Submitted: 16/07/2024
Department: Psychology
Institution: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Job type: Postdoc
Apply by: 13/08/2024
Application URL:

The Cognitive Evolution Group at the University of Michigan, led by Dr. Alexandra Rosati, invites applications for a postdoctoral research fellow in primate cognition and behavior. The position will provide a salary starting at $53,000 per year, and is benefits-eligible. The initial appointment will be for one year, with the possibility of extension for one or more years, dependent upon performance and funding.

Project overview
This position allows for flexible opportunities to work on research topics including decision-making, social cognition, comparative development, and/or relationships between cognition and behavior depending on the candidate’s interests and skill set. This includes data collection at sites with semi-free-ranging primate populations including monkeys and apes, as well as working with existing cognitive and behavioral datasets. See for more information about our current research.

Candidate qualifications
We are looking for candidates that are excited to lead behavioral data collection at domestic or international field sites, as well as work with existing experimental and observational datasets. Candidates should be motivated, organized, and comfortable in relevant field conditions; have good communication and interpersonal skills; and have quantitative and statistical skills or willingness to obtain them as relevant for their proposed projects. Candidates should be able to produce high-quality scientific research as well as present this work to the public at scientific conferences and in educational outreach contexts.The postdoctoral fellow will work closely with a team of students and collaborators, including colleagues studying wild primates. Fellows should be well-versed in comparative cognition, including experience designing and coding behavioral experiments with nonhumans, and have experience working in field settings or an interest in gaining these skills. Additional relevant skills could include experience with observational behavioral methods with animals; experience working with and analyzing large behavioral datasets; experience with biosampling methods; and/or Spanish or French language skills. We welcome applicants from diverse interdisciplinary backgrounds, especially those with a strong record of research on primate cognition and behavior. Applicants are expected to have met all doctoral requirements before the start of the fellowship.

Benefits of joining the project
This project will allow for many opportunities for postdoctoral researchers to develop an independent research program in primate cognition and behavior while contributing to one or more core projects in the group. The projects have opportunities  for collaboration with a diverse set of mentors, and professional development including strengthening technical skills, leading collaborative theoretical papers, and presenting at major conferences. As projects can involve a mix of cognitive, behavioral, and hormonal research, we hope that the fellow will therefore gain new skill sets depending on their particular interests.
Primary responsibilities include:
-Oversight of work at field sites; travel to off-campus (domestic and/or international) research sites for up to 6 months of the year is a core aspect of the position
-Planning studies and executing data collection with nonhuman primates, especially including cognitive experiments, but also potentially behavioral observational and/or biosample data
-Management of large cognitive and behavioral datasets, and overseeing statistical analyses of this data
-Overseeing and working collaborative with a diverse team including graduate students, undergraduates, and staff, including coordination with domestic and international collaborators
-Presenting scientific research at conferences and writing up material for scientific publications
-Designing and implementing educational outreach locally at field research sites

Required qualifications:
-PhD in psychology, anthropology, biology, or related field
-Experience conducting cognitive research with animals or humans; experience with non-human primates is preferred
-Willingness to work under field conditions; some prior experience in field settings is preferred for proposed projects where this is a core component of the research plan (such as work with chimpanzees at African research sites)
-Knowledge or willingness to learn management techniques for large datasets; statistical analysis skills (e.g., multilevel modeling); and statistical analysis programs (e.g., R)
-Strong communication and leadership skills, including working as part of a diverse team
-Proficiency in written and spoken English
-Willingness to learn or prior experience with observational methods and/or biosampling

Deadlines and other details
Review of applications will begin August 13 on a rolling basis, and continue until the position is filled, with a prospective start date between that time and Jan 2024. Any questions about the positions or application process can be addressed to Dr. Alexandra Rosati ( To be considered for the position, applicants should submit their application materials to Dr. Rosati. Please include:
-A cover letter of up to two pages describing research interests and goals; prior research experience; and suitability for the position
-A curriculum vitae
-Copies of up to two representative publications or other written work (such as published conference proceedings or manuscripts in preparation that can be shared)
-Contact information for at least two references who can supply letters of recommendation.