The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin (Max Planck Research Group Art and Knowledge in Pre-Modern Europe; Director: Prof. Dr. Sven Dupré) in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum (contact: Dr. Marta Ajmar, Head of Postgraduate Programme, V&A/RCA History of Design, Victoria and Albert Museum, London) announces one postdoctoral fellowship for three months between January 1 and December 31, 2014.

The tenure of the fellowship is to be divided between the two institutes: the first and third months will be spent at the MPIWG, the second month at the V&A. The fellow will be offered research facilities at both institutions.

Outstanding junior and senior scholars (including those on sabbatical leave from their home institutions) are invited to apply. Candidates should hold a doctorate in the history of science and technology, the history of art and art technology or a related field (junior scholars should have a dissertation topic relevant to the history of science) at the time of application and show evidence of scholarly promise in the form of publications and other achievements.

Research proposals should address the history of knowledge and art up to the eighteenth century (with a preference for the period between 1350 and 1750), and may concern any geographical area within Europe, and any object of the visual and decorative arts. Projects related to on going projects at the Max Planck Research Group Art and Knowledge in Pre-Modern Europe will receive preference. The proposal should make clear how the project would benefit from the resources and contribute to the research culture of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Visiting fellows are expected to take part in the scientific life of the Institute, to advance their own research project, and to actively contribute to the relevant project of the Max Planck Research Group Art and Knowledge in Pre-Modern Europe.

The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science is an international and interdisciplinary research institute ( The colloquium language is English; it is expected that candidates will be able to present their own work and discuss that of others fluently in that language. Fellowships are endowed with a monthly stipend between 2.100 € and 2.500 € (fellows from abroad) or between 1.468 € and 1.621 € (fellows from Germany), whereas senior scholars receive an honorary commensurate with experience. The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science covers the round trip travel costs from the fellow’s home institution and a round trip Berlin-London.

The Victoria and Albert Museum is the United Kingdom’s national museum of art, craft and design. It offers an encyclopaedic resource in its collections of the visual arts from Europe and Asia, of both historical and contemporary importance, and is a powerhouse of skills and expertise. Research relating to the arts and humanities takes place across the institution and is expressed in the form of gallery development, temporary exhibitions, books which range from the popular to the highly academic, journal articles, website material, conferences and colloquia. It supports collections-based research in all areas of art and design, ensuring that exhibition, publication and gallery projects are enhanced by the most relevant and up-to-date scholarship and benefit from appropriate academic partnerships and funding opportunities. The V&A houses the National Art Library, a major public reference library for art and design. Further outstanding expertise and resources relevant to the joint fellowship can be found in the V&A’s curatorial collections and Conservation department.  In close scholarly proximity to the V&A are other key ‘Albertopolis’ institutions dedicated to science, technology, art and design – the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, Imperial College and the Royal College of Art.

Many research projects are located in the Research department, which supports a wide number of exhibition research teams, a further group of scholars and the V&A/RCA Postgraduate Programme in the History of Design. It produces a number of publications and web-based outputs (Online Journal, Research Report, Research Bulletins) and oversees seminars and workshops to support the development of staff research and subject expertise. The Visiting Fellow will be based in the Research department and be expected to participate to the vibrant research culture of the department and the V&A/RCA History of Design community. S/he will be expected to contribute a research seminar during the period of the fellowship.

Candidates of all nationalities are encouraged to apply; applications from women are especially welcome. The Max Planck Society is committed to promoting handicapped individuals and encourages them to apply.

Candidates are requested to submit a curriculum vitae (including list of publications), a research proposal on a topic related to the project (750 words maximum), one sample of writing (i.e. article or book chapter), and names and addresses of two referees (including email) who have already been contacted by the applicant to assure their willingness to submit letters of recommendation if requested, to:

Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Max Planck Research Group Dupré – postdoc fellowship
Boltzmannstr. 22
14195 Berlin

(Electronic submission is also possible: [email protected]de)

by June 30, 2013. Successful candidates will be notified before July 31.

For questions concerning the Max Planck Research Group on Art and Knowledge in Pre-Modern Europe, please see or contact Sven Dupré (mailto:[email protected]; for administrative questions concerning
the position and the Institute, please contact Claudia Paaß ([email protected]), Head of Administration, or Jochen Schneider ([email protected]), Research Coordinator.

For enquiries concerning the Victoria and Albert Museum’s component of the fellowship, please contact Dr. Marta Ajmar, Head of Postgraduate Programme, V&A/RCA History of Design, Victoria and Albert Museum ([email protected]).

For more information about the V&A and its resources, visit the website (;;;;;