Scientific Software Engineer (m/f/x)

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 01 Nov 2021

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

The Department of Neuroscience invites applications for a

As part of an externally funded project in collaboration with Dan Marcus, WashU, Sean Hill, CAM,; and members of the COGITATE Consortium, we are seeking a Scientific Data Engineer to contribute to the development of a generic, cross-domain metadata management framework to foster the reuse of open datasets as well as the reproducibility of cognitive neuroscience datasets, i.e., metadata describing the experimental context of studies employing fMRI, MEEG, and ECoG.

The successful candidate will also contribute heavily to the development of data infrastructure, including storage, streaming, and analysis tools for reproducible science based on the BIDS standard. Efforts will be devoted to develop tools for the efficient organization and exploration of raw and processed datasets. The position is ideal for networking in the open science community as it includes interaction with the open (neuro)science community; and it is a unique opportunity for someone to contribute to the development of open science and large-scale collaborations as well as to community efforts and dissemination.

Your Tasks:
  • Review of existing approaches and tools, requirement specification, conceptual design, blueprint of implementation, proof-of-concept application for cognitive neuroscience
  • Presentation and publication of results
  • Exchange and networking within national (NFDI, MPDL) and international (RDA, EOSC) initiatives
  • Developing, testing, and implementing scientific software, i.e., standardized neuroscience data acquisition, reproducible analysis pipelines, and data storage for open science building on the BIDS standard
  • Providing training and support for students and postdocs at various levels of competence in modern, high quality, open science / source coding practices
  • Providing support and training for data management
  • Interfacing with the Institute’s core IT team

Your Profile:
  • 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., data bases with SQL and MySQL) is preferred
  • Knowledge of relevant metadata standards and semantic techniques (including W3C,, RDF, JSON-LD, etc.) is beneficial
  • Interest in interdisciplinary projects and cognitive and systems neuroscience
  • Familiarity or experience with scientific research methods
  • High degree of self-organization and ability to work independently
  • Team spirit, reliability, and sense of responsibility
  • Fluency in spoken and written 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


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 neighborhood. You can expect a modern 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 the group of Dan Marcus and Sean Hill, as well as with researchers of the COGITATE Consortium (e.g., Christof Koch, Gabriel Kreiman, Ole Jensen, Sylvain Baillet, among many others), is possible.

The position will begin at the earliest on December 15th, 2021. 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.

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