advancing cultural evolutionary studies

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Below you'll find a selection of job postings put forward by our community. To request we post a job here, email

Program Officer, Life Sciences — John Templeton Foundation

The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the biggest and most perplexing questions facing humankind. We support research and public outreach within disciplines ranging from astrophysics, evolutionary biology, and genetics, to philosophy, psychology, and economics. We encourage civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians, as well as between such experts and the public at large. In all cases, our grantmaking activity aims to spur curiosity and accelerate discovery, funding the best ideas and capitalizing on what we learn from them.

To advance the Foundation’s mission and strengthen our team, the Foundation is seeking a Program Officer for Life Sciences. The Program Officer will work with the Director of Life Sciences to develop new initiatives that advance current and future strategic priorities. They will also recruit and review grant proposals, communicate with applicants and grantees regarding the application and review process, and collaborate with our evaluation team to determine the impact of our grants.

Areas of Responsibility

  • Create new initiatives and programs, including in collaboration with the Director, Life Sciences, and Vice President, Natural Sciences.
  • Review and analyze grant proposals, prepare funding recommendations, monitor grant performance, and manage the Foundation’s relationship with principle investigators.
  • Evaluate the performance of grants and grantees in conjunction with the Foundation’s department of Planning and Evaluation, including on-site visits to active grants.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of strategic priority plans.
  • Communicate the mission of the Foundation both internally and externally, especially to researchers, academic institutions, and in related networking opportunities.
  • Identify and communicate with other funding agencies whose goals overlap with the Foundation’s interests in the life sciences.
  • Organize and participate in conferences, workshops, and symposia relevant to the goals of the Life Sciences department.
  • Participate in professional development opportunities.

Required Qualifications, Skills, and Abilities

  • Graduate degree in chemistry, biology, and anthropological or health sciences (Ph.D. or M.D. strongly preferred)
  • At least five years of professional experience in an academic setting
  • A proven track record of excellence in writing and editing program-related content, proposals, papers, and presentations
  • Skilled communicator able to work collaboratively with scholars and members of the academic community as well as in interdisciplinary contexts
  • Ability to communicate with scholars and members of the academic community
  • Ability to build relationships and to maintain professional networks
  • Ability to understand the Foundation’s mission and core themes
  • Highly organized with strong analytical skills
  • Pertinent travel is required

Preferred Skills and Abilities

  • Prior grantmaking experience
  • Strong personal interest in the Foundation’s mission and core themes
  • Demonstrated interest in at least one of the department’s current strategic priorities
  • Experience in interdisciplinary academic research at the interface of science and society

To apply:

To learn more about The John Templeton Foundation:

Assistant Professor in Social / Personality Psychology — Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health at York University | 1st November 2020

The Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health at York University invites highly qualified candidates to apply for a full‐time tenure‐track professorial‐stream appointment in Social-Personality Psychology, at the rank of Assistant Professor to commence July 1, 2021. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. All York University positions are subject to budgetary approval.

A PhD in Social and/or Personality Psychology at the time of appointment, with a specialization in Culture, a field of study that addresses important global issues including the psychology of racism, immigration, refugees, intergroup relations, social justice, and social policy, and a strong program of scholarly research is required. Applicants’ research statement should include information about how they have pursued or intend to pursue goals related to a reproducible and open science.

The successful candidate will be expected to engage in outstanding, innovative, and, as appropriate, externally funded research at the highest level.

Candidates must provide evidence of research excellence or promise of research excellence of a recognized international caliber as demonstrated in: the research statement; a record of publications (or forthcoming publications) with significant journals in the field; presentations at major conferences; awards and accolades; and strong recommendations from referees of high standing.

The position will involve graduate teaching and supervision, as well as undergraduate teaching and the successful candidate must be suitable for prompt appointment to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Evidence of excellence or promise of excellence in teaching will be provided through: the teaching statement; teaching accomplishments and pedagogical innovations including in high priority areas such as experiential education and technology enhanced learning; teaching evaluations; and strong letters of reference. 

A cover letter (please specify the title of the position you are applying for in the subject line of your email and in any correspondence), curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests including information about reproducible and open science practices, three reprints or preprints, and a statement of teaching, along with teaching evaluations (if available), should be uploaded into a single .pdf file and sent by November 1, 2020, to this email: Arrangements should be made for three confidential letters of reference to be submitted to the same email address and addressed to Chair, Social‐Personality Psychology Professorial Stream Search Committee.

More information here:

12-month Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Cultural Evolution, Centre for Culture and Evolution Brunel University London | 20th September 2020

A 12-month position is available as part of a grant “Sacred cures and scientific cures: Science and religion in the evolution of folk medicine” project led by Drs Mícheál de Barra and Aiyana Willard.

The post holders’ role will be to manage the development of a new dataset of early 20th century folk cures and running a series of large-N online studies exploring the perceived value of folk treatments for different diseases. These data will be used to test hypotheses about the functional role of religious and secular sacred folk treatments. Data management tasks will include developing a coding scheme relevant to the project hypotheses with the project PIs, managing coding and coders, developing and running online experiments, and data analysis. This represents an exciting opportunity to apply insights from cultural evolution theory to religious and health behaviour.

The post-holder would join the Centre for Culture and Evolution, a growing interdisciplinary centre focussed on the application of evolutionary theory to culture and cognition.

Please include one first-author paper or preprint that illustrates research skills or theoretical expertise related to the project.

Closing date for applications: Sunday 20th September 2020

More information here:

Centre for Culture and Evolution:

Director and Professor—Institute of Human Origins | 11 October 2020

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University invites applications for the position of Director of the Institute of Human Origins (IHO), with a concurrent full-time appointment as a tenured Full Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change. ASU serves more than 70,000 students across five campuses and has a rapidly growing digital immersion population. IHO is located on ASU’s Tempe campus, located within the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. The anticipated start date is July 1, 2021 (or before). IHO ( is a research center in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, integrating research with discovery to describe and understand the trajectory and timing of human evolution. To accomplish this mission, the institute integrates anthropological, earth, and life science approaches to answer these fundamental questions. IHO is one of the preeminent research programs at ASU and has achieved an international reputation through the science it conducts, the public outreach that it accomplishes, and the education of undergraduate and graduate students. The candidate will have a record of leadership skills, develop long-term plans and strategic initiatives for the institute, facilitate cross-disciplinary interactions within and external to ASU, lead fund-raising initiatives, and interface with external donors. The director serves as a member of the IHO Executive Board, external to ASU, which plays a major role in funding IHO programs, in generating other external funds through development activities, and in advising ASU on IHO strategy.

Minimum qualifications

  • A PhD in anthropology or other field related to human origins research; candidates in all areas of research specializations relevant to paleoanthropology will be considered, including, but not limited to, early hominin evolution, later hominin evolution, paleoecology, functional morphology, and other allied fields.
  • A scholarly record commensurate with a rank of tenured Full Professor (including scholars in non-tenure-track appointments and advanced Associate Professors)
  • Demonstrate ability to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds (e.g. faculty, students, board members, and the general public)

Desired qualifications

  • Demonstrate relevant leadership, administrative, and financial management skills
  • Commitment to developing donor relations and fundraising
  • Commitment to supporting justice, diversity, inclusion, and equity
  • Laboratory and/or field experience related to human origins research
  • Commitment to transdisciplinary research
  • Commitment to public outreach
  • Distinguished scholarly record

Questions about the position should be directed to the search committee chair at

For more information:

Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Birth Rites Independent Research Group
| 15 September 2020

The BirthRites Independent Research Group, hosted by the Department of Human Behavior, Ecology, and Culture at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, is seeking qualified applicants for a

Postdoctoral Fellowship on the theoretical modeling of demographic transitions.

The BirthRites research group focuses on the anthropology of reproduction and its implications for cultural evolution and demography. The group aims to draw together research practices from across the humanities and social sciences, and involves the combination of micro-level field research, comparative analysis, theoretical modeling, ethnographic, historical and conceptual approaches to reproduction. The overarching aims of the project are: (1) to better understand the relationship between culture and reproduction in the past, present and future; (2) to develop and test theoretical models grounded in cultural evolution and associated fields; and (3) to improve collaboration between the humanities and sciences.

The successful candidate will be expected to continue or develop a theoretical research program on the dynamics of human demographic transitions to low (and potentially also high) fertility, and to contribute expertise to the group’s goals. This will include models of both individual choices and population dynamics based on simulation, analytic, generative or other approaches to addressing questions about the origins, spread and maintenance of low (and high) fertility in diverse ecological and cultural settings.

The two-year position (with the possibility of extension) is expected to start in 2020. The salary, commensurate to experience, is according to the German public service pay scale (TVöD Bund).

The Max Planck Society wishes to increase the proportion of women; women are therefore explicitly encouraged to apply. We also explicitly encourage persons from underrepresented communities to apply. Please include a brief statement of how you can help increase diversity / representation in academia, and your interest or experience in public outreach activities.

More information here:

Please address questions and applications to Dr. Heidi Colleran:

All electronic applications received by September 15th, 2020 will be considered. Late applications will be considered only until the position has been filled.

Information on the institute is available at 

Information on the BirthRites research group is available at

Funded PhD in Cultural Transmission, Heriot-Watt University (UK) | 10 September 2020

Do you have an excellent MSc or an outstanding recent undergraduate degree, and are looking for funded PhD in cultural transmission? Dr Monica Tamariz has a project at Heriot-Watt University starting January 2021 on transmission pathways of political identity.

Social influences on political identity in individuals and populations. (Ref. SoSS-2020- 020)
Supervisory team: Dr Monica Tamariz & Dr Tom Farrington

Human behaviour is strongly influenced by socially transmitted knowledge, beliefs and values. The three classic transmission routes –horizontal (between age peers), vertical (parents to children) and oblique (experts to novices) – have distinct consequences: vertically and obliquely transmitted behaviours and attitudes persist for many generations; horizontally transmitted ones for only one. Social media, a new channel, adds immediacy and accessibility and thus transforms transmission. Political identities are in flux, with rapid changes and unforeseen events engaging some and bewildering others. This project will investigate how and to what extent transmission routes influence political identity. Using quantitative (surveys, experiments) and qualitative (focus groups, interviews) methods, and possibly computer models, the project may address, among others: transmission routes of different aspects of political identity (attitudes, beliefs, behaviour); effects of route on adoption and onward transmission; variation with age, gender, background etc. This project may inform social interventions, civic engagement, and social media regulations.

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Monica Tamariz (

For information on application:

More details here (Project G020):