Biological Technical Assistant

Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Seewiesen

Behavioral Sciences Microbiology & Ecology Neurosciences Physiology

(Job code Seew 09/2017)

Type of Job

Scientific and Technical Assistance

Biological Technical Assistant

Job offer from July 12, 2017

The Max Planck Institute for Ornithology (MPIO) in Seewiesen (located near Starnberg, about 50 km from Munich) is an internationally renowned research institution with more than 200 employees working in four departments and nine research groups. The research group of Comparative Cognition (Dr. Auguste von Bayern) runs a research station in collaboration with the Loro Parque Fundación (LPF) on Tenerife, Spain and invites applications for a Biological Technical Assistant.

The biological technical Assistant position, in part time (minimum 75%) or full time, is available to work in the research group of Dr. Auguste von Bayern at the Comparative Cognition research station on Tenerife, Spain. We are interested in the evolution and mechanisms of complex cognition in birds using a comparative approach.

Your tasks

The technical assistant will support the research team in carrying out cognitive studies both in the lab of the CCRG and in the breeding station of the LPF, and will also assist in the lab organization. The work will comprise several tasks and will vary. It will require planning, constructing and maintaining experimental equipment (woodwork, metalwork and working with Acrylics), setting up and maintaining technical equipment (cameras, touchscreens, sound recorders, lab computers and the internal server), data organization and programming software (e.g. for touchscreen studies) as well as websites. It will also include some basic animal care duties (our parrots require individual weight monitoring, feeding and enrichment), as well as training and monitoring new team members in lab maintenance and animal care duties. Potentially, it might also involve some practical/experimental work with the parrots, data analysis, preparation of public outreach videos/materials and preparation of tissue samples.

Your profile

You have a completed training as a biological-technical assistant or have a corresponding qualification due to your professional experience. Applicants should have technical and practical skills and a background or at least a strong interest in Biology and/or Computing Sciences. They have (or will shortly have) a completed degree in a relevant subject and ideally they have previous experience with scientific work/work with animals e.g. in animal cognition, avian neuroanatomy or analysis of animal behavior and/or programming.

A high level of responsibility/reliability, high self-motivation and ability to work independent and in a team is an absolute must. Additionally, flexibility, good time management and organization skills are required. We encourage people with a scientific interest to apply because involvement in the studies is possible. Proficient English is mandatory, additional Spanish skills are desirable.

Our offer

The starting date will be summer/autumn 2017 but no later than 30th of September 2017. The position is available initially for two years but can be extended subject to satisfactory performance. Remuneration is paid according to the collective wage agreement for the public service (TVöD) according to the qualification and the activity to be transferred, up to pay level 9A, either 75 per cent part time or full time. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Auguste von Bayern .

Your application

The Max-Planck society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

Deadline for applications: 1.8.2017. Please submit a cover letter (describing your interests, experience and goals), your CV, copies of degree certificates and a list of three references as one single PDF preferred via e-mail to or via mail to 

Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
Human Resources Department
D-82319 Seewiesen

Deadline for applications: 1.08.2017

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