Postdoc position in philosophy of science
The Cognition, Intention, and Action (CoInAct) Research Group and Section for Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark, invite applications for a full-time postdoctoral position in philosophy of science (philosophy of psychology/cognitive science) to be filled by 1 December 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.
The position is for 2 1/2 years.
Information about CoInAct can be found at https://psychology.ku.dk/coinact/
The postdoc will be part of a project entitled Selection in Cognition funded by the Carlsberg Foundation and headed by Prof Søren Kyllingsbæk and Assoc Prof Thor Grünbaum. Applicants are asked to situate and develop their research plan within the framework of the Selection in Cognition project. For more information about the project, please contact Assoc Prof Thor Grünbaum (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The larger project develops and tests a new theory of basic cognitive selection mechanisms by combining methods and perspectives from experimental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, mathematical modelling, and philosophy. The core idea is that selection in cognition may be understood as a biased competition between representations in a stochastic race (Grünbaum, Oren, & Kyllingsbæk, 2021). In a series of experiments, we have consistently shown that tasks-sets are competing biased by their importance and that this selection process is severely capacity limited. We will extend our new experimental procedures and mathematical models to the study of selection in planning and problem-solving. If our conjecture is true, higher-order cognitive processes like task selection, planning, and problem-solving depend on the same type of selection.
The postdoc should be a philosopher with expertise in philosophy of science or philosophy of psychology broadly conceived (incl. relevant epistemology, confirmation theory, philosophy of statistics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of the cognitive sciences). During the employment, the candidate is expected to engage with the following set of issues: If the choice of an experimental hypothesis is guided only by a vague theory and prior experimental results, then the hypothesis will have a low prior probability. How should we understand the relationship between theorising, the prior probability of the experimental hypothesis, and low replication rates of experimental findings. To what extent do low rates of replication of experimental findings depend on ambiguous and poorly formalized theories? Relying on Bayesian statistics and confirmation theory, is it possible to increase replication rates of experiments by developing strong mathematical theories of cognitive processes?
The postdoc is for 2 1/2 years, of which 2 years are dedicated research and 1/2 year is dedicated teaching. The teaching duties will be placed throughout the period of employment. The teaching will primarily be in philosophy of science and philosophy of cognitive science (for students in the cognitive science programme: https://studier.ku.dk/bachelor/kognitions-og-datavidenskab/) as part of team of teachers including Thor Grünbaum. The successful candidate will be able to document relevant teaching experience. Classes can be taught in English.
The successful candidate will be working in close collaboration with philosophers, cognitive psychologists, and other cognitive scientists and should be interested theory development and testing. The postdoc is not expected to conduct new independent empirical research during the period of employment. It is expected that the successful candidate will be present, part of the team, and partake in the activities at CoInAct on a daily basis. The postdoc will be physically located at the Section for Philosophy (https://comm.ku.dk/research/philosophy/), Department of Communication, University of Copenhagen.
Emphasis will be placed on the following:
- Research qualifications, which will be assessed in relation to the period of active research, the degree of originality, and academic output.
- The applicant’s scientific record (e.g., publications in top journals in philosophy), academic breadth and depth, rigor, thoroughness, and accuracy, as well as academic relevance in relation to the job description.
- Familiarity with formal theories of confirmation is essential. Some familiarity with philosophy of psychology/cognitive science will be an additional asset.
- Participation in networks – national and international.
- Previous experience with interdisciplinary collaboration and research.
- Teaching experience, both as lecturer and seminar instructor.
- Good interpersonal skills.
- Excellent skills in English, written and spoken.
For further details about the qualification requirements for postdocs, please refer to the job structure for Academic Staff at Universities 2013: ufm.dk/en/legislation/prevailing-laws-and-regulations/education/files/job-structure-for-academic-staff-at-universities-2013.pdf
Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the head of CoInAct, Assoc Prof Thor Grünbaum, email@example.com, for more information about the Selection in Cognition project.
The application must be written in English and include the following enclosures:
- Application letter/cover letter
- Curriculum vitae (with applicant’s e-mail address & telephone number)
- Documentation of qualifications (examination certificates/PhD diploma/Master’s diploma, etc.).
- Complete and numbered list of publications. The enclosed publications must be marked with *.
- Research plan (max 5 pages), including a short description of previous research and a plan for the coming years.
- Publications. Applicants may choose a maximum of three publications for assessment, of which at least two must have been published within the five years immediately preceding the deadline for applications. Publication dates must be clearly marked on the publication list. The publications selected must be uploaded as attachments and listed from 1 to 3.
- Documentation of teaching (e.g., list of courses, example syllabi, evaluations)
Should any material submitted consist of work with named co-authors, or work that is otherwise the result of collective academic endeavours, the extent of the applicant’s contribution to the work must be clearly stipulated. The faculty may ask for a signed statement from the co-authors stipulating the extent and nature of each individual’s contribution.
Only material in English will be assessed.
After the application deadline, the Head of Department selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the appointment committee. All applicants are notified whether their application has been accepted for assessment. The Dean subsequently appoints an expert assessment committee tasked with carrying out an assessment of the selected applicants for the specific post. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee. Applicants are ultimately offered the opportunity of commenting on the part of the assessment relating to themselves before the appointment is finalized.
Further information about the application procedure is available from Mette Overgaard (HR), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please refer to ID number 211-1435/23-2I #1.
Salary and conditions of employment
Terms of appointment and salary will be in accordance with an agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The salary range starts at DKK 31,544.89 (EUR 4,232.51) + a 17,1 % contribution to the pension scheme. It is possible to negotiate salary supplements on an annual basis.
The Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) have further agreed on a protocol that makes it possible for international researchers employed by the University to achieve a pension exemption, whereby the pension contribution will be paid out as salary. For more information about the different pension schemes, please read more here: https://ism.ku.dk/salary-tax-pension/pension/
If you consider applying from abroad, you may find useful information on how it is to work in Denmark and at UCPH here : www.ism.ku.dk, www.nyidanmark.dk and www.workindenmark.dk
UCPH wishes to encourage everyone interested in this post to apply, regardless of personal background.
The closing date for applications is 31 July 2023 23:59 CEST
Applications or supplementary material received thereafter will not be considered.
Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.