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Assistant Professorship tenure track in Genetics of Language

University of Zurich
Zurich, Switzerland
Start date
Oct 16, 2023

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The Faculty of Science at the University of Zurich (UZH) invites applications for the

Assistant Professorship tenure track in Genetics of Language

We are seeking candidates in the field of evolutionary genetics with a focus on genetics of language to identify the demographic and biological forces that shaped the global spread and diversification of languages over deep time. The aim of this professorship is to establish interdisciplinary research and further the integration of evolutionary biology into the NCCR 'Evolving Language' by building on and complementing the strengths of the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies. Considering the rapid advance of evolutionary genetics and genomics, the conceptual and methodological collaboration of researchers studying humans, other vertebrates, insects, plants, and microorganisms is increasingly important in evolutionary biology. The successful candidate will advance our knowledge on the genetics of language by applying cutting-edge approaches, such as population genetic analyses, association and functional studies, ancient DNA, or phylogenetic analysis to infer patterns of demography and selection. The ideal candidate shall further demonstrate an invested interest in the evolution of languages and animal communication systems. The professor will be expected to teach at the bachelor, master and PhD level in the area of Evolutionary Biology, and supervise PhD students, also across faculty programs (Faculty of Science and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences). We further welcome active participation in regional, national, and international societies and committees.

UZH sees researchers as modern leaders who conduct excellent research - taking into account the Open Science principles - through their own research projects as well as the promotion of excellent junior researchers, and who help shape a future-oriented University with innovative research-based teaching. UZH provides generous research support, including dedicated funds for personnel, running expenses and competitive start-up packages. Additionally, the successful applicant is expected to acquire external research funding. Zurich’s scientific environment encompasses a rich spectrum of diverse activities.

Assistant professors tenure track are typically evaluated for tenure after 6 years. The employment conditions for this position follow UZH's legal regulations including part-time options. UZH is an equal-opportunities employer, and the Faculty of Science, in particular, strives to increase the percentage of women and underrepresented groups in leading positions. Therefore, qualified female researchers and others from underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply. Care-time interruptions are considered during the evaluation of all applicants.

Zurich’s open-minded and family-friendly city combines the vibrant cultural scene in a modern European city with convenient access to its beautiful natural surroundings.  

Applicants are kindly invited to submit their applications, which should include:

  • a cover letter (max. 1 page)
  • a curriculum vitae, including teaching and supervisory track-record; outreach activities; a list of acquired research and career funding, including role and amount awarded; with date of submission
  • a description of their relevant research outputs for this application and their importance for the field (at most five outputs, max. 1 page in total)
  • a research plan describing their mid-term scientific strategy and expected impact (max. 2 pages)
  • a teaching reflection on their educational values, tools and methods, and their potential contribution to the curriculum development at UZH (max. 1 page)
  • a description of their track record and/or planned measures towards diversity, equality, and inclusion (max. 1 page)
  • a list of publications and other research outputs including code, etc.
  • a copy of their PhD certificate

Please note that page limitations do not include references.

The evaluation processes at UZH and its Faculty of Science follow the DORA recommendations for assessing research quality and impact. Applicants are thus asked to refrain from referring to non-personal measures such as journal impact factors.

Please upload your application to by 26th November 2023.
For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Marta Manser (

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