Submitted: 5 April 2023
Department: Technological Primates Research Group
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Job type: Postdoc
Apply by: 20 April 2023
Application URL:

Post-doctoral research position (m/f/d) | Primate Behavior and / or Primate Archaeology


Developmental and Evolutionary Biology & Genetics Behavioral Sciences Cognitive Research Job Code: FT-08-2023

Job Offer from April 04, 2023

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.

About the position

The Technological Primates Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig is seeking qualified applicants for a post-doctoral research position to study tool behavior in non-human primates. This is a full-time position for 2 years to start as soon as possible. The position is based in Leipzig, Germany. The salary is based on experience according to the German public service pay scale (TVöD Bund). In accordance with German labor laws, the position includes 30 days of holiday per annum, plus Bank Holidays and Christmas closure days. The position also includes an attractive pension proposition.

Our overall research focuses on technological evolution and the origin of tool use in our own lineage as well as non-human primates. We seek a scholar who is interested in the material evidence of behaviors across primate species. We are particularly interested in a candidate who can demonstrate a focus on the evolution of material culture in the primate lineage. We are specifically seeking scholars with a keen interest in exploring the origins of technology in both primates and hominins through behavioral observations, field experiments, and/or archaeological excavations. We are actively involved in field research on capuchins (Brazil), long-tailed macaques (Thailand), and chimpanzees (Ivory Coast) as well as archaeological research in Kenya.

Your profile We are seeking a highly motivated, innovative, and independent researcher with a documented research profile reflected in publications in international journals. The successful applicant has a strong background in at least one of the following fields: primatology, animal behavior, archaeology, cultural evolution, computational modeling or a related discipline. Applicants should show a demonstrable experience of field-related research methods and techniques. We are seeking candidates whose research interests are centered around exploring questions related to primate and hominin behavior, as well as cultural evolution. Candidates would use the modern primate tool record, along with archaeological evidence, to conduct research on the origins of technology. Our collaborative group aims to enhance our understanding of primate behavior, material culture, and cultural evolution by integrating archaeological data with behavioral observations.


- Conduct research on the record of primate tools, with a focus on their relevance for behavior and cultural evolution.

- Analyse and interpret assemblages of tools, and develop new analytical approaches for examining primate tool behavior.

- Analyse detailed and complex qualitative and quantitative data from a variety of data sets (both lab and field-based). Generate original ideas as well as build on existing concepts.

- Use computational statistics and modeling, demonstrating proficient knowledge of the R statistical language. Additionally, applicants should show a working understanding of other analytical techniques such as GIS software, as well as fieldwork techniques in either archaeological or primatological domains.

- Publish research findings in peer-reviewed journals, and present research at international conferences and other academic venues.

- Collaborate with other researchers, including anthropologists, archaeologists, and primatologists, to advance our understanding of primate tool use and cultural evolution

- Contribute to the development of new research projects and funding proposals through collaborative grant writing.

Our requirements

- PhD in anthropology, archaeology, biological science or a related field - Strong research record, with publications in peer-reviewed journals - Excellent analytical and critical thinking skills, with a focus on quantitative methods - Strong communication skills, with the ability to present research findings to both academic and non-academic audiences. - Ability to work collaboratively with other researchers, and also lead research projects independently - The position is full-time. The successful candidate will be based in Leipzig and will have access to state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and computational equipment.

The Max Planck Society and the Technological Primates Research Group are committed to equal opportunities, diversity as well as gender equality. We explicitly encourage individuals with disabilities to apply and welcome applications from all backgrounds.

How to apply

- Curriculum Vita - Cover letter (maximum 2 pages) including a description of research experience and interests. - The names and contact details of three references (who will be contacted in the case of being invited to interview). - Reprints of two selected publications or writing samples - Interested applicants should apply only via our online recruiting system.

A review of applications will begin on April 20th and will continue until a suitable candidate is selected. We look forward to receiving your application!

For further information (no application) please contact

Sophie Kaube Phone: +49 341 3550-300 Email: [email protected]

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