Postdoc in Cognitive Science

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 14 Apr 2023

The Department of Linguistics, Cognitive Science and Semiotics at the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University invites applications for a postdoctoral position in cognitive science. The postdoc position is affiliated with the EU ERC Consolidator project ‘The Evolution of Early Symbolic Behavior – eSYMb’ awarded to Professor Kristian Tylén.

The postdoc position is a full-time, three-year, fixed-term position. The position begins on 1 September 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The School of Communication and Culture is committed to diversity and encourages all qualified applicants to apply regardless of their personal background.  


The eSYMb project aims to establish a novel integrative framework for the investigation of early symbolic evolution, using records from archaeology in behavioural experimental investigations and computational modelling. Starting from the assumption that symbolic artefacts evolve adaptively over time to better fulfil their intended symbolic functions, the project investigates structural changes to symbolic artefacts and their cognitive implications to inform inferences about their past use. The project will thus establish transparent, data-driven methods and criteria to test concrete hypotheses about early human symbolic behaviour from archaeological sites across the world, focussing on the later part of human evolution (~150.000–12.000 years ago) based on measures critical to symbolic cognition and behaviour. You can read more about the project here:  

Postdoc position 

The successful applicant has a background in cognitive science, computational modelling, cultural evolution studies, computer science, digital humanities, computer vision or a related field. Your main task will be – in collaborations with the principal investigator (PI) and other members of the team – to build computational models (for example, neural networks of visual processing and/or agent-based simulations of social/cultural transmission) of the evolution of symbolic cognition based on cross-sectional and experimental data. The modelling will complement ongoing experimental work on human participants and primates, as well as archaeological fieldwork on cave art and theoretical work on human cognitive evolution.  


Applicants must have a PhD or be able to document equivalent qualifications in a relevant field related to cognitive science. Applicants must be able to document, relevant to the position:  

  • an internationally oriented research profile within one or more of the following fields: cognitive science, computational modelling, cultural evolution studies, computer science, digital humanities or computer vision, as documented by a PhD dissertation and/or research publications in relevant peer-reviewed outlets 
  • experience with computational modelling, programming and statistics 
  • experience in the self-directed management of research projects 
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills, in order to engage productively with collaborators from different disciplines both within the research team and with external organisations and institutions 

Furthermore, it will be considered an advantage if applicants can document one or more of the following:  

  • experience with modelling in a Bayesian framework (for example, probabilistic programming languages such as Stan, Turing or WebPPL) 
  • experience with the use of neural network techniques (for example, convolutional networks) to analyse visual data 
  • experience with agent-based modelling for the study of cultural evolution 
  • a track record of research publications of a high international standard commensurate with the length of the applicant’s academic career 
  • experience of participation in national and international research networks 

Please note that applications that do not include uploaded publications (maximum five) will not be considered. 

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