mardi 23 février 2016

PhD-position exploring individual variation in animal cognition

Job description
A fully funded 4-year PhD-position open to all nationalities, is offered in the subject of ethology, in the research group of Hanne Løvlie, Linköping University. The job entails to conduct research on the causes and consequences of variation in animal cognition, and we are particularly interested in links with animal personality. Cognitive processes are fundamental, but explanations to individual variation are still poorly explored. Animal personality (i.e. consistent individual behavioural responses), has recently experienced considerable research attention. Personality and cognition are predicted to be linked, but the causality and consequences of this relationship are still unknown. We have demonstrated individual variation in various cognitive tasks and observe links between learning speed and personality, in our model species the red junglefowl (Gallus gallus). The fowl is a particularly suitable for this type of research due to the possibility of combining extensive understanding of behaviour, physiology and genetics, to apply a strong experimental design while examining behaviours under natural conditions or in the lab.
The successful applicant is a highly motivated and talented candidate with a MSc-degree in biology (or equivalent), with a specialization in animal behaviour, evolutionary biology, neurobiology or similar. Research experience in experimental animal behaviour, sound statistical knowledge and analytical abilities are merits, as is experience in scientific writing. Very good knowledge of written and oral English is required. Both good cooperation skills and the ability to work independently are emphasised. The successful candidate should be enthusiastic about animal behaviour and handling birds.
What we offer
Linköping University is a modern, innovative university with over 27000 students and 3900 employees. Biology offers excellent lab and avian housing facilities. The successful candidate will be part of the AVIAN behavioural genomics and physiology group, and the Centre of Excellence for Animal Welfare Science (in collaboration with SLU Uppsala). Linköping is a popular university city, and is the 5th largest city in Sweden. It is located in central Sweden, just 2 hours from Stockholm, with proximity to the beautiful nature of Östergötland, as well as recent and pre-historic history, and cultural attractions. 
Salary and duration
According to present rates at the university (starting at 25 000Sek/month), including health insurance
and other benefits, for 4 full years. A short-term position may be offered to a very promising candidate to ensure that the required experiences are acquired prior to start. The position can be combined with < 20% teaching within the biology undergraduate program, which will extend the position accordingly.
Starting date
The position is available immediately, and start date will be set according to agreement.
Application procedure
The application should include a 1-2 page cover letter describing your research experience and interests, and your interest in this project, and a full CV (including name and contact details of 2 references who are willing to provide letters of support). Transcript of grades and copy of a relevant publication may be required at a later stage. Application should be sent as one PDF to The position is open until filled, and applications will be reviewed continuously, but for full consideration please apply by 31st of March 2016.
For more information, please contact Hanne Løvlie (, tel +46 (0) 13-286681.