06.04.2017 14:20

PhD position (E13 TV-L, 50%)

Faculty of Science, Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology

Funded (E13 TV-L, 50%) PhD position

testing great ape stone tool skills (Comparative Cognitive Archaeology) working on “Tools and Culture among Early Hominins" as part of the 5-year ERC funded project STONECULT.


Background: Cultural adaptations have allowed humans to colonise the planet. While discovering the roots of human culture has been described as one of the most important scientific questions of our time (Science, 2005, anniversary issue), it remains unclear when such forms of culture first arose in our lineage. Previous research has argued that similar social learning mechanisms underlie modern human as well as early hominin technology. But only the latter shows prolonged periods of stasis – suggesting the underlying mechanisms were different. A better model for early hominins might be living non-human great apes.


The PhD candidate will experimentally test the four genera of non-human great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans and gorillas) on various tool-use domains to investigate the necessary cognitive mechanisms involved in developing these skills.


Applicants should be interested in working in an interdisciplinary and dynamic team of international researchers from different academic backgrounds. The successful candidate will work within a large consortium, consisting of several PhD and Postdoctoral researchers. The PhD thesis can be written in English or German.


Starting date will be mid-July 2017 (preferably not much later). The employment (German pay scale E13 TV-L, 50%; 3 years) will be arranged by the administration of the University of Tübingen.


Disabled persons will be preferred in case of  equal  qualification.  The University seeks to raise the number of women  in  research  and  teaching  and  therefore  urges  qualified  women academics to apply for these positions.


Please read the full position information document before applying:


Applications should be addressed to both Dr. Claudio Tennie: c.tennie[at] and (in CC, simultaneously) Elisa Bandini: exb402[at]


Deadline for sending applications is 12.00 (midday, German time) 8th of May 2017. For further background information, see: and for any questions, please contact Elisa Bandini: exb402[at]