Head of Computing and Databases Services

The Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany (MPI CBS) is offering a position as

Head of Computing and Databases Services

The successful candidate will be responsible for strategic planning, effective organizing and managing of the scientific computing and databases service unit at a research- and data-intensive Max Planck Institute that produces, processes, and stores large amounts of data. The position is a central leadership position in the institute enabling it to achieve the fundamental scientific advances.

The successful candidate will, with the help of their team

  • direct and manage the computing and databases service unit (supervising 7 team members) to provide IT and data-related support to all members of staff, mainly earlycareer and senior researchers as well as directors
  • provide administrative and technical leadership in designing, developing and implementing computing services, facilities, and projects for the different needs of our researchers to provide fast, tailor-made, research-driven solutions; this includes Petabytes data storage, mail server, large LAN/WiFi, and a large amount of workstations
  • identify and pro-actively address the requirements of the different user groups at the institute related to hard- and software solutions including computing solutions, network and data storage; assist the users in determining priorities and timelines for the solutions
  • serve as a resource to members of staff in resolving technical problems and needs
  • direct and supervise all institute- and research-related computing services activities; develop and implement policies regarding the use of computer resources, and oversee the management of all software and hardware facilities of the institute’s computing services
  • oversee the design, implementation and documentation of custom-made software programmes tailored to the specific needs of departments and groups
  • regularly confer with group leaders and directors to determine programme intent, performance, output requirements and data collection, and collaborate closely with institute’s methods groups working on statistics and image analysis
  • design and manage databases, and develop and optimize computing methods for advanced statistical analyses of neuroimaging data and big data
  • select and test adequacy of commercially available software to address user’s needs
  • liaise and negotiate with third party providers; perform acceptance testing of softand hardware
  • liaise with other IT departments and IT groups in the Max Planck Society, particularly the MPCDF high performance computing facilities.
  • regularly provide users with training on technical material in areas of operating systems, networking operating systems, and other related mainframe and microcomputer software packages
  • ensure IT security and data protection requirements (GDPR), particularly related to personalized data


The position is highly quantitative and highly interdisciplinary. Qualifications include primarily a PhD in computer science or a closely related field, or equivalent training and experience; several years related experience; strong supervisory skills and a strong commitment to service and support; good written and oral communication skills in both German and English; and the ability to confer and consult directly with senior faculty research staff, students, companies and external partners on computing issues.


The position will be at MPI CBS in Leipzig, an internationally leading centre for cognitive and imaging neuroscience equipped with the latest 7 T MRI scanner, several 3 T MRI scanners, a 306-channel MEG, several TMS laboratories, tDCS, and several EEG systems.

The position is funded for 2 years with the possibility of a permanent contract. Remuneration is based on the pay scale of the Max Planck Society. 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.


Application is via our online system at http://www.cbs.mpg.de/vacancies/open-positions (subject heading: “HCD_20”). The application deadline is 03 August 2020.

Applications must include the following documents (in a single PDF file):

  • Cover letter and a 1-page statement on your vision of developing and supporting Computing and Databases Services
  • Curriculum vitae, list of publications (in academic journals or other media), examples of user engagement activities or larger scale IT/database projects (e.g. open source developments)
  • Contact details of three referees