Evolutionary Psychology

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Robert Kurzban

The Evolutionary Psychology Blog

By Robert Kurzban

Robert Kurzban is an Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Why Everyone (Else) Is A Hypocrite. Follow him on Twitter: @rkurzban

Job for an Evolutionary Psychologist?

Published 22 October, 2012

Steven Pinker forwarded a job advertisement to me and a number of other people, and I thought there might be  readers of this blog who would be interested to know about it; they specifically mention a PhD in evolutionary psychology as a qualification.  So I’m posting the ad here:

Organization Summary

OEF is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization with a vision of developing effective systems of global governance to achieve a world beyond war, leading to our tagline “Peace Through Governance.” Central to OEF’s mission is partnering closely with the business community. As an operating foundation, OEF focuses on both researching and developing ideas, and implementing those ideas in practical projects. On the research side, OEF has a mandate to develop expertise in global governance and its relationship to armed conflict, with the goal of contributing both to academic understanding and practical implementations designed to reduce conflict.

Primary Role

The primary role of the Research Associate in Evolution of Governance is to develop an active research agenda in the area of evolutionary theories of system change and/or evolutionary models of cooperation as they apply to the development of effective systems of governance.  This overall area of research is intended to support our overall organizational research in governance by advancing research on the benefits of cooperative engagement over competition, developing game-theoretical models of the boundaries of the benefits of cooperation, and advancing our argument that cooperative groups are more likely to survive and persist in competitive environments.  Specific research activities relevant to this area include developing mathematical models which predict specific conditions in which cooperative engagement is more likely, testing models against real-world examples of governance systems at multiple levels, and developing evolutionary theories of institutional development.  The RA will also contribute to OEF projects consistent with his or her expertise, and may be responsible for the management of a dedicated research team.

Primary Responsibilities

  1. Develop a research agenda to build OEF’s expertise in the area of evolution, cooperation, and institutional change.
  2. Develop budgets and staffing plans consistent with the overall research agenda and hire and manage staff sufficient to execute the research agenda.
  3. Present the results of research to policy figures, academics, and other interested audiences in an accessible way that emphasizes practical lessons that can be drawn from the research and publish research in academic and professional outlets as well as OEF publications.
  4. Work with implementation projects and other departments at OEF to contribute expertise when relevant.

Required Education, Knowledge, Skills and Competences:

This role requires a significant level of research experience in areas related to evolution, biology, or game theory.  Specific requirements include

  • A PhD in Economics, Mathematics, Evolutionary Psychology, Evolutionary Biology, Political Science, or another relevant discipline.
  • Demonstrated expertise and a significant body of published empirical research on topics related to the evolution of governance mission.
  • Superb organization skills.
  • Superb oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize workload in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to maintain a flexible work schedule
  • Commitment to OEF’s vision (www.oneearthfuture.org)
    • A secondary language is a strong plus


This position is located at the OEF central office in Broomfield, CO.

To Apply:

Please send a cover letter detailing your experience and salary requirements, a CV, and at least one re- or pre-print of representative research to Kelly Backens at kbackens@oneearthfuture.org. Please reference the job title in the subject line of your email.

Copyright 2012 Robert Kurzban, all rights reserved.

Opinions expressed in this blog do not reflect the opinions of the editorial staff of the journal.