ECDI is hiring!

Applications close 23 September 2021

The goal of this position is to advance our understanding of the evolution of cultural diversity in Melanesia, by developing methods to integrate the different data and models furnished by a wide range of disciplines, each giving us a partial insight into the region’s deep human past. The successful candidate will form part of a transdisciplinary team assembled as part of the ANU’s recently launched Evolution of Cultural Diversity Initiative (ECDI). 

The Evolution of Cultural Diversity Initiative (ECDI) is offering a Postdoctoral Research Fellow position for 3 years fixed term. This position offers an unrivalled opportunity to shape this initiative from the outset. It is open to postdoctoral level researchers, of any relevant disciplinary background but with an openness to transdisciplinary collaboration, able to advance this core goal.

We invite highly skilled researchers within any field relevant to the above problematic, with an interest in advancing the transdisciplinary goals of the ECDI in understanding the evolution of cultural diversity, using Melanesia as an initial test case. Backgrounds in Archaeology, Anthropology, Developmental Anthropology/Psychology, History, Human Geography, Linguistics, Evolutionary Biology or Philosophy of Evolution are all potentially relevant. But just as important as your skills and prior research in your foundation discipline are the boldness, clarity and commitment of your vision about how we might start putting these fields together to give a more complete and holistic account of the evolution of cultural diversity. Your starting point might be the mapping of linguistic or palaeobiological traits, the search for recurrent motifs in traditional hero myths, or the problem of how to match the units and time profiles of entities offered by language, population genetics, and archaeological remains. But wherever you are coming from, we want someone who can reach out and help join these fields together to generate a more nuanced and realistic picture of how the evolution of cultural diversity has unfolded.

The position is a three year fixed-term position (potentially extendable) at the Australian National University, to be based in the School of Culture, History and Language (CHL) in the College of Asia and the Pacific (CAP). The successful applicant will work with a vibrant team of researchers in a range of fields (those listed above) interested in developing synthetic approaches to the human history of Australia and Oceania, in close collaboration with the Evolution of Cultural Diversity Initiative.

Experience working with local/Indigenous communities in the Pacific region and/or Australia is highly desirable. Indigenous and Pasifika applicants are particularly encouraged to apply for the position. The successful candidate will join the multidisciplinary Evolutionary of Cultural Diversity team.

The position is located in Canberra with commencement at the beginning of 2022, and the successful candidate must be able to commence within a reasonable timeframe after that. While our intention is to open this fully to an international field of applicants, given the unpredictable situation with regard to Covid and border closures, we may need to consider existing Australian work rights at time of final decision-making.

To enquire about this opportunity, please contact Professor Nick Evans – E:

Details on how to apply here:

Applications are due by 23:55 (AEST) on 23 September 2021

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