Bulletin Board

PhD Opportunities in Brunel University

Brunel University has a number of ESRC-funded MSc+PhD or PhD-only studentships available on the broad topic of health and wellbeing. Students with an interest in the cultural evolution of medicine / health behaviour are encouraged to contact Micheal de Barra or Matthias Gobel to discuss co-developing an application. We particularly interested in supervising projects examining health behaviour across cultures using theories from cognitive anthropology / cultural evolution. Methods may include laboratory studies, field work, transmission chain experiments, or natural language processing of health texts/corpuses. Illustrative topics include:
– How intuitions about biological processes shape health-related information sharing. (de Barra)
– How public trust in health care systems influences the cultural evolution of vaccine narratives. (de Barra)
– Health and well-being in organisational settings across cultures (Gobel)

Successful applicants would join the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies and the Centre for Culture and Evolution (CCE). The CCE is an expanding group with expertise in cross-cultural psychology, evolutionary psychology, and cultural evolution. Centre members explore the psychology and evolution of religion, ritual, dance, leadership, relationships, as well as health/medicine: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Centres/Centre-for-Culture-and-Evolution

Some practicalities:

– This scheme is competitive and applicants without a first class degree and a strong skillset or relevant experience are unlikely to be successful.
– Candidates are required to be UK residents, but there are exceptions if the students have advanced quantitative methods and data skills.
– The deadline for Brunel applications is likely to be in mid January and candidates are encouraged to contact Micheal de Barra (micheal.debarra@brunel.ac.uk) or Matthias Gobel (matthias.gobel@brunel.ac.uk) by mid December for an informal discussion about the applications.

Protolang 2019

The 6th edition of the Protolang conference series will take place in Lisbon, Portugal from 9 to 12 September, 2019.

Protolang 6 is organized by the Applied Evolutionary Epistemology Lab and the Primate Cognition Research Group of the Center for Philosophy of Science of the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon; the William James Center for Research of the University Institute of Psychological, Social and Life Sciences (Instituto Universitário de Ciências Psicológicas, Sociais e da Vida); the Católica Research Center for Psychological, Family and Social Well-Being of the Catholic University of Lisbon (Universidade Católica Portuguesa); and the Portuguese Association for Archaeological Investigation (APIA – Associação Portuguesa de Investigação Arqueológica).

The Protolang conference series creates an interdisciplinary platform for scholarly discussion on the origins of symbolic communication distinctive of human beings.

The thematic focus of Protolang is on delineating the genetic, anatomical, neuro-cognitive, socio-cultural, semiotic, symbolic and ecological requirements for evolving (proto)language. Sign use, tools, cooperative breeding, pointing, vocalisation, intersubjectivity, bodily mimesis, planning and navigation are among many examples of such possible factors through which hominins have gained a degree of specificity that is not found in other forms of animal communication and cognition.

For more info click here: https://sites.google.com/view/protolang-6/home

Psychology Doctoral Studentship – funding available from the University of Essex

The Department of Psychology at the University of Essex is looking for research students to apply for one funded opportunity leading to a PhD.

The award is a full Home/EU fee waiver, or equivalent fee discount for overseas students, living costs of £14,777 per year, a departmental allowance of approximately £500 per year to support your studies, and a total of £2,500 to invest in training including conferences and travel. Funding will be paid each year for three years of study.


To apply for PhD funding (for three years of study), you will need:

  • a high 2.1 or first-class undergraduate degree, or an MSc Psychology, or a related discipline, and
  • hold an offer of a PhD supervised by a member of staff in our Department of Psychology starting October 2019.

Application process and deadlines

To begin, get in touch with a potential supervisor to discuss your application. Once you have agreement from a supervisor, make a formal application for PhD study online:

The deadline for applying for PhD study is 15 January 2019.

In addition, to apply for funding, complete our online form online:

Applications for the University of Essex Psychology Doctoral Scholarship close on 4 February 2019.

More information » here.

Committee members required!

EHBEA does these things:

  • finds hosts for the annual EHBEA conference
  • awards the EHBEA New Investigator Award
  • fund workshops and student grants
  • act as info forum for the EHB research community in Europe
  • other useful things

In order to do these things EHBEA needs a committee. There are four steering committee members and four other committee members. Each committee member is elected for a three-year term.

Two positions are up for election this year, to take up their position in April 2019:

  1. President (SC) (outgoing: Ruth Mace)
  2. Secretary (SC) (outgoing: Ian Rickard)

Please do consider standing for one of these positions if you would like to support your society and have a say in its future directions. Or why not ask someone else if they have considered standing? You could nominate them. Either way, hard-working and dedicated people are needed to help EHBEA work and grow into the future, and perhaps you or someone you know could be one of them?

The nomination deadline is 30/11. Members have received a nomination form in their email a few weeks ago. If you have joined recently, get in touch to be sent a form. Any questions? Please email Ian on ehbea.secretary@gmail.com

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Research Collaboration Opportunity

We are 40+ researchers from varying institutions around the world (mainly Western Europe, some with access to non-WEIRD samples) who would be willing to collect data for a study that is relevant for the field of human behavior and evolution. The study could be a replication of an influential finding, or a novel study investigating a question that is of general interest to the field. It should be possible to run the study in the lab (max. 30 minutes) without any specialized equipment or software.

If you are interested in using our network to coordinate a collaborative multi-lab project, please contact Bastian Jaeger (b.jaeger@uvt.nl) with the following information:

(1)   a short description of the research question and hypothesis and why it is of special importance to the field,

(2)   the name of the original paper (in case it is a replication),

(3)   the expected length of the study, and

(4)   what materials would be required.

Let me know if you have questions about our participant pools or anything else. In case multiple researchers are interested in using the available capacities, we will try to combine the studies into one study package that is administered simultaneously. Otherwise, the participating researchers will vote on which project to carry out.

*** You can also contact me if you are interested in contributing to this project by collecting data for a study proposed by somebody else ***

Aleksandra­ Szymkow (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities), Bastian Jaeger (Tilburg University), Ben Jones (University of Glasgow), Christoph Schild (University of Copenhagen), Curtis Atkisson (UC Davis), Daniel Farrelly (Unicersity of Worcester), Daniel Nettle (Newcastle University), Dirk van Rooy (Australian National University), Emily Emmott (University College London), Emma Henderson (Kingston University), Eric Schniter (Chapman University), Florian van Leeuwen (Tilburg University), John Komar (Nanyang Technological University), Jonathan Schukz (Harvard University), Jordann Brandner (Kansas State University), Josh Ackerman (University of Michigan), Julia Jünger (University of Göttingen), Julie Driebe (University of Göttingen), Koko Ikeda (Chukyo University), Lars Penke (University of Göttingen), Lisa DeBruine (University of Glasgow), Manpal Bhogal (University of Wolverhampton), Meesha Warmington (University of Sheffield), Miguel A. Vadillo (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), Monica Koehn (Western Sydney University), Natalia Dutra (Durham University), Nathan Dhaliwal (University of British Columbia), Nicholas Grebe (Duke University), Olmo van den Akker (Tilburg University), Paula Sterkenburg (VU Amsterdam), Rhea Howard (Harvard University), Rita McNamara (Victoria University of Wellington), Ruben Arslan (Max Planck Institute for Human Development), Ryan Schacht (East Carolina University), Adil Saribay (Bogazici University), Shannon McCutcheon (Colorado State University), Simon Columbus (VU Amsterdam), Tanja Gerlach (University of Göttingen), Thomas Richardson (University of Manchester), Tobias Kordsmeyer (University of Göttingen), Victor Shiramizu (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte), Willem Sleegers (Tilburg University)

Student Research Grant winners

Thank you to all who applied for a student research grant this year – we were pleased to receive an unprecedented number of high quality applications (10 total) for projects spanning the wide diversity of interests of EHBEA members.

Congratulations to this year’s winners:

Carmen Granito
The impact of intercultural contact on pictorial style – The case of Aboriginal rock art


Karolina Milkowska
Disgust sensitivity in relation to phases of menstrual cycle and progesterone levels

Paid three-year fellowships at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris

The Cognitive Science Department of Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris offers paid three-year fellowships to international students interested in joining ourMaster in Cognitive Science, which offers interdisciplinary training in Linguistics, Psychology, Neurosciences, Cognitive Social Sciences and Philosophy.


The Department of Cognitive Science is part of the Ecole Normale Supérieure which is the world’s top institution for Nobel prize winners among its alumni (13 Nobel prizes, 10 fields medals). The Department of Cognitive Science is an exciting training and research environment covering the full breadth of human cognitive abilities, with over 60 Faculty working on four strategic research programs: 1. language and communication; 2. social and collective cognition; 3. perception, attention and consciousness; 4. decision making and rationality. These research questions are investigated using the concepts, methods and techniques from various disciplines, including analytical philosophy, linguistics, cognitive psychology, evolutionary biology, cognitive and computational neuroscience.


The fellowships include:

– monthly stipend: 1000 euros;

– possibility of subsidized housing;

– access to subsidized cafeteria (about 4 euros/meal);

-minimal tuition fees (about 500 euros/year).


These fellowships will be attributed on the basis of a competitive exam, known as the ‘ENS internationalselection’ taking place by Skype for the Sciences and in person for Arts and Humanities.

For more details (including eligibility), please visit:


Sciences application deadline:  October 19, 2018

Post-doc in Cultural Evolution, Text Mining and Social Cognition in Paris

one-year post-doctoral position in Cultural Evolution and Social Cognition is currently open at the Département d’Etudes Cognitives (DEC) of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. This project will be conducted under the supervision of Nicolas Baumard at the Institut Jean Nicod (IJN) and Julie Grèzes at the Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives (LNC).

Project summary:

The project aims to document the so-called ‘process of civilization’, the set of long-term psychological changes that occurred in Europe from 1300 to 1900. The project will study the evolution of emotional displays in European literature (novels, plays) from the late Middle Age to the modern times and will test whether economic development can account for the evolution of social preferences such as trust, morality and honor. More generally, the goal of the project is to test whether life history parameters (mortality, affluence, external threat) can account for psychological changes in history. We are looking for a postdoctoral fellow with a strong background in programming and data analysis.

Funding and salary:

The position is funded by a LabeX grant from PSL* Research University. The salary will be adjusted to the candidate’s post doctoral experience (start salary for a 1st year post doc: 30,000 euros/year net; 5 years of experience: 38,000).

Start date:

The start date will be determined with the candidate but will need to fall within the following range: 30/09/2018 to 01/01/2019.


– The candidate should have a PhD (or be in the final stages of obtaining such a degree) in Cognitive Science, Cultural Evolution, Economics or areas related to quantitative analysis of social phenomena.

– Experience with data analysis along with strong programming and statistical skills (matlab, r).

– Strong language and writing skills in English are required (note: speaking French is not required).

Please send a complete CV, a cover letter and contact information of two references by September 15th to nicolas.baumard@ens.fr and  julie.grezes@ens.fr,  and feel free to contact us for more information!

A special issue of Philosophical Transactions B

Royal Society Publishing has recently published a special issue of Philosophical Transactions B entitled Evolution of pathogen and parasite avoidance behaviours, compiled and edited by Cecile Sarabian and Rachel McMullan. This content can be accessed at http://bit.ly/PTB1751 and the articles at http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/373/1751

A print version is also available at the special price of £35.00. You can order online via the above web page (enter special code TB 1751 when prompted) or, alternatively, you can contact  debbie.vaughan@royalsociety.org