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How to Apply

To be considered for the position, applicants should submit their application materials to Dr. Alexandra Rosati ( Please include: a cover letter of up to two pages describing relevant research experience, research goals, and suitability for the position; a curriculum vitae; copies of up to three representative publications; and contact information for two references who can supply letters of recommendation. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Job Summary

The Cognitive Evolution Group, led by Dr. Alexandra Rosati at the University of Michigan, invites applications for a postdoctoral research fellow in primate cognition and behavior to begin in winter 2020. The position provides a salary of $47,500 per year, and is benefits-eligible. The initial appointment is for one year, with the possibility of extension for up to two more years, dependent upon performance.

This position is part of an NSF-funded collaborative research project focused on the origins of leadership in chimpanzees. The postdoctoral fellow will work closely with a team of collaborators, based at Tufts University and University of New Mexico, studying both wild and sanctuary-living chimpanzees in Africa. The ideal applicant will be well-versed in comparative cognition, including experience designing and coding behavioral experiments with nonhumans, and have experience working in field settings. Additional relevant skills include experience with observational methods with wild or free-ranging animals in natural groups; experience with biosampling and hormone assay techniques; and French language skills. We welcome applicants from diverse interdisciplinary backgrounds, especially those with a strong record of research on primate cognition and behavior. Applicants are expected to have met all doctoral requirements before the start of the fellowship.


  • Oversight of work at remote field sites; travel to African research sites for up to 6 months of the year is a requirement of the position
  • Planning studies and executing data collection with chimpanzees, including cognitive experiments, behavioral observations, and biosampling
  • Planning, running, and summarizing statistical analyses
  • Management of a diverse, international team, including graduate students and other research assistants
  • Meeting and coordinating with national and international collaborators
  • Presenting scientific research at conferences and writing up material for scientific publications
  • Designing and implementing educational outreach in Africa and the US

Required Qualifications*

  • PhD in psychology, anthropology, biology, or related field
  • Experience conducting cognitive experiments with animals or humans; experience with non-human primates is preferred
  • Be able to work under difficult field conditions; prior experience in field settings is preferred
  • Advanced statistical skills (e.g., multilevel modeling) and knowledge of statistical analysis programs (e.g., R)
  • Strong communication and leadership skills, including working as part of a diverse team
  • Be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Willingness to learn or experience with observational methods
  • Willingness to learn or experience with biosampling methods and hormone assays
  • Willingness to learn or French spoken language skills

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks.  Background checks are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.