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Data Scientist or Scientific Software Engineer at the Max Planck Institute

7 March 2022

Are you passionate about open science? Do you thrive in a collaborative, team science environment? Have you worked with large, open databases and have experience with data architecture, data management and data release? Familiar with XNAT? And have strong coding skills, particularly in python, and know the difference between good/bad code? Do you consider yourself to be a leader and interested in making a significant contribution tow ards setting standards and best practices in open neuroscience?

If this sounds like you, then you may be the ideal candidate for the role as a Scientific Data Scientist with the COGITATE Consortium at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt, DE.

As part of an externally funded project with members of the Cogitate Consortium, we are seeking to hire a Data Scientist or Scientific Software Engineer, ideally one with a background in research data management (RDM), FAIR data, and database administration, who will contribute to establishing the data architecture infrastructure for open and reusable data, generate experimental code, and advance the development of reproducible neuroscience tools and processing pipelines in interdisciplinary research projects. The position will involve creating tools for the efficient organization and exploration of openly shared raw and processed datasets. It is also ideal for networking in the open science community as it includes interaction with the open (neuro)science community; and it will be a unique opportunity for someone keen to contribute to the development of open science and large-scale collaborations, as well as to community efforts and dissemination.

Your tasks
--Preparing and reviewing data for open share with the community;
--Developing, testing and implementing scientific software, i.e., reproducible analysis pipelines and data storage for open science building on the BIDS standard;
--Reviewing code for reproducible pipelines;
--Writing supporting materials and documentation for researcher end users;
--Assisting staff with parallelizing scientific software and in the use of cluster and cloud computation;
--Providing support and training for data management;
--Liaising between the lab and the Institute’s core IT team;
--Exchanging and networking within national (NFDI, MPDL, etc.) and international (RDA, EOSC, etc.) initiatives.

Your Profile
--Completed university degree in natural sciences, engineering, or similar field (e.g., mathematics, statistics, computer science, physics, informatics, neuroscience);
--Solid programming skills, preferably in Python and/or C++;
--Experience with Python libraries (e.g., NumPy, SciPy, Matplotlib, and pandas) is beneficial;
--Experience with software development (e.g., version control with Git) and data organization (e.g., databases with SQL and MySQL) is preferable;
--Very good knowledge of Unix operating system, shell scripts, cron jobs;
--Interest in interdisciplinary projects and cognitive and systems neuroscience;
--Strong organizational skills and ability to work independently;
--Team spirit, reliability, and sense of responsibility;
--High degree of spoken and written fluency in English; knowledge of German is a plus;
--Preference will be given to candidates with prior experience in any of these domains: BIDS standards, open science tools, neuroimaging techniques, and data analysis (especially fMRI and MEG/EEG) and/or XNAT.

Our offer
We offer an exciting interdisciplinary field of engagement in an international scientific environment. The Institute is located in an attractive location with excellent infrastructure in Frankfurt’s Westend neighbourhood. You can expect a modern, well-equipped workplace with flexible working hours (some remote working is possible) and the opportunity to participate in (international) conferences and project meetings. Further development of your personal strengths, e.g., through direct interactions with researchers forming part of the Cogitate Consortium (e.g., Christof Koch, Giulio Tononi, Stanislas Dehaene, Gabriel Kreiman, Ole Jensen, Sylvain Baillet, among many others) is possible.

The position will begin earliest on May 1, 2022 and is initially limited to 18 months, with the possibility of an extension pending funding approval.

Salary is paid in accordance with the collective agreement for the public sector (TVöD Bund), according to your qualifications and experience.

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 detailed CV (including details of your educational background and skills); a cover letter that explains why this position interests you and how your skills and abilities are suitable; copies of relevant degrees and/or certificates.

Please send these materials all together in a single PDF file, before April 1, 2022, by e-mail to using the code “TWCF Research Data” in the subject line.

Please feel free to contact Tanya Brown ( if you have any questions about the position.

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