Crucial Guide

This page contains lists of useful resources, scientific societies and conferences on social learning and cultural evolution and on good scientific practice in general. 

If you want to improve the reach and usefulness of this page with more international content, please get in touch and tell us about the resources you use! We want the same thing.

Conferences and Societies

Upcoming conferences

Meetings of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Frequent, 2-3 times a year.

Winter meeting 2021: 2nd-3rd December, virtual and at local hublets (check website for info)

Annual conference of the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association

19th-22nd April 2022, Leipzig

Annual European Meeting of PhD Students in Evolutionary Biology

22nd-27th May 2022, Espoo (Finland)

Annual Conference on Artificial Life

18th-22nd July 2022, virtual

Meeting of the International Society of Neuroethology

24-29th July 2022, Lisbon

Biennial congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology

Biennial congress of the International Society for Behavioural Ecology

11-16th September 2022, Melbourne


Biennial conference of the Cultural Evolution Society


Annual conference of the Animal Behaviour Society


Annual meeting of the German Zoological Society

Annual meeting of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution

Meeting of the Society for Open, Reliable, and Transparent Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

2022, TBD


New conference dedicated to animal behaviour, built specifically for an online format

Annual interdisciplinary conference on cultural evolution studies (Stirling, UK)

2020 conference CANCELLED

The German Ethological Society website hosts the links to several relevant meetings.

The Institute hosts many conferences and meetings on zoo and wildlife research.

Meetings of the Primate Society of Great Britain. Participants talks (spring meeting) or symposium (winter meeting) with poster presentations.


Small research grant (up to £10,000) to cover the cost of a research project. Up to 2 years. The Principal Applicant must be UK-resident.

United Kingdom

Fellowship scheme for non-British citizens with no previous academic link to the UK, to work at a UK institution. For applicants with up to 7 years of postdoctoral experience (PhD must have been awarded by the time the fellowship starts).

United Kingdom

Other UK-related funding not limited to ECR applicants.

United Kingdom

Fellowship scheme for British and EEA citizens, to work at a UK institution. Directed at researchers up to 3 years from PhD completion (PhD must have been awarded by the time the application is evaluated).

United Kingdom

Large grant aimed at relieving researchers of administrative and teaching duties for up to 3 years, and at covering travelling and public engagement costs during the same period. For ECR researchers who hold a permanent post at a UK institution.

United Kingdom

For people who want to go to Germany or Germans who want to travel abroad (English website). Very good for travel grants.


Funding for organisers


Funding for projects based in or linked to Germany (English website).


Large ECR grants (2-7 years from completion of the PhD, with possible exceptions).

EU Member States and Associated Countries

Worldwide national and regional programmes for women in the sciences.


Sponsorship for cognitive science projects from multiple research angles including evolutionary anthropology and psychology). 1-year fellowships for ECRs to establish a research team in France (English website).


Several sponsorship programmes for ECRs interested in working in Germany (English website).


Fellowship for researchers who have not yet held a permanent position. Aimed at UK degree-holders or holders of an academic position in the UK at the time of application, to work in the UK. 3-year length, but can be flexible to accommodate health, disability and parental needs.

United Kingdom

Fellowship scheme for Europe-based researchers wanting to establish projects outside the EU, and for any researcher wanting to work in the EU. Good for researchers who have taken a career break or who wish to return to Europe.

EU and Associated Countries

Funding for researchers based in or with connections to the UK. Covering research and industry projects across a wide range of sectors.

United Kingdom

Summer Schools

4-week programme on Complexity Science. For PhDs and Postdoctoral Fellows.


Biennial 5-day course offering practical experience in techniques of non-invasive endocrine monitoring, at the IZW institute (Berlin).


Biennial 5-day course designed for ECRs, at the IZW institute (Berlin). 2020 edition to take place virtually.


Recommended Reading

Social learning and cultural evolution

Eytan Avital, Eva Jablonka

Animal Traditions: Behavioural Inheritance in Evolution

Alberto Acerbi

Cultural Evolution in the Digital Age

Robert Boyd

The Origin and Evolution of Cultures

Robert Boyd, Peter Richerson

Culture and the Evolutionary Process

Kevin Clark

Social Learning Theory

Robert Dunbar, Chris Knight, Camilla Power

The Evolution of Culture: An Interdisciplinary View

Dorothy Fragaszy, Susan Perry

The Biology of Traditions: Models and Evidence

Steven Frank

Foundations of Social Evolution

Joseph Henrich

The Secret of Our Success

Cecilia Heyes, Bennet Galef

Social Learning in Animals – The Roots of Culture

William Hoppit, Kevin Laland

Social Learning

Eva Jablonka, Marion Lamb

Evolution in Four Dimensions: Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioural and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life

Kevin Laland

Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony

Kevin Laland

The Question of Animal Culture

Tim Lewens

Cultural Evolution: Conceptual Challenges

Alex Mesoudi

Cultural Evolution

Everett Rogers

The Diffusion of Innovations

Andrew Whiten, Robert Hinde, Christoper Stringer, Kevin Laland

Culture Evolves

Statistics and R software

Michael Crawley

The R Book

Michael Crawley

Statistics: An Introduction Using R

Richard McElreath

Statistical Rethinking: A Bayesian Course in  R and STAN

Hadley Wickham

ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis (Use R!)

Theoretical and simulation modelling

Hanna Kokko

Modelling for Field Biologists and Other Interesting People

Richard McElreath, Robert Boyd

Mathematical Models of Social Evolution: A Guide for the Perplexed

Sarah Otto, Troy Day

A Biologist’s Guide to Mathematical Modelling in Ecology and Evolution

Learning Resources

Collection of lectures and reading material on animal cultures from the world leading experts in the field.

Teaching modules on cultural evolution by CES and the Centre for the Dynamics Of Social Complexity (DySOC).

CES resource page hosting cultural evolution related links and material.

Made for artists, offering many useful guides & tutorials

Job Search

International database STEM-related job positions (mostly PostDoc and PhD).

Public Engagement Skills


Media communications: short fellowship (2-6 weeks) for professional scientists to work at top UK media like the BBC.

United Kingdom

Policy making:opportunity to shadow parlamentarians or civil servants.

United Kingdom


Range of courses for ECR scientists (including PhDs). Teaching a range of skills, from writing to working with radio and television outlets.

United Kingdom

Transition to outside academia

Resource page by the Society for the Study of Evolution, dedicated to transitioning to the job market outside academia. Includes a database of ‘mentors’ to be contacted.

Other useful websites

Duke University’s Youtube channel dedicated to career resources for Postdocs and PhD students

Website community for ECRs of any discipline with useful funding and resource search tools.