New vacancy: Postdoctoral Researcher on the 'Ritual Modes' Project

The School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography
Centre for the Study of Social Cohesion (CSSC)


Closing Date and Time: 18 September 2020 (12:00 noon)
Grade and Salary: Grade 7 (£32,817 to £40,322 per annum)
Contract Type: Fixed-term (12 months)
Vacancy ID: 146863

We have an exciting opportunity for a Postdoctoral Statistician to join an ERC-funded research project led by Professor Harvey Whitehouse, Director of the Centre for the Study of Social Cohesion in the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford. The ‘Ritual Modes: Divergent modes of ritual, social cohesion, prosociality, and conflict’ project brings together an interdisciplinary team including anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, theoretical evolutionary biologists, and psychologists.

You will be responsible for testing theories pertaining to the evolution of social cohesion and social complexity using large datasets created by the ERC research team and its network of collaborators, including Seshat: Global History Databank. You will lead the effort to increase the size and scope of our datasets and, as part of a team, will be actively involved in analyses and publications testing hypotheses pertaining to the role of ritual in the evolution of social cohesion and social complexity using the full range of selected datasets. You will have the opportunity to contribute ideas for new research projects, develop ideas for generating research income, and present detailed research proposals to the research team.

You will hold a PhD in a relevant discipline, together with substantial knowledge of statistical techniques suitable for the analysis of large complex social science datasets. You will have experience of fitting general linear models to cross-cultural data using Bayesian approaches, as well as in-depth understanding of the different theories pertaining to the evolution of social complexity. You should have demonstrable knowledge of one or more programming languages used for implementing dynamical models, and the ability to manage your own research and administrative activities. The ability, experience, and interest in working with analytical and/or numerical models of cultural, social, or biological evolution are all essential, as are excellent communication skills. Programming skills in R, and/or an interest in theories relevant to the Ritual Modes project, would be desirable.

This is a full time, fixed-term post (12 months, with the possibility of extension).

The closing date for applications is 12:00 noon on 18 September 2020.

For a Job Description, and to apply, please visit the Oxford University Jobs portal. You will be required to upload a CV and supporting statement as part of your application. Please note all applications are to be made online.