Ledig stilling ved Universitetet i Bergen

PhD position within Culture and Cognition / Cognitive Evolution at the SapienCE Centre of Excellence

Deadline: 10.08.2020

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 in Culture and Cognition / Cognitive Evolution at the Department of Psychosocial Science, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen. The position is for a fixed-term period of 3 years and is associated with an NFR financed Centre of Excellence, the Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE).

About the project/work tasks:

  • The SapienCE Centre of Excellence, established in 2017, focuses on the behavioural origins of Homo sapiens in southern Africa between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago. Its main goal is to unravel where, when, and why early humans started to think and behave the way we do today.
  • The PhD position will be part of the subgroup devoted to The Symbolic Mind, Cognition, and Social Organisation, an interdisciplinary team working on the neurobiological, cognitive, and social processes involved in cultural evolution.
  • Supervisors will be Prof. Dr. Andrea Bender and Dr. Larissa Mendoza Straffon.

The PhD project:

  • will be situated in the broader context of SapienCE research, which includes the environment and human populations of the African Middle Stone Age
  • should be guided by an attempt to connect prominent theories of cultural and cognitive evolution, human behaviour, knowledge transfer, and/or philosophy of mind to SapienCE-related questions
  • should aim to develop an empirical line of research to test the theoretical ideas

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • At the time of application, the applicant must hold a master's degree or the equivalent in psychology or a related field with a focus on cognition such as anthropology, biology, or the cognitive sciences.
  • 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:
    • designing, running, and analysing cognitive experiments, preferably including cross-cultural or cross-linguistic research methods
    • conducting anthropological and/or archaeological fieldwork
    • designing, running, and analysing fMRI studies
    • performing 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 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 479 600 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
  • Good welfare benefits

Your application must include:

  • A brief account 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 SapienCE 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 thesis or equivalent thesis.
  • CV
  • 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 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 and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

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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