The KU Leuven, Belgium, invites applications for a 3-year 100% postdoc position within the European Research Council-funded project TEXTEVOLVE.
This exciting interdisciplinary project will apply phylogenetic modelling to textual traditions. The project is based in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies.
The successful candidate will work closely with the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
You will have a background in evolutionary biology and will have extensive experience in applying Bayesian computer modelling to biological datasets.
You have a completed PhD in biological sciences, computing, or a related field.
You have a strong research profile in the field and the quality of your research is proven by publications in leading journals or books.
You are open to working in an interdisciplinary context and are able to communicate well with non-specialists.
You are willing to work in Leuven and to travel occasionally. International research experience would be an advantage.
You possess organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude.
You have an excellent command of English.
The TEXTEVOLVE project aims to
develop a new methodology for textual studies using techniques from evolutionary biology and apply this methodology to Jewish Aramaic texts, known as the Targums;
expand the corpus of available texts by recovering lost’ manuscripts; and,
subject recently discovered manuscripts to thorough textual analysis.
The successful candidate will contribute to these aims by applying computer-based methods from the biological sciences (i.
e. Phylogenetics and Population Genetics) to textual datasets (provided by other members of the research team) in order to :
Infer the relationship by descent of each text (i.e. create a family tree for the texts);
Computationally model the state of the text at each stage of its evolution (Ancestral State Reconstruction);
Cluster and classify the texts in order to identify changes to the text that are derived from other sources (i.e. not inherited by descent directly from an ancestor)
Introduce historical meta-data into the phylogenetic analysis in order to calibrate the stemma in terms of time (i.e. to calculate the timeframe in which each bifurcation in the ancestral tree occurs).
The successful candidate will :
Work closely with other members of the research team to deliver the project's goals.
Present research results at international conferences and in workshops organised by the project team.
Publish research results at the highest scientific level.
Contribute to the organisation of events and activities related to the project (workshops, visits from external experts, etc.).