Research Fellow | Language, Cognition and Culture Lab

  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • Full-time
  • UoA Department Name: Psychology
  • Campus: Auckland City Campus
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term
  • Position Number: 55567181

Company Description

Ko te whare Pūtaiao | The Faculty of Science at the University of Auckland is the leading science faculty in New Zealand and one of the largest in Australasia and undertakes world-class research across the physical, biological and computational sciences.

Te Kura Mātai Hinengaro | The School of Psychology has international research leaders across a wide range of research fields, including social, clinical, developmental, behavioural, cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary psychology. We have other professional postgraduate programmes in applied behaviour analysis, and speech science.

Job Description

Te Whiwhinga mahi | The opportunity

The Language, Cognition and Culture Lab based within the School of Psychology are currently looking for a Research Fellow to join our team investigating how ancient and modern network connections shape the fortunes of nation states in the world today.

This is a full time fixed term position for two and a half years, funded by a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Grant. Opportunities for teaching and other professional development will be made available during the fellowship.

For more information on this role, please review the POSITION DESCRIPTION

Mō tō mātou rōpū | About the team

This research will be led by Prof. Quentin Atkinson (University of Auckland) in collaboration with Prof. Joseph Bulbulia (Victoria University of Wellington) and Prof. Russell Gray (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History).

Our work over the last decade has pioneered the application of theory and computational modelling techniques from biology to answer questions about the evolution of language and culture. This project’s primary objectives are the collation of data on network connections between populations from around the world and developing new approaches that use this data to predict a range of national outcomes.

More information about the research interests of the project leaders is available from our websites: -


He kōrero mōu | About you

Our ideal candidate will have a PhD in Psychology or a related discipline with experience in R and the use of Bayesian modelling tools and have a demonstrable research interest in modelling the evolution of language and/or culture.

Programming and database experience and a background in evolutionary approaches to human behaviour (psychology, economics or anthropology) is preferred.

Nga Pūkenga Motuhake | Important Skills

  •  Experience with R, Bayesian analysis tools, comparative phylogenetic methods
  • Track-record of published work in psychology or related discipline
  • Experience in engagement with open-science practices
  • Experience with analytic pipelines

Additional Information

Ngā āhuatanga kei a mātou | What we offer

We offer an opportunity within New Zealand’s leading University that will have a positive impact on the lives of students. We also offer:

  • Five weeks’ annual leave per annum
  • Up to 6.75% employer superannuation contribution
  • Over 300 different career development courses and programmes
  • Discounted parking and various leisure and recreation services
  • A diverse and inclusive working environment

For more information please visit Staff Benefits.

How to apply | Me pēhea te tuku tono

Applications must be submitted online, by the closing date of 2nd June 2021 to be considered.

Applications should include a cover letter; curriculum vitae including your research experience and interests, and a complete list of publications; and the names and contact details of three referees who have detailed knowledge of your academic work and achievements.

To discuss the role and the project in more detail, contact Prof. Quentin Atkinson [email protected]  Phone: +64 9 923 4316.

In accordance with our commitment to equitable recruitment, the University welcomes applications from all suitably qualified and experienced candidates. In response to COVID-19 the New Zealand Government has imposed a travel ban and are currently only allowing New Zealand Residents, Citizens and visa holders meeting a strict exception policy to enter the country, all of whom must currently enter Government approved quarantine for two weeks on arrival.

It is uncertain when these border restrictions will change, and this may impact the degree to which an off-shore candidate can engage in the interview process; or be available to commence in a new position. For more information and updates on the border restrictions visit the Immigration New Zealand website or the New Zealand Government’s official Covid-19 website.

The University is committed to meeting its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi and achieving equity outcomes for staff and students in a safe, inclusive and equitable environment. For further information on services for Māori, Pacific, women, LGBTQITakatāpui+, people with disabilities, parenting support, flexible work and other equity issues go to

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