Postdoc in Evolution & Ecology of Human Behavior & Culture Lab

  1. Postdoctoral Researcher for Templeton funded Adoption of new religious rituals project

[ versión en Español aquí 🇵🇪 ]

    • Project: Deciding whether to adopt a new behavior poses a challenge, particularly when it is difficult to verify the efficacy of that trait. New religious beliefs epitomize such a trait. Unfortunately, most accounts of religious changes are retrospective, and therefore cannot measure the social, strategic, and cognitive underpinnings of such cultural change. In a new project we remedy those short comings. We take advantage of a rare opportunity to study the development of a new religious ritual site in the Peruvian Altiplano where people began worshipping an apparition of Jesus, along with traditional Andean figures such as a stone toad, in 2014. We seek a postdoctoral researcher for this project to co-develop a regional and longitudinal project at this site.

    • Timeline: The appointment will be for 3 years if the researcher is able to start on Oct 1, 2022. There is some possibility to start later in Fall 2022, but it would cut down the total appointment time. Reviews will begin Aug 22, 2022 and will continue to be reviewed until Sept 22nd if unfilled by then.

    • Qualifications: This is an interdisciplinary project, so colleagues with many different skills can contribute. As such not all the following are necessary, but the ideal candidate speaks Spanish, has experience with mixed methods anthropological fieldwork, data management, and statistical analyses of these. Expertise in cultural evolutionary theory is a plus. As with most research positions, written and verbal scientific communication skills, interpersonal skills and a willingness to work in a collaborative environment are important. Candidate must have PhD by the time they take up the position.

    • Responsibilities: The postdoctoral researcher will be involved in all phases of the research process from planning up to writing up.

      1. Project planning

        • There is flexibility as to which projects the postdoctoral researcher wishes to lead. During the planning phase they will decide which research questions are of interest to them and help develop the materials and ethics applications for these.

        • Data documentation for previously collected data and preparing data documentation protocol for future data to be collected.

      2. Fieldwork in Peruvian Altiplano (during Northern Hemisphere summers)

        • Accompanying one of the field teams during regional data collection

        • Conducting some interviews, cognitive tasks, & coordinating games.

        • Managing one of the field teams data collection and ensuring data quality

      3. Analysis

        • Devising and implementing data analysis for subsets of data

        • Leading articles for publication

    • Benefits:

      1. Research and conference travel costs are covered by the grant.

      2. All postdoctoral researchers at UC Davis are represented by the UAW. For more information on salary and benefits see:

      3. Further information from the UC Davis Postdoctoral Scholars Association can be found here:

    • Application: Applicants should address any questions, or submit their materials to Receipt of each applications will be confirmed. Get in touch if you do not hear from me within a week.

      1. Cover letter (one page): explaining why you are interested in this position and what makes you a good candidate for it

      2. CV

      3. Names and contact information for three references familiar with your work. (letters not necessary)


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