25.08.2019 - 13:29
A  A

Positions available

PhD position in Cultural Evolution

The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology unites scientists with various backgrounds (natural sciences and humanities) whose aim is to investigate the history of humankind from an interdisciplinary perspective with the help of comparative analyses of genes, cultures, cognitive abilities, languages and social systems of past and present human populations as well as those of primates closely related to human beings.

A three-year PhD position is available in the Theory in Cultural Evolution (TICE) lab based in the Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI EVA) in Leipzig, Germany (https://www.eva.mpg.de/index.html).


We are seeking a student with a strong background in mathematics, physics, computer science, theoretical biology, or another quantitative field of study. The student must have a deep interest in cultural evolution, a desire to learn new skills, and a willingness to engage with field anthropologists in the department with a view to developing useful theory. However, we do not require prior experience in cultural evolution modelling. We will provide necessary training in the first months of the PhD adapted to the skill level of the successful candidate. The working language of the lab is English and German language skills are not required. MPI EVA provides German language classes.


Cultural evolutionary literature often suggests, or explicitly states, that humans have colonised much of the planet because of our unique ability to amass complex culture. However, we understand little about what the different roles of cultural variation, learning, and innovation might be in such adaptive processes. The successful applicant will develop mathematical and computational models of cultural evolution focusing on the process of cultural adaptation. Precise projects will be developed with input from the successful applicant.


Salary and working hours are in accordance with the funding guidelines of the Max Planck Society. Working hours are fulltime. 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.


To apply please send a C.V., covering letter and the details of two referees to Anne Kandler (anne_kandler@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]eva.mpg.de) by 12 August 2019.


For informal inquiries contact Anne Kandler (anne_kandler@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]eva.mpg.de) or Laurel Fogarty (laurel_fogarty@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]eva.mpg.de ).

The Max Planck Society is committed to equal opportunities and to employing individuals with disabilities and explicitly encourages them to apply.

We look forward to receiving your completed application .

We look forward to receiving your completed application at https://www.eva.mpg.de/ career .

Print view

Further information on the research agenda of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology is available on our website : www.eva.mpg.de.


Back to the list of vacancies