Frankfurt M.: Researcher (PhD Candidate) (m/f/d)

Max-Planck-Institut für empirische Ästhetik: Researcher (PhD Candidate) (m/f/d) music and eye tracking

Researcher (PhD Candidate) m/f/d

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

The Institute currently has a vacancy for a

Researcher (PhD Candidate) m/f/d

in the Department of Music

The PhD candidate will work on a research project related to the behavioral and neural foundations of aesthetic experiences, together with principal investigators Dr. Elke Lange and Dr. Lauren Fink.

The researcher will assist with several projects related to music and eye tracking, investigating a) which auditory features and cognitive states influence eye movement dynamics, and b) whether specific patterns of ocular activity can be used to predict listeners’ aesthetic evaluation of music. The studies will be designed as a series of laboratory experiments using an Eye Link 1000 tracker. It is also conceivable that eye movement activity data recorded in the lab may be compared with mobile eye-tracking data collected in the concert hall. In many of the planned investigations, the researcher will take primary responsibility for implementing the experiments and analyzing the respective data. Therefore, we are seeking a highly self-motivated individual who has sufficient knowledge of a computer programming language.

The PhD candidate should be highly motivated to work in an interdisciplinary team (including musicologists, psychologists, philosophers, anthropologists, and neuroscientists, among others), to program experimental tasks, conduct statistical analyses, and to write at least two first-author papers.

Further Qualifications:

  • MSc, MPhil, MA, or Diploma, preferably in Cognitive Science, Systematic Musicology, Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Engineering, Physics, or a related field
  • Excellent command of English, both written and spoken
  • Well organized working method, good communication skills, good team player
  • Proficiency in computer programming languages, preferably Python, MATLAB, R, and/or Julia
  • Knowledge of, or familiarity with, music theory, or a strong personal interest in it
  • Interest in the neural underpinnings of eye movements and/or motivation to learn
  • Beneficial but not required: Background knowledge of computational modeling, advanced multivariate statistical methods, and/or machine learning approaches to data analysis, as well as hands-on experience in conducting experimental research

The position is for a limited period of up to 3 years.
The ideal start date will be January 4, 2021. An earlier or later start date is open for discussion.

Review of applications begins on October 1, 2020 and will continue until the position is filled.

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

Your application:

Your application should include: your CV; copies of relevant degrees and/or certificates; a short summary of your Master’s thesis (one page); names and contact information of two references who have previously agreed to be contacted; and a Statement of Purpose that describes your academic preparation, interests, motivation for pursuing a doctoral degree, and your career goals. Please send these materials all together in a single PDF file, to:



Max-Planck-Institut für empirische Ästhetik
Grüneburgweg 14
60322 Frankfurt

Die Ausschreibung ist auch im Internet unter abrufbar.

Weitere Hinweise

Sie sehen ein Angebot des Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V., München. Das ZPID ist nicht verantwortlich für Inhalt, Aktualität und Gültigkeit des Angebots. Weitere Informationen können Sie beim Stellenanbieter erfragen.