PhD candidate position in non-human primate vocal communication & cognition

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claudia stephan

Apr 5, 2024, 10:11:49 AMApr 5
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PhD position (TVL E13, 50% - 65% – for three years)

Topic: Non-human primate vocal communication and cognition

At the Friedrich – Alexander – University (FAU) Erlangen-Nürnberg, Department Biology, Division for Developmental Biology, we are currently looking for an enthusiastic and highly motivated candidate working on forest guenon vocal communication and cognitive underpinnings in a tropical rainforest habitat. After initial training, the project will require a total of approximately 12 – 14 months of fieldwork, split into 2 – 3 periods. In between periods of data collection in the field, training, supervision, and writing will take place at the FAU in Erlangen, Germany.

Qualification and requirements

The successful candidate will hold a MSc degree in a relevant field (biology, comparative psychology, anthropology or similar), will have a strong interest in animal behaviour and cognition, and possesses advanced scientific writing and data analysis skills including RStudio. Fluency in English and at least basic spoken skills in French are crucial for a successful application. Previous field experience, preferably in Africa, and team management experience are an asset.

During the data collection period the PhD candidate will work under remote conditions in a natural, tropical rainforest habitat with only very limited access to electricity and internet. Daily data collection will require walking several kilometres with recording equipment. Parallel to data collection, data processing and preliminary data analyses will be required in the field. Resilience to psychological and physical challenges, and the capacity to organise and to work independently, are crucial. Good social skills are required to work and to live with international students and local staff with different cultural backgrounds. Between periods in the field, the PhD candidate will receive further training in acoustic and statistical analyses as well as in scientific writing under supervision at the FAU in Erlangen.

The candidate might also be involved in teaching, like the supervision of students in the BSc & MSc degree courses.


Salary will be within the german TV-L E13 (50% - 65%, dependent on experience) for the duration of 3 years, including a budget for initial travel expenses.

Applicants should send a merged pdf file, consisting of a cover letter clearly stating how their experience and interest match required qualifications, a detailed curriculum vitae as well as the name and contact information of two referees to If available, exemplary proof of scientific writing and/or analysis skills will be additionally relevant.

Application deadline: 31.05.2024 or until the position is filled.

Expected start date: 1 August 2024 (negotiable).

Dr. Claudia Stephan
Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin
Department Biologie
Lehrstuhl für Entwicklungsbiologie

Staudtstr.5 / 91058 Erlangen
Raum: A2: Raum 02.126

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