working life expectancy.

5. The retirement and health nexus

Retirement ages are increasing in many countries around the world. Understanding the complex interplay between paid work, non-market activities (e.g., informal care) and health is crucial for the design of policies and interventions to prolong working lives. We are interested in research on how health, disability and non-market activities influence the decision to retire, as well as how the retirement transition affects individual behavior.

6. Family formation, labor supply and working life expectancy

Policies intended to prolong working life expectancy often focus on the retirement age. Yet, family formation and the transition into parenthood exert a major influence on working lives, in particular of women. We are interested in studying how family processes affect labor force participation in the short- and long-run across different institutional contexts.

Laboratory of Population Health

7. Cardiovascular disease and life expectancy

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a key force driving changes in health and life expectancy. Recent life expectancy stalls in select high income countries appear to be largely driven due to a stall in reductions in CVD mortality. In low income countries, CVD forms a double burden with other illnesses, putting large pressures on health systems. We are interested in the drivers of trends in CVD and the current and future impact of CVD trends on life expectancy.

8. Counterfactual causal inference

We are interested in the development and innovative application of techniques from both the ‘selection on unobservables’ (e.g. difference-in-difference, instrumental variables and Mendelian randomization, family fixed effects, etc.) and ‘selection on observables’ (e.g. inverse probability of treatment weighting, g-computation, causal machine learning, etc.) approaches that can help to elucidate causal questions in population health research and in other areas of demography.

9. Social demography and genetic endowment

Standard demographic datasets are increasingly being enriched with genetic information. This allows for novel approaches to tackle old questions, and opens the possibility to ask new questions. We are interested in research that combines genetic information with social-demographic research questions in population health and other areas of demography.

We ask applicants to indicate their envisioned research area in the letter of interest, and to detail their research plans in the research statement.

Please apply online via and include the following documents:

  1. Curriculum Vitae;
  2. Letter of Interest (1-2 pages);
  3. Research Statement (1-2 pages);
  4. Names and contact information of up to 3 academic references;
  5. Up to 2 writing samples or publications.

In order to receive full consideration, applications should be submitted by December 1, 2020. Later applications will be accepted until the positions are filled. The first round of interviews is scheduled for December 14-16. The starting date is flexible, but no later than fall 2021. PhD students who expect to obtain their degree before the starting date may apply. For inquiries about the positions, please contact Natalie Nitsche at (Laboratory of Fertility and Well-Being), Maarten Bijlsma at (Laboratory of Population Health), or Peter Eibich at (Research Group on Labor Demography).

MPIDR is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It is part of the Max Planck Society, a network of 86 institutes that form Germany’s premier basic-research organization. Max Planck Institutes have an established record of world-class, foundational research in the sciences, technology, social sciences and the humanities. They offer a unique environment that combines the best aspects of an academic setting and a research laboratory.

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. For more information, see:

In addition, there are a range of central initiatives and measures primarily geared towards helping young female researchers and mothers to advance their career. See the link below for some examples:

Our institute values diversity and is committed to employing individuals from minorities. The Max Planck Society has set itself the goal of employing more severely handicapped people. Our Institute and the Max Planck Society also seek to increase the proportion of women in areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourage women to apply.

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.