Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Exeter

Postdoctoral Researcher

University of Exeter, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Biosciences – Penryn Campus

Application closing date 09 December 2014

The College wishes to recruit an Associate Research Fellow to support the work of Dr. Thomas Currie. This John Templeton Foundation funded post is available from 1st January 2015 for 2 years, and is part of the project Axial-Age Religions and the Z-Curve of Human Egalitarianism, which is directed by Peter Turchin (University of Connecticut), Thomas Currie (University of Exeter), and Harvey Whitehouse (University of Oxford).

The project brings together an international, interdisciplinary team of anthropologists, economists, historians, archaeologists, and evolutionary theorists. This three-year program of research will test hypotheses about the evolution of religion and long-term patterns of social inequality in human history by coding a set of theory-driven variables, using the framework of SESHAT: The Global History Databank that is currently developed by interdisciplinary teams from across the globe. The successful applicant will work with historians, archaeologists and other relevant experts to help build a large historical database detailing our best current knowledge about the characteristics and functioning of past human societies. We will code data on religion, norms and institutions, and other aspects of historical societies in a form that will be suitable for statistical analyses so that different theories can be tested in a rigorous manner.

This post will focus on data collection and statistical analysis of variables dealing with social, religious, and political organization over the past five thousand years of global history. The successful applicant will be able to present information on research progress and outcomes, communicate complex information, orally, in writing and electronically and prepare proposals and applications to external bodies. The individual holding this appointment will have the unique opportunity to work closely with experts in world-leading centres for anthropological, archaeological, and historical research.

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD (or be nearing completion) or possess an equivalent qualification/experience in a related field of study and be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within established research programmes (relevant research areas could include, but are not limited to, economics, sociology, political science, anthropology, history). Applicants will be able to collate and code information from historical, archaeological and/or ethnographic material (generally secondary sources), and should have familiarity with quantitative and statistical methods suitable for analyzing these data.

For further information please contact Dr. Thomas Currie.

Full advertisement and details of how to apply are here.

Interviews are expected to take place the week commencing 15th December 2014 and interviews will be held via Skype.

The University of Exeter is an equal opportunity employer which is ‘Positive about Disabled People’. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented in the workforce.

Dr. Thomas Currie

Lecturer in Cultural Evolution

Program Coordinator, BA Human Sciences

Centre for Ecology & Conservation

College of Life & Environmental Sciences

University of Exeter

Penryn Campus, Cornwall

TR10 9FE