Offer 88 out of 288 from 05/07/24, 10:50


Max-Planck-Institut für evolutionäre Anthropologie - Zentrales Bewerbermanagement

The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) in Leipzig, Germany, is a world-leading research institute investigating one of the most fundamental questions in science: What makes humans human? The institute brings together scientists from a wide range of disciplines who take an interdisciplinary approach to gain new insights into the history, diversity and capabilities of the human species.

Our gut microbiomes have co-evolved and diversified alongside us throughout our evolutionary history. They expand the range of foods that we can digest and train our immune systems to recognize pathogens. In the Social Microbiome Group (part of the Department of Primate Behavior and Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology), we study the gut microbiomes of our close primate relatives to understand the evolutionary context that has shaped our lineage’s history.

However, microbial sequence databases tend to be biased towards commonly studied host species such as humans. In baboons, for example, it is typical for only 10-20% of sequencing reads to match any entries in public databases, and for the rest to remain uncharacterized.

Research assistant position (m/f/d) for the Social Microbiome Research Group

Working field:

We seek a motivated student interested in joining our project to expand our microbial databases. The student will learn to culture and sequence bacteria collected from field studies of wild primates. After an initial evaluation period, it is possible to progress to an M.Sc. thesis.

References for further reading:

  • Manara et al. 2019. Microbial genomes from non-human primate gut metagenomes expand the primate-associated bacterial tree of life with over 1000 novel species. Genome Biology 20(299).
  • Goldman et al. 2021. Culture-enriched community profiling improves resolution of the vertebrate gut microbiota. Molecular Ecology Resources 22(1): 122-136.


  • Successfully completed Bachelor’s degree in biology, biochemistry, microbiology, or related fields.
  • Enrollment in a Master’s program at a German university in biosciences, life sciences or related fields
  • Experience with biological lab work (need not be specifically with microbiology).
  • Strong written and spoken English and the desire to work in a dynamic, international team (knowledge of German is not required for this position).

What we offer:

  • Research assistant (m/f/d) position, max. 41 h/month
  • An exciting and rewarding job in a young, scientifically oriented, international team in one of the most renowned research institutions in Leipzig
  • Access to state-of-the-art scientific infrastructure
  • Targeted and individual mentoring
  • The salary is €13.03 per hour.

How to apply:

Please upload your complete application documents, including cover letter, CV and relevant references, to our application tool via our career-website: