Lab Manager

Job Code:

Job Offer from July 30, 2020

The Department for Sensory and Sensorimotor Systems of the Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics studies the processing of sensory information (visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory) in the brain and the use of this information for directing body movements and making cognitive decisions. The research is highly interdisciplinary, and uses theoretical and experimental approaches, including human psychophysics, and animal behaviour, imaging, electrophysiology, and computational modelling. Department website: www.lizhaoping.org

We are currently looking for a

Lab Manager
m/w/d 100%

to join us at the next possible opportunity.

The position
We are looking for an experienced Lab Manager to provide support to the Head of Department in strategic planning and management of the Department, the day to day operations of the Department, and to provide effective administration with a focus on facilitating successful research, finance and human resource issues.

Participation in research projects is highly encouraged and can be discussed.

This post requires a person with excellent interpersonal, organisational, and communication skills, with a proven ability to use tact and discretion, whilst remaining calm and able to manage multiple deadlines. The post holder must have the ability to use initiative and adopt a flexible approach to the work. Previous experience of working in senior administration, including Higher Education is essential. A scientific background and staff management experience would be an advantage.

Main duties:

  • Responsible for the day-to-day operations, organisation and supervision of a research laboratory under the direction of the Head of Department
  • Coordination of laboratory purchases and scientific equipment (including, if necessary, putting items to be purchased out to tender), control of delivery of supplies
  • Secure the installation, proper functioning and maintenance of equipment and inventories
  • Support of animal research projects (preparation of animal experimentation permit applications and animal data sheets) interaction and communication with scientists of the institute, the animal facility staff and the animal welfare officer
  • To co-ordinate and support the research activities of the Department and maintain an overview of activities
  • Management and organisation of projects ensuring all projects are on target and the work meets very high-quality standards
  • Anticipate problems and implement preventive measures when necessary
  • Manage and optimise website and wiki, ensure content is up to date and compile relevant social media content
  • Organisation of internal and external workshops and other events
  • Liaising with relevant administrative and academic staff within the Institute and neighbouring institutions to ensure the smooth running of the Department


Your profile

  • Completed university degree (Master’s level) in natural sciences and engineering (Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics, Electrical Engineering, Biology or a similar field), ideally a PhD. Highly relevant experience in an equivalent research institute can substitute for the scientific background
  • Several years of experience in working in Higher Education or similar education or research institutions with comparable tasks and responsibilities in international context
  • Good knowledge of lab techniques and equipment (visual displays, IT software/hardware, biology, electrophysiology, microscopy)
  • Proven knowledge of the academic working environment and its special needs, in particular, knowledge of national and international research funding programs, and of international collaborations
  • Familiarity with the use of content management systems, Microsoft Office and social media
  • Strong command of English and German (English is the primary language of the group, and therefore fluency in English is required)
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, team spirit and flexibility; expat experience of other cultures would be beneficial
  • Solution driven, organizational and management talent with the ability to help and direct others, pro-active and able to work independently, even under pressure and deadlines
  • Good organizational skills with ability to prioritize competing demands and to ensure deadlines are met


A good amount of technical prowess is useful due to the lab equipment upkeep portion of the lab manager's duties.

We offer
We offer highly interesting, challenging and varied tasks; you will work closely and collaboratively with scientists, students, programmers, administrative staff, and IT support to help achieve the scientific goals of the department. A dedicated team awaits you in an international environment with regular opportunities for further education and training. The salary is paid in accordance with the collective agreement for the public sector (TVÖD), based on qualification and experience and will include social security benefits and additional fringe benefits in accordance with public service provisions. This position is initially limited to two years, with the possibility of extensions and a permanent contract.

The Max Planck Society seeks to employ more handicapped people and strongly encourages them to apply.
Furthermore, we actively support the compatibility of work and family life.
The Max Planck Society also seeks to increase the number of women in leadership positions and strongly encourages qualified women to apply. The Max Planck Society strives for gender equality and diversity.

Your application
Your application must contain a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, and relevant certificates. Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.
The position is available immediately and will be open until filled. Preference will be given to applications received by 31 August, 2020. We look forward to receiving your application (including a cover letter, your CV, relevant certificates, and three names and contacts for reference letters) by E-Mail in PDF format (in one file) to: , where also informal inquiries can be addressed.

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