Doctoral scholarship holder Behavioural Ecology

Updated: about 1 month ago

Department: Department of Biology
Regime Full-time

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The Department of Biology in the Faculty of Science is looking for a full-time doctoral scholarship holder in the field of Behavioural Ecology.


  • You will work actively on the preparation and defence of a PhD thesis in the field of Behavioural Ecology.
  • Project description : Aggression and signals used during aggressive competition (e.g. song, ornaments…) have historically been considered as characteristics of male animals. Conversely, female competitive traits are understudied even though there is increasing evidence that they are common across a wide variety of taxa. Using a population of individually-marked free-living songbirds, the aim of this PhD is to study the costs and benefits of female competitive trait expression within a life-history and behavioural syndrome framework. Observational and experimental approaches will be used to link aggressive traits to reproductive fitness and survival, and/or to study proximate mechanisms underlying variation in aggressive traits.
  • You will present findings at (inter)national meetings, and publish scientific articles related to the research project.
  • You will carry out a limited number of teaching and research support tasks for the Department of Biology and the Behavioural Ecology and Ecophysiology (BECO) group.


  • You hold a Master degree recognized by the EU (or you will have obtained it by the time you start to work) in Biology (by preference) or in Biomedical or Veterinary Sciences (provided you have a strong background in behaviour, ecology and evolution).
  • You can demonstrate excellent study results.
  • You are willing to apply for additional personal PhD grants (e.g. FWO Flanders).
  • Your teaching competences are in line with the University of Antwerp’s educational vision .
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies .
  • You act with attention to quality, integrity, creativity and cooperation.
  • You have general knowledge on experimental planning, data analysis and statistics.
  • You are solution-oriented and a critical thinker.
  • You have excellent writing and communication skills; excellent command of written and spoken English is mandatory.
  • You are strong in planning and organizing, you can work independently, as well as in a team.

What we offer

  • We offer a doctoral scholarship for a period of two years. Following a positive evaluation, the scholarship can be renewed once for another two-year period.
  • The planned start date is 1 January 2022 (with some flexibility).
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for doctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for Contract Research Staff (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will work in the BECO research group on the CDE campus in a dynamic and stimulating working environment. BECO is a highly international and competitive research group with a strong thematic focus on animal behaviour, considering all 4 major aspects - causation, development, function and evolution. Our research combines behavioural, evolutionary and ecological approaches involving longitudinal and experimental field studies as well as controlled experiments performed under laboratory conditions with state-of-the-art physiological, molecular and statistical techniques. We also focus on urban ecological and ecotoxicological research. The candidate will be able to obtain a variety of skills.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here .

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including 18August 2021 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments: a motivation letter including a statement of interests, your full academic CV including contact details of at least 2 referees and including a list of publications if available, a pdf or your Master thesis if available, and a detailed record of your study results (Bachelor and Master).
  • The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision has been made, we will inform you about the next steps in the selection procedure. Interviews with selected candidates are planned between 25 August and early September.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to . If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact prof. dr. Marcel Eens,

 The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity  and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.

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