Stellenangebot: PhD position (100%) am Max-Planck-Institut für Sozialanthropologie Halle/Saale

The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is one of the leading centres for research in social anthropology. Common to all research projects at the Max Planck Institute is the comparative analysis of social change; it is primarily in this domain that its researchers contribute to anthropological theory, though many programmes also have applied significance and political topicality.

Department ‘Law & Anthropology’ at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is offering

1 PhD position
(starting date June 2021 – to be confirmed)

The position is offered within the Minerva Research Group “The Ethics of Exchange” which will focus on how the law’s boundaries are shaped in decision-making processes in organ donation and transplantation in the UK and Germany.

Project Description
The Ethics of Exchange: the regulation of Organ Donation and Transplantation is an exciting new research project led by Dr. Farrah Raza that combines doctrinal legal methods and medical anthropology to uncover how the law on organ donation and transplantation is negotiated in practice in two jurisdictions with different regulations. The guiding question of the project is how various actors make decisions about organ donation and transplantation in different sets of cases. This includes how hospitals and specialist ethics committees devise policies and procedures, how clinicians engage with patients and their families in decision-making and understanding the role of religious and cultural norms in obtaining consent. The aim of the project is to provide a detailed account of how the different layers of decision-making in organ donation and transplantation intermesh within the clinical setting. The project will consist of two key inter-related workstreams. The first workstream The Procedures and Substance of Hospital Ethics Committees and decision-making in Organ Donation and Transplantation will focus on the emergence and application of ethical frameworks and norms in practice. The second workstream Religion, Culture and Minority Rights in Organ Donation and Transplantation will focus on how religious and cultural diversity is accommodated in clinical decision-making. (for further information see:

Essential Duties & Responsibilities
The essential duty of the PhD student will be to develop, write and submit a PhD dissertation on a subject of relevance to the research group project. This should include a substantial period of ethnographic fieldwork in the UK or Germany at relevant hospitals and/or appropriate research sites. The PhD student will be encouraged to develop his/her own project in collaboration with the Project Leader in order to achieve a coherent and comparative approach to the research questions. The PhD student will be expected to contribute to project outputs such as publications and conferences.

Your Profile
Applicants should hold an advanced degree in Law. Excellent academic writing and communication skills in English/German are essential.
Prior field experience in the designated region and knowledge of additional relevant local languages are desirable. Brief research proposals (maximum 2 pages) should be attached; successful applicants are expected to be ready to modify details of their proposal when the research group is consolidated. The research proposal should outline how the proposed topic fits within either one or both of the workstreams.

Our Offer
The PhD positions are awarded for three years, with the possibility of two six-month extensions. PhD students are expected to complete six to twelve months of fieldwork as part of their studies. Employment will be on a full-time contractual basis. The workplace is Halle/Saale (Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany).
The Max Planck Society strives to ensure gender equality and diversity. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society is committed to employ more persons with disabilities and explicitly encourages applications.

Please submit your application electronically by 15 May 2021 following the link for vacancies on our homepage (under ‘Career’), or by going directly to the online application form using the link below.

Applicants should send the following documentation:

  • cover letter
  • CV including a list of publications
  • two-page summary of the proposed research, which should demonstrate clear links to the applicant’s previous work and qualifications and to the respective research field
  • copies of university degrees
  • names of two or three referees whom we may contact

Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Personnel Administration
Janka Diallo (

Informal enquiries concerning the position may be directed to Dr. Farrah Raza (
We look forward to receiving your completed online application.