University of Bergen

Faculty of Psychology

The University of Bergen (UiB) is an internationally recognised research university with more than 14,000 students and close to 3,500 employees at six faculties. The university is located in the heart of Bergen. Our main contribution to society is excellent basic research and education across a wide range of disciplines.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow within Cultural and Cognitive Evolution (second announcement)

NB! Extended application deadline

The recently launched transdisciplinary Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE) at the University of Bergen invites applications for a position as postdoctoral research fellow in cultural and cognitive evolution. The postdoctoral position is for a period of 3 years, and formal appointment will be with the Department of Psychosocial Science at the Faculty of Psychology.


Faculty of Psychology offers professional education for psychologists, is responsible for the pedagogical traning of the University of Bergen’s own staff, contributes towards the pedagogical aspects of teacher training and offers degrees in a wide range of disciplines: child welfare, health promotions work, pedagogics, special education, psychology, work and organisational psychology, and speech and language therapy. The Faculty’s main focus areas in respect of research are connected with health, learning, development-related research and basic research in its widest sense.


About CoE schemas and SapienCE

The SFF programme, funded by the Research Council of Norway, gives Norway’s best scientists the opportunity to establish research centres in order to reach ambitious scientific goals within a defined period. The emphasis of these Centres of Excellence (CoE) is on long-term research goals that meet the highest international criteria.


The SapienCE Centre of Excellence, established in 2017 and directed by Professor Christopher Henshilwood, will focus on the behavioural origins of Homo sapiens in southern Africa between 100,000-50,000 years ago. The core research within the CoE is led by the Leader Group comprising five Principal Investigators and the Director. Our inter-disciplinary team of scientists—at UiB and at the facilities of our international partners—will integrate high-resolution records of early human cultural, social, technological, and subsistence behaviours with innovative geo-archaeological, climate, and cognitive data models. Together we aim to unravel where, when, and why early humans started to think and behave the way we do today. This holistic approach will provide ground-breaking insight into the diverse aspects of what it means to behuman.


About the position as postdoctoral research fellow

We are seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated cognitive or cultural scientist to contribute to our work on cultural and cognitive evolution.


The postdoctoral research fellow position will be under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Bender, who leads an interdisciplinary team working on the neurobiological, cognitive, and social processes involved in creating novel ideas, technological innovations, and symbolic behaviour. Specifically, we plan:


  • to compile a broad range of data across disciplines to assess the unique and shared characteristics of human cognition

  • to conduct in-depth analyses (e.g., on abstract reasoning, external storage of information, or the mechanisms and likely rate of cultural transmission)

  • to integrate findings into a detailed model of early human cognition and into a simulation of subsequent evolutionary changes.

The candidate selected for the postdoctoral research fellow position will develop and conduct innovative research on questions linked to this subfield, which will allow for a more robust understanding of which cognitive functionality would have been available in early humans. Furthermore, the fellow will—through collaboration with other researchers at the centre—help elucidate the crucial links between early human behaviour and cognition, environmental conditions, and climate. The position thus offers a unique opportunity for an early career scientist to establish a high-profile research portfolio and to contribute to findings that will fundamentally change how we understand the cognitive and cultural evolution of our species.


Qualifications and personal qualities

  • Applicant must at the time of applying have successfully defended their Ph.D. in psychology or a related field within the cognitive or cultural sciences
  • Expertise in at least one of the following scientific methodologies is required, and additional experience in a second one is highly desirable:
    • designing, running, and analyzing cognitive experiments, preferably including cross-cultural or cross-linguistic research methods
    • conducting anthropological and/or archaeological fieldwork
    • performing phylogenetic comparative analyses with Bayesian computational tools
    • cognitive modelling (e.g., with ACT-R)
    • agent-based modelling
  • A potential to publish high-impact articles is required.
  • The applicant must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, yet must also have the ability to cooperate with others. It is especially advantageous to have had experience in cross-disciplinary collaboration.
  • High proficiency in both written and spoken English is required.
  • Familiarity with research from the field of culture and cognition is required, and a detectable interest in topics related to the project (i.e. in social cognition, causal cognition, and/or numerical cognition) is considered an advantage.
  • Knowledge of relevant literature on cultural and cognitive evolution during the past 100,000 years will be considered an advantage (but is not required).

Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Research experience, ambitions, and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates.


About the position of postdoctoral research fellow

The position of postdoctoral research fellow is a fixed-term appointment with the primary objective of qualifying the appointee for work in top academic positions. The fixed-term period for this position is 3 years. Individuals may not be hired for more than one fixed-term period as a postdoctoral research fellow at the same institution.


Upon appointment, applicants must submit a project proposal for the qualifying work including a work schedule. For postdoctoral research fellow positions associated with externally financed projects, the completion of the project proposal for the qualifying work will take place in consultation with the project/centre manager. It is a requirement that the project is completed in the course of the period of employment.


We can offer:

  • A good and professionally challenging working environment
  • Salary at pay grade 59 (code 1352 / pay range 24, alternative 3) according to the state salary scale upon appointment. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 514 800. Further promotions are made according to length of service. For particularly highly qualified applicants, a higher salary may be considered
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • A position in an inclusive workplace (IW)
  • Good welfare benefits

Your application must include:

  • A brief account of your research interests and motivation for applying for the position. This should include a paragraph each on how the qualification criteria described above are met, and how the research interests pertain to SapienCE and the advertised position.
  • The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of these must be the main advisor from the PhD programme.
  • CV
  • Transcripts and diplomas
  • Relevant certificates/references
  • List of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)
  • Publications (as applicable)

Applications must be submitted to the University of Bergen electronically via JobbNorge by clicking on the “Apply for this job” link on this page. Your application, CV and attachments can only be submitted electronically via JobbNorge.


Please note that applications along with appended information and attachments linked to the application in JobbNorge will be evaluated after the closing date for applications. Attachments must be in English or a Scandinavian language, and any translations must be certified. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all the necessary information has been submitted by the closing date for applications.


It is particularly important that each of the attachments that are to be taken into account in the assessment is uploaded in full as an attachment to the application.


Application deadline: 1 October 2018

The application must be marked: 18/3281


General information:

Detailed information about the position can be obtained by contacting:


Professor Andrea Bender, Department of Psychosocial Science, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen,


The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.


The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions. Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant will be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.


Further information about the employment process can be found here

Søk stillingen

Om stillingen

  • Søknadsfrist
    1. oktober 2018
  • Arbeidsgiver
    University of Bergen
  • Nettside
  • Kommune
  • Arbeidssted
    SapienCE and Department of Psychosocial Science
  • Jobbnorge-ID
  • Intern-ID
  • Omfang
  • Varighet

Om søknader

  • Søknader for denne stillingen registreres i et elektronisk skjema på
  • Du må fylle ut: Akademisk CV
  • Vennligst opplys i søknaden hvor du først så stillingsutlysningen!

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