PhD position in the ERC-project QUANTA

Deadline: 15.02.2021

University of Bergen

The University of Bergen is a renowned educational and research institution, organised into seven faculties and approximately 54 institutes and academic centres. Campus is located in the centre of Bergen with university areas at Nygårdshøyden, Haukeland, Marineholmen, Møllendalsveien and Årstad.

There are five departments and two centres at Faculty of Psychology. Read more about the faculty and departments.

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PhD position

There is a vacancy for a PhD position at the Department of Psychosocial Science, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen (UiB). The position is for a fixed-term period of 3 years and is associated with the project "Evolution of Cognitive Tools for Quantification (QUANTA)", funded by the European Research Council with a Synergy Grant to Andrea Bender (UiB), Francesco d’Errico (CNRS Bordeaux), Russell Gray (MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig), and Rafael Núñez (UCSD).

About the project/work tasks:

  • QUANTA aims at reconstructing the origin and evolution of numeral systems: when and why they were invented, and how and why they diversified. The 6-years project with starting date in Sep 2021 is located at four institutions: UiB, CNRS Bordeaux, MPI EVA Leipzig, and UCSD. These will engage in frequent and close collaboration and exchange, including internships for all researchers at the other institutions.
  • The PhD position will be part of the UiB unit, devoted to the categorization and representational analysis of numeral systems.
  • Main supervisor will be Prof. Dr. Andrea Bender (UiB); co-supervision by a member of the team of Prof. Dr. Russell Gray (MPI EVA Leipzig) is possible.

The PhD project will …

  • focus on body-based systems for quantification (such as finger-counting)
  • involve compilation of data on the cultural diversity in these systems, their cognitive implications, and their co-existence with other system types
  • test hypotheses on the evolution and diversification of these systems

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • At the time of application, the applicant must hold a master's degree or the equivalent in cognitive or social science with a focus on cognition and/or cultural evolution, including psychology, linguistics, (cultural) anthropology, evolutionary biology, or a related field.
  • For admission to the doctoral programme, grade B or above for the master’s thesis is normally required.
  • The applicant must have experience with analytical methods, including at least one of the following methodologies:
    • cognitive experiments and/or anthropological fieldwork, preferably including cross-cultural or cross-linguistic research methods
    • representational analyses
    • cognitive or computational modelling
    • phylogenetic comparative analyses with Bayesian computational tools
  • The applicant must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, yet must also have the ability to cooperate with others. It is especially advantageous to have had experience in cross-disciplinary collaboration.
  • High proficiency in both written and spoken English is required.
  • Broad scientific interest beyond the applicant’s own field is expected. Familiarity with research from the fields of culture and cognition and/or of cultural and cognitive evolution will be considered an advantage (but is not required).

Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Research experience, ambitions, and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates.

About the PhD position:

The duration of the PhD position is 3 years. The PhD position is a fixed-term position. Candidates cannot be employed in a PhD position for more than one fixed-term position at the same institution. Applicants cannot already have a doctoral degree/PhD.

Research training

As a PhD Candidate, you must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree within a period of 3 years. When your qualification for the position is evaluated, you will also be evaluated for admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Psychology. You will find further information about the PhD programme at the Faculty of Psychology here.

We can offer:

  • Exciting development opportunities as part of your role in a strong professional environment
  • Salary at pay grade 54 (Code 1017/Pay range 20, alternative 10) in the state salary scale. This currently amounts to an annual salary of NOK 482 200 before taxes. Further promotions are made according to qualifications and length of service in the position. A higher salary may be considered for applicants with specialist education.
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Excellent welfare benefits

Your application must include:

  • A brief account (in English) of your research interests and motivation for applying for the position. This should include a paragraph each on how the qualification criteria described above are met, and how the research interests pertain to Quanta and the advertised position.
  • The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of these must be the main supervisor for the master’s (or equivalent) thesis.
  • CV (in English)
  • Transcripts and diplomas (higher education)
  • Applicants with foreign education must enclose certified translations to English or Scandinavian if the original Diploma and grade transcripts are not already in one of these languages. The applicants must also enclose a confirmation from NOKUT that the education is recognised to be in accordance with the Norwegian master’s degree. The review from NOKUT may take some time and the application should be sent to NOKUT as soon as you have decided to apply for the position. If no answer within the application deadline, please enclose documentation from NOKUT that they have received your application. Some qualifications from the Nordic countries, Lithuania and Poland are automatically recognized, please check NOKUT.
  • Relevant certificates
  • A list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list), if applicable.
  • Any publications in your name you want to be included in the evaluation of your application.

Please note that applications, along with the information and attachments linked to the application in JobbNorge, will be evaluated after the closing date for applications. Attachments must be in English or a Scandinavian language, and any translations must be certified. It is your responsibility to ensure that all the necessary information has been submitted by the closing date for applications.

It is particularly important that each of the attachments that are to be taken into account in the assessment is uploaded in full as an attachment to your application.

General information:

Detailed information about the position can be obtained by contacting:

  • Andrea Bender, Department of Psychosocial Science, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, [email protected]

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. People with immigrant backgrounds, gap in their CV and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position. Information about disabilities or gap in the CV can be used for registration purposes at the University of Bergen.

The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at all times.

For further information about the recruitment process, click here.

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