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Two-Year Postdoctoral Position: The Minds of Gods and the Socioecological Landscape

Aarhus Universitet (AU)

The School of Culture and Society at Aarhus University invites applications for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the study of religion. The position is full-time and is due to begin on 1 January 2021 (though the start date is negotiable).

Place of employment: The Department of the Study of Religion, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 3-7, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.

The university is keen for its staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified applicants regardless of their personal background.

Research context
This position is funded by an Aarhus University Research Foundation starting grant awarded to the supervisor, Associate Professor Benjamin Purzycki, at the Department of the Study of Religion.

Research and postdoctoral project
In spite of the continued growth in evolutionary and cognitive sciences of religion, little scholarly attention has been directed towards accounting for variation in religious expression among researchers who embrace discrete, quantitative methods. The field also lacks the kind of detailed, individual-level data about traditional, small-scale religious beliefs and practices that ground debates. This postdoctoral position will therefore involve contributing to designing a set of empirical projects to be executed cross-culturally, with a particular focus on understanding whether religious beliefs and practices of small-scale traditions revolve around particular social dilemmas. To facilitate discussion, applicants should be prepared to discuss aspects of scenarios detailed here throughout the application process: https://bgpurzycki.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/scenarios_doc.pdf.

Qualifications, job requirements and preferences
Applicants must hold aPhD or equivalent qualifications in anthropology, economics, ecology, biology, or any related field that addresses problems in the role religion plays in individual and collective wellbeing.

Applicants must also document:

  • a focus on religion with preference for small-scale societies
  • experience and training in quantitative research design and social scientific methods
  • fluency in written and spoken English
  • the ability to work collaboratively
  • a willingness to contribute to a vibrant, enjoyable and friendly work environment

Assets but not requirements:

  • appreciation for/familiarity with evolutionary game theory, human behavioural ecology, mathematical and agent-based modelling, and social learning
  • involvement in the cognitive and/or evolutionary sciences of religion

Applications must be uploaded in English.

Please note that only publications that are actually submitted with the application will be assessed; a list of publications is not sufficient. Applications that are not accompanied by publications will not be assessed.

References or recommendations should not be included with the application. Applicants who are invited for interview may be asked to provide professional references.

For further information about the position, please contact Associate Professor Benjamin Grant Purzycki (bgpurzycki@cas.au.dk). For more information about the application, please contact HR supporter Marianne Birn (mbb@au.dk).

Institutional context
The Faculty of Arts at Aarhus University is one of the largest environments for research and education in Northern Europe. We investigate human cultural and social forms of expression and practice.

See the School of Culture and Society at the Faculty of Arts for more information on its research activities.

Research environment
The Department of the Study of Religion at Aarhus University is recognised as a major hub for the cognitive and evolutionary sciences of religion and educates students at all levels. It prides itself on its friendly work environment. As the department is committed to transdisciplinary research, the intellectual atmosphere is enriching and vibrant. For more information, please see the department’s website: https://cas.au.dk/en/about-the-school/departments/the-study-of-religion/

Qualification requirements
Applicants should hold a PhD or equivalent academic qualifications.

Faculty of Arts refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities (the Appointment Order).

  • Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations.
  • Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities .
  • Further information on the application and supplementary materials may be found in Application Guidelines.
  • The application must outline the applicant's motivation for applying for the position, attaching a curriculum vitae, a teaching portfolio, a complete list of published works, copies of degree certificates and examples of academic production (mandatory, but no more than five examples). Please upload this material electronically along with your application.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here: https://talent.au.dk/junior-researcher-development-programme/

Faculty of Arts
The Faculty of Arts is one of five main academic areas at Aarhus University.
The faculty contributes to Aarhus University's research, talent development, knowledge exchange and degree programmes.
With its 550 academic staff members, 275 PhD students, 9,500 BA and MA students, and 1,500 students following continuing/further education programmes, the faculty constitutes a strong and diverse research and teaching environment.
The Faculty of Arts consists of the School of Communication and Culture, the School of Culture and Society and the Danish School of Education. Each of these units has strong academic environments and forms the basis for interdisciplinary research and education.
The faculty's academic environments and degree programmes engage in international collaboration and share the common goal of contributing to the development of knowledge, welfare and culture in interaction withsociety.

Read more at arts.au.dk/en

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at www.international.au.dk/

Application Deadline: 27-08-2020

Ansøgningsfrist: 27.08.2020

Placering: Aarhus Nordre Ringgade 1

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Aarhus Universitet (AU)
Aarhus Universitet (AU)
Aarhus Universitet blev grundlagt i 1928 og er i dag i den absolutte verdenselite på flere forskningsfelter. Aarhus Universitet (AU) er blandt verdens 10 bedste universiteter grundlagt inden for de seneste 100 år og har en lang tradition for partnerskaber med nogle af verdens bedste forskningsinstitutioner og universitetsnetværk.

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