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Population and Social Data Science Summer Incubator Program

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) is inviting applications from qualified and highly motivated students for a Summer Research Visit.

The goal of the Population and Social Data Science Summer Incubator Program is to enable discovery by bringing together data scientists and population scientists to work on focused, intensive and collaborative projects of broad societal relevance.

For a period of 3 months (June 1st – August 25th, 2023) participating students will work in small teams, with support from experienced mentors, towards a common research goal. For the summer of 2023, confirmed organizers and mentors include Diego Alburez-Gutierrez, Aliakbar Akbaritabar, Monica Alexander (University of Toronto), Ugofilippo Basellini, and Emilio Zagheni. This summer, the focus of the program will be on forecasting, and on leveraging online crowd-sourced data.

Participating students will be exposed to best practices across the social sciences and data sciences while contributing to a hands-on project experience. All participants will also have access to lectures and participate in other scientific activities taking place at the MPIDR. 
Applicants must be enrolled in a doctoral, master’s or undergraduate university program (at the time they visit the MPIDR). Selected candidates must obtain approval to participate in the program by their supervisor / administrator. The Incubator program values research teams that include early-career scientists from a range of disciplines and backgrounds, with complementary skill sets. Priority will be placed on bringing together a diverse pool of students. The total number of attendees will be defined based on resources and quality of applications. The mentors will provide seed projects and data ideas, with flexibility for students to put forward their own ideas as well.

Successful candidates will have demonstrated ability to work on research projects independently and in interdisciplinary teams, and interest in research problems related to both data science and the social sciences, broadly defined.  

Applications must be submitted online via this survey and include the following documents:

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Cover letter (Max 2 page)
    - Please state why you are interested in spending the summer at the MPIDR, and in which ways you would benefit from participating in the Incubator program.
    - Please articulate your research interests and briefly describe a project you have worked on, the motivation for it and your contribution. 
    - Please describe your technical skills, as well what you would like to learn over the course of the Summer visit.
  3. Names and contact information for 2 academic referees

In order to receive full consideration, applications should be received by January 15th 2023. Notifications will be sent out by March 2023. This will be an in-person summer program, and students will be expected to be in residence at the MPIDR in Rostock for the period of the research visit and to devote most of their working time to the collaborative research project during that period. Selected students enrolled in a PhD program will be offered reimbursement for travel costs to/from Rostock, and a stipend. Selected students who are not enrolled in a PhD program will be offered reimbursement for travel costs to/from Rostock, lodging in Rostock, and a per diem.

For administrative questions please get in touch with Beatrice Michaelis ( For scientific questions please contact Diego Alburez-Gutierrez [crowd-sourced data] ( or Aliakbar Akbaritabar [forecasting] ( 

The Max Planck Society values diversity and is keen to employ individuals from minorities. 

We are committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in our institutes and therefore encourage 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.


Information on data protection for applicants

Contact data of the responsible institution

Responsible in legal terms is the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. (MPG), 
Hofgartenstraße 8, 80539 München, phone: +49 89 2108-0, 

Contact data of the data protection officer 

The data protection officer of the responsible institution is Ms. Heidi Schuster, Hofgartenstraße 8, 
80539 München, phone: +49 89 2108-1554, e-mail: 

Purpose and legal basis of the data processing 

We process your personal data for the purpose of your application for an employment relationship, an  
apprenticeship or a trainee relationship. As far as your personal data are required for the performance 
of the application procedure, the legal basis for saving the data is Art. 88 EU General Data Protection 
Regulation, GDPR, in conjunction with § 26 (1) Federal Data Protection Act, BDSG. In case you have given 
additionally your explicit consent for the processing of your personal data for specific, optional 
purposes, the legal basis for this is § 26 (2) BDSG as well as Art. 6 para. 1a GDPR. A given consent can be 
withdrawn at any time, Art. 7 GDPR. Should it be necessary for legal prosecution, after the end of the 
application procedure, to store your data for a longer period of time this will be done to protect our 
legitimate interests in asserting or defending claims based on Art. 6 para. 1 lit. f GDPR. In addition, we 
check your required data against sanctions lists of the currently binding EU regulations. This is 
processing that is necessary for the fulfillment of a legal obligation (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. c DSGVO). 

Recipient of the data 

Your personal data will only be passed on to those internal departments that require this data to fulfil 
contractual and legal obligations, such as the personnel department, the department management, 
the respective interest groups. It will not be passed on to third parties. 

Storage period 

In case of a successful application, we transfer your data into your personal file and into our personnel  
management system. In the event of rejection, your data will be deleted at the latest six months after 
the end of the application procedure. If you give your explicit consent to the inclusion of your data in 
our applicant pool, they will be deleted after two years. If costs were reimbursed to you in connection 
with the invitation to an interview, we are legally obliged to keep the necessary accounting data for 10 
years. Within the scope of checking against sanctions lists, the respective legal periods are observed. 

Rights of the person concerned 

In general, you have the right of access to your data, Art. 15 GDPR, the right to rectification of inaccurate 
personal data, Art. 16 GDPR, the right to erasure of the data if they have been processed unlawfully, 
Art. 17 GDPR, as well as the right to restriction of processing, Art. 18 GDPR, and data portability, Art. 20 
GDPR. A given consent can be withdrawn at any time, Art. 7 GDPR. Furthermore, you have the right of 
appeal to the supervisory authority. For the MPG this is the Bavarian regional data protection 
supervisory authority (Bayerisches Landesamt für Datenschutzaufsicht), Postfach 1349, 91504 Ansbach. 

In order to assert your rights, please contact:  

Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Karolin Kubisch  
Konrad-Zuse-Straße 1, D-18057 Rostock, Germany