Přehled

Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University announces an open competition for the position

Postdoctoral researcher in social psychology and social cognition

Department: Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion, Department for the Study of Religions, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University
Position: Researcher (R1/R2)
Work time: Full-time (40 hrs/week)
Number of open positions: 1
Expected start: 1 May 2024 (negotiable)
Deadline for applications: 26 April 2024 23:59 (CET – Prague)

We are seeking postdoctoral candidates with background in social psychology, cross-cultural psychology, cognitive science, or social neuroscience to join a highly interdisciplinary project on the computational model of religious decision-making. The Computing Religious Devotion project (CREDO; see https://www.levyna.cz/en/about-us/research/credo-project) is a five-year project (2024-2028) funded by the Czech Science Foundation and is based at Masaryk University (Brno, Czech Republic).

The aim of the CREDO project is to develop a computational model of moral decision-making. In this model, religious belief, forged through religious practice, forms strong priors in the mind. When the mind simulates possible actions during decision-making, religious actions become readily available and likely selected due to their high value. To empirically develop the model, the CREDO project will determine how religious belief affects the strength of religious priors during normative decision-making in various laboratory and field studies. Moreover, in a large-scale cross-cultural study, the project will establish how beliefs and practices of different religious traditions affect cognitive computations during normative decisions. The goal of the CREDO project is to produce one of a kind, comprehensive model of how religions shape the mind.

The successful candidate will lead experimental testing of the predictions from the computational model of religious decision-making in cooperation with the Principal Investigator, Dr. Martin Lang and another postdoctoral researcher with strong formal modelling skills. Specifically, the successful candidate will design experiments probing cognitive processes during decision-making in moral dilemmas and determine how religious priors affect such decision-making. They will work in a fully equipped lab (EEG, fNIRS, BIOPAC) and at a field site in Mauritius. The candidate will be given significant responsibility and autonomy while also benefiting from the mentorship of the PI, playing a crucial role in forming the CREDO project as well as future research areas for the whole lab.

Responsibilities:

  • Collaborating with the project team (PI, 2 postdocs, 2 Phd students) to design and execute laboratory and field studies.
  • Designing experimental studies testing the computational model of religious decision-making.
  • Data analysis
  • Writing research articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Presenting findings at conferences and research seminars.
  • Participation in the transfer of research, development, and innovation results into teaching in Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programmes.

Necessary qualifications:

  • PhD (or approaching PhD) in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Neuroscience or a related field
  • Competence in designing and executing behavioural/neuroscientific experiments
  • Fluent in statistical code in either R, Python, or Matlab
  • English language (B2 or higher)
  • At least one first-author publication (pre-prints are eligible)
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a research team

Other qualifications we look for (but are not necessary):

  • Previous work on social cognition, decision-making, moral psychology and related topics.
  • Competence in formal modelling of cognitive processes
  • Experience with EEG, fNIRS or fMRI
  • Experience with open science practices (pre-registration, registered report, open code)

We offer:

  • Competitive salary.
  • Academic growth in a stimulating research environment.
  • Travel money.
  • Leading high-profile publications.
  • Friendly and informal working environment.
  • Possibility to co-supervise PhD students.

Working environment

  • employment in a prestigious institution that received the international HR Excellence in Research Award
  • working in a dynamic international and interdisciplinary environment
  • convenient location of the faculty in the city centre

Employee benefits

8 weeks of paid vacation per year, flexible working hours with the possibility to work partly from home for a better work-life balance, meal allowance in the salary or for meals in canteens, pension insurance contribution or nursery school/playgroup allowance, selected vaccinations free of charge, favorable mobile tariffs Vodafone, Multisport card, sports lessons organized by the Faculty of Sports Studies, the possibility to place your child in the nursery school Elánek near the faculty.

Training and Development

Opportunities for training and personal development, e.g., language and other courses provided by MU, use of MU libraries, use of placements and mobilities abroad, participation in conferences, etc.
HOW TO APPLY

Please send your application via the electronic application link by 26. 4. 2024 (please use the link: https://www.muni.cz/en/about-us/careers/vacancies/77486) and please attach all required documents.

The following documents are required as a part of your application:

  • Maximum one-page motivation letter documenting your fit for the position
  • CV including a summary of work experience, publication activity, and involvement in research projects
  • One representative published work (pre-prints are eligible)
  • Copies of proof of education
  • Recommendation letter from previous supervisor/mentor 

Once your application has been successfully submitted, you will receive an automatic confirmation of acceptance to your e-mail address. After the e-application deadline, you will receive information about the next steps.

If you are unsure, please contact the FF MU Personnel Office: Mgr. Silvie Rampouchová, e-mail: rampouchova@phil.muni.cz

SELECTION PROCESS

Selection criteria:

  • submitting all required documents in the e-application
  • compliance of the candidate’s profile with the requirements for the job as stated above

Suitable candidates will be invited to a personal interview, which may also take the form of a videoconference.

Selection procedures rules at the Faculty of Arts of MU can be found on our careers page here.

Thank you for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you!

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY, THE FACULTY AND THE DEPARTMENT

Masaryk University, located in in the vibrant city of Brno, Czech Republic, is the second-largest public university in the country and one of the most prestigious universities in Central Europe. It is recognized for its strong research output, as well as its comprehensive and diverse range of study programs, which span the sciences, humanities, and social sciences. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 35,000 students and 6,000 employees. Beautiful surroundings of Brno and proximity to other historical cities (e.g. Prague, Vienna, Budapest), variety of cultural and entertainment attractions, and top personal safety, make Brno one of the top 100 university cities in the world according to students.

The Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University is an important centre of humanities and social science. Due to modern facilities, high technologies and innovative methods in science and education, the faculty offers attractive environment to its 6,000 students and 600 employees. Striving for transparent working environment that is open to domestic and international top researchers and that supports mobility and professional growth, the faculty was granted by the HR Excellence in Research Award – a European certification for managing HR processes in a research organization in 2021.

Department

The Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion (LEVYNA) is an interdisciplinary, collaborative team of experimentalists tackling the evolution and functioning of human cognitive mechanisms facilitating religious cognition, behaviour, and institutions. We value open science, collegiality, and cooperation.

Martin Lang is the director of LEVYNA and the PI of the CREDO project. His work lies at the intersection between the humanities and the cognitive and behavioural sciences, combining laboratory experiments with field studies to investigate how the human mind creates cultural niches and functions in them. He recently received a Vice-Rector at Masaryk University award for mentoring and excellent dissertation.
Website: https://www.levyna.cz/en

Contact person at the workplace for any questions applicants may have about the position:
Dr. Martin Lang, martinlang@mail.muni.cz