Fully-funded PhD position at University of Zurich on hunter-gatherer tool use & culture
We are offering a 4-year PhD position in the Ape Behaviour & Ecology Group of the Department of
Anthropology at the University of Zurich (www.apegroup-uzh.com) to study hunter-gatherer material
culture in Central Africa.
The PhD candidate will work within the Comparative Human and Ape Technology (CHAT) Project,
which is funded through a SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship (‘Phylogenetic and Ontogenetic
Origins of Ape Material Culture’). The overall goal of the CHAT Project is to enhance our understanding
of the evolution of technology and to shed light on what made humans the uniquely technological
ape. This research will apply a comparative developmental approach (Koops & Sanz, in press), which
integrates the study of the development of tool use and object manipulation while considering the
influence of ecological and socio-cognitive drivers, across species. The CHAT Project compares
chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and humans. The research for this PhD project will focus on hunter-gatherers
and includes behavioural observations and ecological data collection.
The successful candidate will join an interdisciplinary team of researchers working on the evolution of
tool use and culture. Excellent collaborative, independent working and time management skills are
essential. Previous field experience (incl. behavioural data collection, ideally on humans) and French
language skills are required. Experience working in remote places under basic and challenging living
conditions is highly recommended. The Ph.D. project will require 18-24 months of field work in the
Republic of Congo, split into a number of field seasons.
Candidates should have a M.Sc. degree or equivalent, a relevant background in Biology, Psychology,
Anthropology or a related discipline, a strong interest in human/primate behaviour, advanced
scientific writing (in English) and strong data analytical skills (in R). Start of the position is 1 August
2022. The position is fully funded for max. 4 years.
Please submit your application as soon as possible in a single PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will
consider applications until the position is filled. Feel free to get in touch if you have any inquiries about
the position. Applications should include: 1) cover letter stating your motivation and how your
expertise fit the project (max. 1 page), 2) Curriculum Vitae, 3) copy of highest degree obtained, 4)
names and contact details of two referees, 5) reprints of 1-2 selected publications or writing samples.