PhD in sociality and social cognition in chimpanzees (Germany/Côte d'Ivoire) ~

26 de febrero de 2016

PhD in sociality and social cognition in chimpanzees (Germany/Côte d'Ivoire)

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.


We are offering a PhD position working on questions of sociality, incl. hormones, and social cognition in wild chimpanzees. The position will start January 1, 2016, and will require several prolonged field seasons (9 months each) at the Taï Chimpanzee Project, Cote d’Ivoire.

Our general interest is to understand the effects of sociality and social cognition on fitness in chimpanzees. We are looking at proximate mechanisms and at ultimate effects. We will accept proposals on any question in the realm of sociality and social cognition.

Qualification and requirements

MSc (or comparable degree) in Biology, Evolutionary Anthropology or Evolutionary Psychology. Good knowledge in evolutionary biology, animal behavior and ecology are crucial for a successful application. Previous observations and detailed behavioral data collection on wild mammals are of advantage. The PhD candidate will need to work independently in a remote and physically demanding tropical forest habitat. Good social skills are important to work and live amongst a group of international colleagues with different cultural backgrounds.
The successful candidate is fluent in French and English and has some management experience. Previous experience with field work will be beneficial to the application.

Salary / funding
Supported by a MPI EVA PhD contract. In addition the successful candidate will write a research proposal to apply for grant money.

Start and term of appointment

Starting January 2016, or as soon as possible afterwards, the successful applicant will observe chimpanzees for several field seasons in Tai. Tenure of the position is three years (+ one year extension).


Applications include a cover letter stating research experience, field experience and experience of managing field sites, a detailed curriculum vitae, a short research proposal and the names and e-mail addresses of three referees. The application documents should be sent electronically The evaluation of applications will start on December 1, 2015, and applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Contact information

Dr. Roman Wittig
MPI EVA, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
+49 341 3550 204

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.

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