The Comparative BioCognition Research Group (Prof. Dr. Simone Pika) of the Institute of Cognitive Science invites applications for 1 Research Assistant (m/f/d) (Salary level E 13 TV-L, 50 %) to be filled as soon as possible for a period until December 31, 2023. The excellent scientific environment allows for further scientific qualification off the job (e.g. German doctorate degree / PhD).


Description of Responsibilities: The position involves studying the communicative and social skills of bonobos (Pan paniscus) in the wild (DRC) to participate in the research activities within the EUfunded research project “Taking Turns: The ‘missing’ link in language evolution”. The project investigates whether cooperative turn-taking bridges the gap between the communication system of our species and our inarticulate primate cousins and whether pro-social behaviors drove its emergence. The project will address these issues through a comparative investigation of human and nonhuman primates (chimpanzees, bonobos, geladas, common marmosets) to explore the development, production and comprehension of turn-taking via systematic behavioral observations in natural environments and controlled experiments (eye-tracking) in captive settings.


Required Qualifications:

· Applicants are expected to have an excellent academic degree (Master/Diploma, or PhD) in Biology, Evolutionary Anthropology, Psychology, Cognitive Science or related fields and a good knowledge of animal behaviour, communication and cognition.

· Experience in the following areas is expected:

Carrying out field observations, behavioral experiments, and collecting systematic data on social living nonhuman primates,

salient expertise in conducting statistical analyses using R, LMM’s and GLMM’s), working and living under harsh conditions in remote areas (preferably Africa).

· Successful applicants will need to speak fluent French, would have excellent written and spoken English skills, be resistant to physical and psychological stress, have strong social skills, enjoy collaborative work and be able to work and live in an intercultural environment.


Extensive stays in Africa are expected to collect data on wild living bonobos in collaboration with Dr. B. Fruth, MaxPlanck-Institute of Animal Behavior (Germany), and Dr. M. Surbeck, Harvard University (USA).


Osnabrück University is a family-friendly university committed to helping working/studying parents and careers balance their family and work life. Osnabrück University seeks to guarantee equality of opportunity for women and men and strives to correct any gender imbalance in its schools and departments. If two candidates are equally qualified, preference will be given to the candidate with disability status.


Applications with the usual documentation should be submitted by e-mail in a single PDF file to Prof. Dr. Simone Pika () with a cc to no later than March 24, 2021. Further information can be obtained from Prof. Dr. Simone Pika ()