SDSU Research Foundation

Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Req No.
Post Doc
$5,373.33 - $6,000.00
Dept/Proj Name


The salary range for this position is $5,373.33 - $6,000.00 per month depending upon qualifications and is non-negotiable. 


The Department of Anthropology at San Diego State University invites applications for a postdoctoral research fellow position in primatology. The position is part of a U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) funded, interdisciplinary project, integrating anthropology and statistics, to advance knowledge and understanding of how primates adapt to risks and rewards in anthropogenic landscapes. The overall project goals are to: 1) analyze how a human-induced landscape of fear affects primate decision-making about when, where, and with whom to forage and move, 2) broaden our understanding of the demographic, cultural, and emotional factors underlying people’s propensity to interact with primates, and 3) generate novel statistical methodology for holistic, quantitative inference about decision-making that will be broadly applicable to the Social, Behavioral, and Economic sciences. The specific system that we are investigating is the human-macaque interface on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.


The postdoc would work primarily with the PI, Dr. Erin Riley (SDSU), with extensive collaboration with co-PIs, Dr. Henry Scharf (Statistics, University of Arizona), Dr. Amanda Ellwanger (Anthropology, Georgia State University- Perimeter College), and the PIs’s Indonesian counterpart, Dr. Ngakan Putu Oka (Forestry, UNHAS). This one-year position will begin June 17, 2024, with the possibility of an additional year of funding. The postdoc would primarily be based at the PI’s field research site in South Sulawesi, Indonesia to collect behavioral, ecological, and spatial data on wild moor macaques (Macaca maura) and their interface with humans in Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park.



The postdoc position is supported through the NSF Build and Broaden program. In accordance with the program vision, the overall project will foster collaborative research partnerships that will expand research capacity at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), broaden access to research opportunities for underrepresented students, and create strong, scaffolded scholarly networks across multiple national and international institutions to enhance research productivity in the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences.


The Postdoctoral Research Scholar will play an integral role in carrying out the project research goals and supporting research opportunities for underrepresented students. They will help gather and analyze primary data. In collaboration with the PIs, they will help train and lead research assistants in additional data collection. They will take on both leading and supporting roles in the preparation and publication of multiple articles in relevant peer-reviewed journals.


The Postdoctoral Research Fellow is responsible for but not limited to:


Position Specific Responsibilities 95%

  • Conduct field research in Sulawesi, Indonesia, collecting behavioral, ecological, and spatial data related to macaque decision making and human-macaque interactions.
  • Mentor and supervise undergraduate and graduate students (master’s) in conjunction with PIs.
  • Analyze and draw conclusions from field data, both independently and in collaboration with PIs.
  • Mentor and support research team members and provide training in research methods as required.
  • Attend and present at scholarly conferences.
  • Lead and contribute to manuscript preparation and submission to peer-reviewed journals and non-academic publications.
  • Design and implement educational outreach at the field research site and/or in San Diego.

Other Duties as Assigned 5%

This job description is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of employees assigned to the job.


Knowledge and Abilities


  • Proficiency in written and spoken English
  • Experience collecting behavioral data on free-ranging primates
  • Strong quantitative data analysis skills (and interest in further developing those skills in collaboration with PIs)
  • Proven track record of lead-authored publications
  • Experience mentoring diverse undergraduate and graduate students
  • Experience working remotely for extended periods
  • Ability to work independently and demonstrate resourcefulness in the face of unexpected challenges
  • Demonstrated commitment to ethical fieldwork practices, including knowledge/appreciation of best practices in non-extractive international research
  • Strong communication and leadership skills, including working as part of a diverse team




  • PhD in Anthropology, Biology/Zoology, or related field
  • 0-5 years of relevant experience.


Preferred Qualifications and Special Skills

  • Proficiency with the R statistical computing language
  • Interest and experience in ethnoprimatology and the study of human-primate interfaces
  • Field research experience in Indonesia
  • Proficiency in Bahasa Indonesian (or strong interest to learn)


Required Documents for Application

  • CV
  • A brief statement (2 single-spaced pages max), detailing your overall profile and research interests and research experience
  • One writing sample (published article, book chapter, or dissertation chapter)
  • Names and contact information for three references (will only be contacted if a candidate is selected as a finalist)
  • Apply by December 1, 2023 for full consideration


Additional Candidate Information

  • Official position expected to begin June/July 2024. Candidate must be available in January/February 2024 to begin processing permit and visa paperwork for field research with the Indonesian Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN).
  • Finalists will be invited for a follow-up Zoom interview with the project PIs.
  • This position will be primarily based at the research site in Indonesia, and hence, will not require relocation to San Diego (during the first year).
  • As part of SDSU’s Strategic Plan and related initiatives to support inclusive research excellence, the Division of Research and Innovation (DRI) is expanding networking, community engagement, and professional development opportunities for postdoctoral researchers. Resources available to support the postdoc include: membership in DRI’s postdoc community (A postdoc Google group will serve as a source of information on campus seminars, mixers and networking events hosted by DRI; Grant writing and grant development: Each semester, DRI offers programming that supports and teaches early-career scholars how to communicate effectively with grant officers, develop successful proposals and share their research with media and other stakeholders; Membership with the National Center for Faculty Diversity and Development.
  • In line with the NSF Build and Broaden Program and our project goals, we encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.
  • San Diego State University Research Foundation is an EEO/AA/Disability/Vets Employer.




Sorry the Share function is not working properly at this moment. Please refresh the page and try again later.
Share on your newsfeed