Research Assistants (f/m/div) Interested in Pursuing a Doctorate

Research Assistants (f/m/div) Interested in Pursuing a Doctorate

Published Deadline Location
20 Nov 30 Dec Freiburg im Breisgau
The Department of Public Law at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law, in Freiburg im Breisgau/Germany (Director: Professor Ralf Poscher), is seeking to recruit several Research Assistants (f/m/div) Interested in Pursuing a Doctorate at the earliest possible starting date.

Job description

The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law (MPI-CSL) is a growing European center for research in public security matters, criminal law, criminology, and fundamental legal research. The Institute is part of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science – one of the world’s most distinguished research organizations. The high level of its fundamental research is reflected not least by the 30 Nobel Prizes awarded to Max Planck scientists since the Society was founded in 1948.

The research conducted across our three departments (Public Law, Criminal Law, and Criminology) is comparative, international, and interdisciplinary. The Department of Public Law’s research agenda addresses the preventive aspects of security-related matters. Besides theoretical and fundamental doctrinal questions, which are frequently of heightened relevance in security law, our research analyzes contemporary legal, technical, and social developments — internationalization, digitization, and fragmentation — along with associated normative challenges of danger prevention regarding fundamental rights protection, the rule of law, and democratic principles. With a world-renowned specialized library and excellent infrastructure, the Institute offers an ideal environment for legal theory and doctrine as well as empirical research.

The Institute, with its approximately 150 employees, is located in Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany), a dynamic university city with a 900-year history. The city in the trinational border region (Germany, Switzerland, and France) impresses newcomers with its high quality of life and international flair. Freiburg ranked third on Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2022” list of the top ten city destinations in the world.


Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law


The prerequisite for the position is a J.D., LL.M., or M.A. in law, the social sciences, or the humanities (for example philosophy) with top results. The ideal candidates should have research interests in the areas of public security law, fundamental aspects of public law, or legal philosophy and legal theory. Applicants are asked to attach a – non-binding – description of their research interests or a concrete research proposal (max. three pages) indicating how it fits the research agenda of the Department of Public Law. Excellent academic research and scientific writing skills are a must: please include copies of graded term or final papers with your application.

Conditions of employment

Our Institute offers unrivaled conditions for your research endeavors:

  • access to an outstanding specialist library (with approximately 500,000 volumes and 1,100 print journals) as well as
  • a comprehensive range of German and foreign case law and literature databases,
  • well-equipped workplaces, and
  • comprehensive administrative and academic support.

Collaboration with other doctoral and postdoctoral researchers and international partners at the Institute is a key element of our work.

Additionally, there are many opportunities for our researchers to design, convene, or participate in workshops, seminars, and conferences with world-renowned experts at both the Institute and as part of the Max Planck Law network – a framework of Max Planck Institutes engaged in advanced legal research. You can develop your own projects and launch your own research initiatives. All researchers at the Institute are given ample time to pursue their research, publish their own work, and to advance their academic careers. Whilst the position does not include teaching obligations, the Institute will gladly support you in gaining teaching experience.

The positions are limited to three years, with possible extension. Remuneration and social benefits are based on the German Civil Service Collective Agreement (TVöD Bund), pay category 13 (see The salary includes all mandatory social insurance contributions for health care, long-term care, unemployment, and retirement. The work location is Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany). We are committed to ensuring a positive work-life balance and offer flexible work options, including remote work (up to two days per week), as well as generous opportunities for personal and professional development, including free in-house German language courses. Employees have access to daycare places at a nearby childcare facility.

The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer and supports diversity in the workplace. Applications from disabled persons are welcome. We also aim to increase the percentage of female staff members in fields in which they are underrepresented and therefore expressly encourage women to apply. Applications are also particularly welcome from persons with backgrounds that have so far been underrepresented in science and research with regard to gender, age, professional and cultural background, family situation, sexual orientation, and nationality.


For information about our Institute, please visit our website at:

Additional information

Your application and further information

Your application should be written in either English or German and contain the following documents in this order:

  1. cover letter including your motivation;
  2. detailed CV;
  3. transcripts of your academic achievements at university and, where applicable, work certificates;
  4. description of your research interest or research proposal (max. three pages);
  5. copy of your best term or final paper;
  6. miscellaneous.

Please submit your application via the application button by the closing date of 31 December, 2023:

Questions may be directed to Dr. Annika Hampel, Recruitment Officer (email:; phone: +49 162 7437670).


  • Research, development, innovation; PhD
  • Behaviour and society; Law
  • University graduate
  • AT MPI 20231120


Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law

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Günterstalstraße 73, 79100, Freiburg im Breisgau

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 30 Dec 2023 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).