Bolsa de Investigação para Estudante de Doutoramento
22 / 05 / 2023 - 19 / 06 / 2023

1 Research Fellowship(s) is open within the Exploratory Project “EVORISE – Exploring the evolutionary origin of sentience” (2022.05256.PTDC, P.I. Davide Vecchi), funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, under the following conditions:

1. Scientific Area: Molecular biology, bacteriology, microbiology, plant biology or ethology.

2. Requirements for admission: Completed Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Knowledge of the English language (particularly proficiency in reading and writing) is necessary.

3. Additional optional skills and qualifications: a) Interest in sentience research and connected theoretical problems in biology and philosophy will be considered a preferential criterion of selection.
b) Previous experience with systematic reviews will be considered a preferential skill during the selection process.
c) PhD student in an area relevant to the project.

4. Contracting requirements: Presentation of the academic qualifications and/or diplomas. Enrolment in PhD degree in Biology or Biochemistry (or related areas).

5. Work plan: One of the outputs of the project EVORISE ( is to articulate a prospective review of the biological literature on sentience research. This extensive literature potentially covers research on organisms from animals (including Cephalopods, Decapods and insects) through plants to bacteria (e.g., the foundational literature in molecular bacteriology concerning bacterial “decision-making” during chemotaxis). The aim is to systematically analyse how sentience ascription is justified. In particular, we would like to analyse whether this justification entails reference to specific kinds of evidence (e.g., phylogenetic or behavioural) or other kinds of theoretical considerations. Given the size of the literature, a systematic review is needed. The relevant literature will be sorted (according to standards of theoretical salience) and from it we shall try to extrapolate the evidential and theoretical rationale of sentience ascriptions. The Fellowship holder must assist the P.I. and the team with organising and carrying out the systematic review and with the ensuing analysis. Previous experience of systematic reviews will be preferable but, nevertheless, sufficient training will be provided. The Fellowship holder will become a full member of the project’s team. The team aims to publish the article related to this output, to our knowledge so far missing in the literature, in a prominent biological journal.

The call is open until June 19, 2023.

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