Postdoc in the field of Cognitive and Evolutionary Science of Religion

Brno (CZ)
05 Dec 2017
End of advertisement period
28 Jan 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

POSTDOC POSITION in the field of Cognitive and Evolutionary Science of Religion 

Department   Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion – Faculty of Arts 

Deadline   28 Jan 2018 

Start date   March 2018 

Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic invites excellent scientists to apply for a 

POSTDOC POSITION in the field of Cognitive and Evolutionary Science of Religion 

The Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion (LEVYNA) at the Department for the Study of Religions and Experimental Humanities Laboratory (HUME Lab) at the Faculty of Arts are looking for a candidate in a postdoctoral research position starting spring 2018 (exact date negotiable). LEVYNA research centre is an interdisciplinary, collaborative team of experimentalists tackling the evolution and functioning of human cognitive mechanisms facilitating religious cognition, behaviour, and institutions. The HUME Lab research infrastructure provides a state-of-the-art facility, equipment and services for experimental research focused on a variety of aspects of the human condition, such as social solidarity, group hierarchy and group dynamics, emotional processing, empathy and trust. 
We are looking for a creative scientist who will use experimental approaches to tackle questions regarding the evolution of religion with a specific focus on religious intra- and inter-group dynamics. The questions we are asking pertain to mechanisms instilling long-lasting communal bonds, parochial prosociality, outgroup derogation and their use by various religious traditions. A successful candidate should have experience with combining humanistic understanding and experimental approaches to the study of religion, ideally by innovatively using physiological and behavioral measurements both in the laboratory and in the field. 
Duties of the successful candidate will include designing and executing experimental studies; managing data collection at various field sites; conducting statistical analyses and writing up research papers. Since this is a dual appointment between the LEVYNA and the HUME Lab, part of the appointment will be dedicated to the advancement of sociometric methods and to helping other researchers develop their ideas and instructing them in the use of physiological and behavioural measures such as heart rate or galvanic skin response. Previous work (preferably published) detailing the use of such devices and analytical skills is desirable. 
We offer work in a progressive, friendly, and radically interdisciplinary team open to creative approaches to the study of religion. The candidate will work under the supervision of Dr Radek Kundt. 
The successful candidate should: 

  • be a researcher who has received a PhD or its equivalent within the last 7 years 
  • be a researcher who has worked at least two whole years in the last three outside the territory of the Czech Republic in the field of research with a working time of at least 0.5 full-time equivalent, or who has been PhD student (or equivalent) abroad 
  • have a publishing record – in the last three years at least two publication outputs registered in the Thomson Reuters Web of Science, Scopus or ERIH PLUS databases and at the same time publications such as “articles”, “books”, “book chapters”, “letters” and “reviews”. The applicant must be the principal author of at least one publication (according to the subject specificity it may be as the first author, the corresponding/reprint author, or the role of the individual authors stated in the article). 
  • have experience working with physiological and behavioural measures and their analyses 
  • have experience in conducting experiments 
  • have experience with managing cross-cultural research 
  • have an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to research 
  • be fluent in written and spoken English 

The application should include: 

  • a CV including a summary of work experience, publication activity, involvement in research grants and further information proving the above mentioned 
  • a copy of diploma or similar proof of academic education 
  • a Cover Letter detailing previous and current work in the field of evolutionary and cognitive science
  • of religion and motivation for advancing this field using a combination of lab and field experiments 
  • contact information for at least two referees 
  • MU offers the opportunity to gain: 
  • an interesting job in a dynamically-expanding university area, including a fully-equipped behavioural laboratory 
  • diverse and challenging work in excellent research environment 
  • tenure track with an initial appointment for two years 
  • work in a professional team and pleasant working conditions 
  • interaction with leading scientists in an inspiring, internationalised environment 
  • a welcoming service for the successful candidate and his/her family 

Anticipated start date: The position is available from March 2018. 
The submission date is 28 January 2018.  
A review of applications will commence immediately after the deadline. Short-listed candidates will be invited for interview within one month of the deadline. 
Further information about: 

Please submit your application electronically via e-Application below and informal enquiries by e-mail to