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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 in the Lab of Digital and Computational Demography.

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 30th, 2022), participating students will work in small teams, with support from experienced mentors, towards a common research goal. For the Summer of 2022, the Incubator will be coordinated by Rumi Chunara (New York University and Max Planck Sabbatical Awardee), Emilio Zagheni, and Ugofilippo Basellini. This Summer, the focus of the program will be on risk prediction models, including concepts spanning demography, fragility, and social vulnerabilities.

Participating students will be exposed to best practices across social 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 happening at MPIDR. 

Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program (at the time they visit MPIDR). 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. A number of mentors (with an approximate ratio of 3 students:1 mentor) will be solicited from MPIDR, NYU and other collaborators. The mentors, along with summer program coordinators, will provide seed project 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 social sciences, broadly defined.

Applications must be submitted using the following form and include the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Cover letter (Max 2 page)
    - Please state why you are interested in spending the Summer at 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.
  • Names and contact information for 2 academic references

In order to receive full consideration, applications should be received by January 15th 2022. Notifications will be sent out by March 1, 2022. This will be an in-person Summer program, and students will be expected to be in residence at MPIDR in Rostock for the period of the research visit, from June 1st to August 30th. Participants will be expected to devote most of their working time to the collaborative research project during that period. A hybrid approach will be considered in cases where travel is not possible due to extenuating circumstances. 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, a per diem, and lodging in Rostock.

For administrative questions please get in touch with Beatrice Michaelis ( For scientific questions please contact Emilio Zagheni (, Ugofilippo Basellini ( or Rumi Chunara (

Our Institute values diversity and is keen to employ individuals from minorities. 
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.


Data protection information 

The Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. (MPG) takes the protection of your personal data very seriously. In this privacy policy we inform you about the most important aspects of data processing in our recruitment and appointment process. 

1. Contact details of the individuals responsible 
The entity responsible within the meaning of the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the Federal Data Protection Act is the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. (MPG) 
Hofgartenstrasse 8, D-80539 Munich, Telephone: +49 (89) 2108-0, Internet:  

2. Contact details of the Data Protection Officer 
The Data Protection Officer at the entity responsible is Heidi Schuster, Hofgartenstrasse 8, D-80539 Munich, Telephone: +49 (89) 2108-1554, 

3. Purpose and legal basis of data processing 
The personal data provided to us by you in the application process will be stored and processed solely for the purposes of the application and appointment process of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. If you do not provide us with this information, you will not be able to participate in the application process. The legal basis for processing is Art. 6 para. 1 lit. b DSGVO (contractual basis) or § 26 BDSG 2018 (data processing to establish an employment relationship). 

4. Recipients of data or categories of recipients 
Employees of the hiring department have access to the data. Those forward the data to the selection committee formed for the respective application procedure and, if appropriate, to the Equal Opportunity Officer and the local works council. The selection committee may also include external reviewers to whom the data may be transmitted. A transfer to other third parties does not take place.  

5. Storage duration 
Your data will be stored until the end of the recruitment process or in the case of an unsolicited application until the end of the exploratory and, if applicable, appointment process. A longer storage takes place only if you have given us your consent. 

6. Your rights 
You are in principle entitled to information (Article 15 GDPR), rectification (Article 16 GDPR), erasure (Article 17 (1) GDPR), restriction of processing (Article 18 GDPR), data portability (Article 20 GDPR) and withdrawal of consent (Article 7 (3) GDPR). 

To claim your rights, please contact the 
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research 
Karolin Kubisch 
Konrad-Zuse-Straße 1 
18057 Rostock 

If you believe that the processing of your personal data violates data protection law or your data protection claims have otherwise been violated in any way, please contact the Data Protection Officer of the Max Planck Society at The supervisory authority responsible for the Max Planck Society is the Bayerisches Landesamt für Datenschutzaufsicht, Postfach 606, 91511 Ansbach.