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.
The Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution (DLCE) at the Max Planck
Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) invites applications for a
three-year Postdoc and a three-year PhD position, associated with the project
"Evolution of Cognitive Tools for Quantification (QUANTA)", funded by the
European Research Council with a Synergy Grant to Andrea Bender (UiB),
Francesco d'Errico (CNRS Bordeaux), Russell Gray (MPI for Evolutionary
Anthropology, Leipzig), and Rafael Núñez (UCSD).
Deadline for applications is 1 September, 2021
The Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution aims to answer big
picture questions about human history. Our focus is on describing and
explaining the major patterns of linguistic and cultural variation across the
globe. We tackle these questions by developing novel language documentation
methods, global linguistic and cultural databases, and analyses using
evolutionary theories and computational methods.
QUANTA aims at reconstructing the origin and evolution of numeral systems:
when and why they were invented, and how and why they diversified. The 6-years
project with a starting date of September 1st, 2021 is an international
collaborative one located at four institutions: MPI EVA Leipzig (Germany),
UiB (Norway), CNRS Bordeaux (France), and UCSD (USA). These will engage
in frequent and close collaboration and exchange, including internships for
all researchers at the other institutions.
As a researcher in this project, you will have the chance to explore human
prehistory, to actively assist the development of new methods for quantitative
historical linguistics and typology, and to shed light on general processes in
the development of numeral systems worldwide.
Possible topics include:
The co-evolution of cognition and numeral systems
The co-evolution of different numeral system modalities (verbal, body-
based, written, and material)
Evolution of complex number systems
The role of social and technological in driving the evolution of numeral
A MA (for PhD applicants) or PhD (for Postdoc applicants) in
linguistics, cognitive science, evolutionary biology, computer science,
statistics, anthropology, or related field with an outstanding academic
Good computational skills with a knowledge of R, Python or other
Strong proficiency in both spoken and written English.
Strong analytical skills and proven self-motivation to complete
Strong team player qualities (you will work in an interdisciplinary and
international team where communication is crucial for the success of the
Research experience in the field of numeral systems is beneficial.
Full-time position, starting on October1st, 2021, initially limited to 3
years with the possibility of extension of 2 more years
Salary based on experience according to the German TVöD
According to German labor laws, benefits include 30 days holiday per annum
plus Bank Holidays and Christmas closure days as well as an attractive
An inspiring, international, interdisciplinary environment with leading
domain scientists at our department and in various Max Planck Institutes
Space, freedom, support and resources to do all the things described above
Please submit your application in English, including the following:
Cover letter, explaining research experience and reason for interest in
this project, along with a proposed research project (max. two pages).
Your CV and copies of degree certificates (Bachelor's/Master's/PhD
diplomas or transcripts).
Names and contact information (including e-mail and phone) for 2-3
For queries, please contact: email@example.com
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 online application.