The Language Development Department at the Max Planck Institute is offering a PHP/Drupal Developer position from 1st June 2018.


Job description

We are seeking an experienced PHP/Drupal developer to join an active team of scientists, developers and archivists working to build the MPI’s new Language Archive infrastructure.

The MPI’s archive comprises a huge and comprehensive set of linguistic data, a unique record of how people around the world speak in everyday life, and which includes collections that have been added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World register as documentary heritage of exceptional value to the world. The current goal of the Language Archive team is to develop a web-based tool that can be easily used from all over the world to assess and explore this data. The archive can be found here:

The new developer will primarily work on components in Drupal that interact with the data in the archive, either in terms of depositing new materials, or in terms of visualising, exploring, and analysing existing data. The deposit interface of the archive needs to enable scientists to archive their data in the most efficient way while still ensuring compliance to the highest archival standards. The exploration, visualisation and analysis parts of the archive should enable researchers to quickly find data of their interest, to look at different types of data within the context of the web interface of the archive, and to interact with analysis tools such as audio-visual recognition software.

The ideal candidate will enjoy the challenge of developing efficient and easy to use interfaces for large and sometimes complex data structures. Conceptualising these interfaces together with research staff and archive management is an important aspect of the position. The successful candidate will enjoy working in a research environment, together with international colleagues with a ‘can-do’ mentality.



  • A Bachelor’s degree in computer science or equivalent work experience
  • Experience as a professional PHP developer
  • Excellent knowledge of the latest web standards including HTML5 and CSS3
  • Experience in developing with JavaScript frameworks such as jQuery
  • Good English language skills, both written and spoken

The following would also be advantageous:

  • Experience in developing modules for Drupal
  • Experience with Solr
  • Experience with XML and XSLT
  • Experience in developing web applications for audio-visual media


Conditions of employment

  • Position available from 1st June, 2018, though start date is negotiable
  • Full-time position (39 hours per week) with a term of appointment of 5 years maximally
  • The salary is according to the German TVöD (Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst) and is classified in salary group 11/12 (depending on the experience of the applicant between
    EUR 3.168,10 en EUR 5.421,59 gross per month, based on a full-time employment)



The MPI for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen is the only research institute in the world entirely devoted to the study of language. Our goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.  We are situated on the campus of the Radboud University, and have close collaborative links with the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour and the Centre for Language Studies at Radboud University. We are part of the Max Planck Society, an independent non-governmental association of German-funded research institutes dedicated to fundamental research in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunities employer.

For further details please see our website:

Application procedure

Please send the following documents in a single PDF file by Monday 23rd April at the latest by e-mail to []:

i.        A cover letter outlining your motivation to apply and detailing how

you fit the requirements above;

ii.        A current CV, listing relevant experience;

iii.        The names and contact details of two referees.

Your application can be written in either English or Dutch but please note that the job interview will be held in English. Interviews will be held in early May. Please let us know any dates you will be unavailable for interview in early May.


For more information about the Language Archive project, and the role of the Developer within the Language Archive team, please contact the Scientific Director of the Archive: Caroline Rowland (

For technical questions about the skills and experienced needed for the post, please contact the Head of the MPI’s Technical Group: Reiner Dirksmeyer (