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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

PhD Position in Interdisciplinary Project about Online Norm Violations

21.10.2019, by Tina Keil

Max-Planck-Institute for Research and Collective Goods, Germany; Application deadline: November 15th, 2019

The Max Planck Research Group headed by Anna Baumert at the Max-Planck-Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn, Germany, aims to fill a PhD position starting in February 2020. This Research Group is dedicated to investigate the psychological processes of bystander intervention against norm violations, also termed moral courage (Zivilcourage).

We are looking for a PhD-Student (75 % of pay group 13 TVöD Bund) within the interdisciplinary project “Personalized AI-based Interventions Against Online Norm Violations: Behavioral Effects and Ethical Implications“. This project is funded by the Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence at Technical University Munich, and will be conducted in collaboration with the TUM Chair for Cyber Trust. More information on the project can be found here:

The position

The successful candidate will investigate psychological and behavioral effects of AI- and human-based intervention against (online-) norm violations. The position further involves management of the research project and coordination of research activities in Bonn and Munich. The primary work place is at the MPI in Bonn. Short visits to Munich will serve to optimize collaboration.


  • Diplom, Master or equivalent in psychology with a background in social, media, or personality psychology
  • Strong quantitative skills
  • Mastery of the English language
  • Excellent organisational competences
  • Applicants are expected to be enthusiastic about the topic of bystander interventions against norm violations. They should be interested in psychological phenomena on the internet, have affinity to social media and be open for interdisciplinary collaboration with computer scientists at TUM. A background in research on prosocial behavior, social justice, morality, or online social interaction will be helpful, but is not required.

The PhD position is limited for a time period of three years (based on WissZeitVG), and paid according to TVöD Bund pay group 13 (75%). Funding for research expenses and conference visits is available. There are no teaching obligations. The successful candidate will be a member of the graduate school at TUM from where the doctoral degree will be awarded.

If you are interested in this opportunity and have any further questions before your application, please visit our Website for further details or contact Anna Baumert at

About the institute

The MPI is an interdisciplinary research institute with additional teams in Behavioral Law and Economics (Christoph Engel), Economics (Matthias Sutter), Cognitive Psychology (Susann Fiedler), and Sociology (Fabian Winter). The MPI is part of the research triangle in Bonn (together with the University of Bonn and the Institute for the Study of Labor, IZA), and researchers are encouraged to participate in joint seminars.

The Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods is an equal opportunity employer. Applications from women with the requisite qualifications and interests are particularly welcome. The Max Planck Society is also seeking to increase the number of employees with severe disabilities. Applications from such candidates will be given special consideration.

Please apply by November, 15th 2019. Submit your complete application (motivation letter, curriculum vitae, transcript of records) via:

We are looking forward to your application!