University Professor of Neuroscientific Foundations of Human-Animal Interactions according to § 98 UG 2002

A joint professorship is announced in the field of Neuroscientific Foundations of Human-Animal Interactions (Comparative Neuroscience of the Social Brain), to be based at the Messerli Research Institute of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, the University of Vienna, and the Medical University of Vienna. This joint professorship between the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Vienna (50%) and the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (50%) will be supported by and assigned to the Messerli Research Institute.

University Professor of Neuroscientific Foundations of Human-Animal Interactions according to § 98 UG 2002

(private sector, full-time, open-ended term). Since both universities aim to increase the proportion of women, particularly in management and scientific positions, qualified women are hereby expressly invited to apply. In cases of equivalent qualifications, women will be given preference in hiring.

Research carried out (Comparative Neuroscience of the Social Brain) under this professorship is expected to increase comparative and mechanistic (e.g., neural, physiological, and/or genetic) understanding of the neuroscientific foundations of social behaviour, in particular in the context of human-animal interactions, and between conspecifics and/or members of different species. The research methodology used should be empirical and highly comparative, incorporating multiple species and preferably including humans.

The profile of the candidate should encompass outstanding research in an area of comparative neuroscience that clearly contributes to the improved understanding of sociality in humans and other species, including aspects such as social cognition, social decision making, and of affective behaviour.

The candidate should apply state of the art methods in molecular/cellular biology, physiology and behavioural/cognitive research; applicants should present a clear roadmap for future research relevant to human-animal relations, as well as an interest in developing collaborations between neuroscience and other disciplines, especially cognitive biology, psychology, ethics, veterinary medicine, and medicine.

In particular, the successful candidate for this professorship should cultivate promising alliances: including the other Messerli Research Institute professorships in the areas of Comparative Cognition, Comparative Medicine and Ethics and Human-Animal Studies; researchers in brain, cognition and behaviour at the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Vienna (including teaching), and to other research initiatives and research focal points in Vienna, especially to clusters in neuroscience and cognitive science (e.g. the new Cognitive Science Hub). The successful applicant will be expected to play a role in the NeuroCog initiative, a strategic initiative led by the University of Vienna to expand neuroscience and cognition research in the Vienna region, which aims to build upon and strengthen existing research in neuroscience, cognitive science, psychology, molecular and cellular biology, genomics, evolutionary biology, microbiology, chronobiology and computational science.

The interdisciplinary orientation of the Messerli Research Institute requires the successful candidate to work beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries, to carry out interdisciplinary projects and to assume joint responsibility for postgraduate teaching at the Messerli Research Institute.

Successful candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • Doctoral or post-doc experience at a university or other research institution (successful completion of a commensurate degree from a national higher education institution or foreign equivalent)
  • Outstanding achievement in research, international reputation and excellent publication track record, also integration into the international scientific community; habilitation in a relevant field (venia docendi) or an internationally recognized equivalent qualification is required.
  • Experience in the conception, funding and management of large research projects, as well as the experience leading successful research groups.
  • Experience in university-level teaching and the ability and willingness to teach at all curricular levels (bachelor, masters, doctoral), and to supervise theses and foster new scientific talent

The University of Vienna and the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna expect the successful candidate to acquire sufficient German language proficiency (within 3 years) for teaching at the bachelor’s programme level and participating in University bodies.

Successful candidates are offered:

  • An attractive and dynamically evolving research location in a city with a high quality of life, in a country with well-developed policy instruments for the promotion of research;
  • Attractive/adequate, negotiable and performance-based compensation; pension fund;
  • A competitive start-up package for the establishment of research projects;
  • Support for the relocation of the successful candidate’s main residence to Vienna.

Interested candidates should submit an application with—at a minimum—the following materials:

  • Scientific résumé
  • Index of publications, to include:
    1. Identifying of the five most important publications in the context of the professorship, with commentary about these in the cover letter;
    2. List of Internet links for downloading pdf versions of these five publications or inclusion of a data storage medium with pdfs of these files
  • List of lectures given, as well as detailed information about guest speaker invitations at international conferences
  • Short description of current research interests and research plans for the near future, including:
    1. a clear vision of future plans to integrate the applicant’s current research into research on interaction and social cognition between humans and other species;
    2. plans for integrating and cooperating with the existing members of the Messerli Research Institute and the Faculty of Life Sciences
  • Information concerning externally funded projects
  • Evidence of teaching qualifications, including a short description of the main areas of emphasis in teaching up to the present; information regarding dissertations supervised, and any additional information that the candidate wishes to include as evidence of teaching qualifications.

University professors are classified into deployment group A1 according to the Austrian collective contract 1 for university employees. Individual compensation negotiations will take into consideration the candidate’s career history and, in case of an appointment from outside of Austria, possible differences in taxation policies.

Applications are due in electronic form (preferably pdf) in English or German at the latest by
30 November 2018; they should be marked with the identifier B_MFI_2018 and sent to senat(at)

Relevant Internet Links:


Studies & Teaching