Research Project Coordinator

Comparative Bioacoustics Group

Research Project Coordinator in Bioacoustics/Animal Behavior/Data Analysis
2-years full time
(Salary range: €38,811 - €51,377 p.a.)

The Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, is offering a Research Project Coordinator position in Bioacoustics/Animal Behavior/Data Analysis within the newly established Comparative Bioacoustics Group. The host research group, led by Dr. Andrea Ravignani, investigates the evolutionary bases of speech and music, mostly performing (non-invasive) cross-species behavioral research in seals, humans, and other mammals. Research in the Comparative Bioacoustics Group spans 5 main strands (see here for details). The group has an international spirit and is open to diverse perspectives and approaches.

Job description

We are seeking a highly motivated research coordinator to organize and help performing research on speech-like and music-like capacities in humans and non-human animals. The two main tasks of the candidate will be: 1) organizing the logistics of all the projects in the group, and 2) assisting with, and performing, behavioral experiments, audio/video analyses, data wrangling, and statistical analyses. There will also be opportunities to engage in hands-on behavioral work with animals. The position would suit a graduate with an interest in pursuing a research career in language, cognitive science, animal behavior, and/or cognitive neuroscience.


  • Overseeing and coordinating, together with the group leader, the different research activities in the group.
  • Organizing, storing and pretesting stimulus materials and audio/video data stemming from experiments.
  • Scheduling participants and running lab-based studies with adults.
  • Arranging seasonal projects with off-site animal facilities.
  • Helping in performing animal research, especially with seal pups.
  • Coding and transcribing observational and experimental data.
  • Data processing and data analyses.
  • Participating in scientific dissemination activities.
  • Assisting with everyday lab business, e.g. recruitment of participants.



The successful applicant will have as many of the following:

  • Obtained or shortly expects to obtain a MSc or MA qualification in Biology, Animal Behavior, Zoology, Ecology & Evolution, Statistics, Mathematics, Physics, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Experimental Psychology, Speech/Language Sciences, Computing, Engineering, or a related discipline involving the study of sound and/or cognition and/or behavior;
  • Notice, however, that motivation, curiosity, and interest in the research topic are much more important than the specific training during the BSc or MSc of the candidate;
  • Some knowledge of speech, bioacoustics and/or animal behavior, and familiarity with methodologies used in experimental psychology and/or animal behavior;
  • Affinity with or interest in animals, and potentially being comfortable around them;
  • Good written and verbal English; working knowledge of, or willingness to learn, Dutch is a plus;
  • Excellent social and organizational skills;
  • Willingness to travel in the Netherlands (especially Pieterburen and Maastricht) and abroad;
  • Experience with computer programming is an advantage, as is experience with the use of Python and/or R.


Conditions of employment

  • Position available from March 1st 2021, though start date is negotiable.
  • Full-time (39 hours per week) or part-time (24 hours per week) position with a term of appointment of 2 years.
  • The salary according to the German TVöD (Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst). Depending on interest and qualification of the candidate, the contract will be offered for a research project coordinator / research assistant position either full-time of part-time (classified in salary group E09b or E10, between €38,811 - €51,377 p.a. (including yearly holiday bonus), based on a
    full-time employment).



The MPI in Nijmegen is an internationally leading research institute studying how our minds and brains process language including their underlying genetic architectures and similarities with other animals. The institute has a multidisciplinary stimulating research environment, excellent facilities and computing resources. We are situated on the campus of the Radboud University, and have close collaborative links with the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and the Human Genetics Department of Radboud University Medical Centre. Nijmegen is a young, diverse and student-friendly city. We are part of the Max Planck Society, an independent non-governmental association of German-funded research institutes dedicated to fundamental research in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunities employer. Applications from women, people with disabilities and under-represented groups are particularly encouraged.

Application procedure

Please send the following documents in a single pdf file by e-mail to Lianne Peters (Secretary, Comparative Bioacoustics Group: lianne.peters [at] with subject ‘coordinator position CBA group: application. Please indicate whether we can keep your application details and personal information for up to 2 years, in the event that future positions at the MPI arise. Receipt will be acknowledged.

  1. A cover letter outlining your motivation to apply and detailing how you fit the requirements above;
  2. A current CV, listing relevant experience and containing a list of your publications;
  3. Names, email addresses and contact numbers of three referees who would be willing to provide letters of recommendation         

For informal scientific enquiries, please send an email to Andrea Ravignani, leader of the Comparative Bioacoustics Group (Andrea.Ravignani [at] with subject ‘coordinator position CBA group: scientific enquiry’. For general enquiries, please send an email to Lianne Peters (lianne.peters [at] with subject ‘coordinator position CBA group: general enquiry’. The job interview will be held in English. Short-listed candidates will be invited to participate in a skype interview.


Applications will be reviewed from September, 15th 2020 onwards until the position has been filled. The proposed starting date is March 1st 2021, but negotiable.

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