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PhD Candidate

Oslo, Østlandet (NO)
Closing date
Feb 27, 2024

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Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Job description

Applications are invited for a 3 year position as a PhD Candidate in archaeology to be based at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo. Expected start date is August 19, 2024.

The position is part of the HORIZON Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) Doctoral Network ArCHe “Archaeological Coastal Heritage: Past, present and future of a hidden prehistoric legacy”. The fellowship is devoted to carrying out the projector DC3 (DC=Doctoral Candidate) "Anchor points in a fluid world: Stone Age hunter-fisher-gatherer sites in the coastal zone and their social, economic and communicative significance".

About the Doctoral Network

The Doctoral Network ArCHe ( will train 10 PhD fellows for increasing the scientific and public value of Europe’s archaeological coastal heritage, focusing on the legacy of Stone Age hunter-fisher-gatherers (c. 12,000–2000 calBC). Including some of the earliest remains of human activity, this fragile and very heterogeneous legacy is crucial for understanding human engagement with the coast. Today, it is embedded in a variety of geographic settings across Europe, differing in environmental development, which face massive environmental and human threats, and is approached in various ways in cultural heritage management. ArCHe addresses the challenges of this fractured field with an innovative past–present–future approach focused on connecting the legacy from the past, its present status as archaeological heritage and prospects for its future protection and integration into lived landscapes.

With six beneficiaries and nine associated partners, ArCHe unites academic research centres and non-academic organizations (cultural heritage sector, specialist organisations, museums and media). Within this joint platform for research and training, customized PhD projects will allow for cross-fertilization of knowledge among researchers and partners through scientific courses, workshops, conferences, applied secondments and transferable skills tuition. Training in archaeology, anthropology, critical heritage studies, heritage management, bioarchaeology, geology, oceanography, coastal engineering/preservation and communication relevant to coastal heritage and environment will equip the ArCHe PhDs with advanced interdisciplinary and cross-regional knowledge and skills applicable to various academic and non-academic fields across Europe. Through best practices, the PhD projects will contribute to the visibility, preservation and sustainable integration of the vulnerable cultural heritage in coastal areas facing global environmental and development challenges.

More about the project DC3: "Anchor points in a fluid world: Stone Age hunter-fisher-gatherer sites in the coastal zone and their social, economic and communicative significance"

Stone Age hunter-fisher-gatherers used and settled the coastal zone in the varied coastal environments across Europe. DC3 studies the location of Mesolithic coastal sites in a cross-regional and interdisciplinary approach to investigate the sites’ past social, economic and communicative meaning(s) in fluid and diverse seascapes and within hunter-fisher-gatherer (HFG) networks in different areas of Europe. Case-study areas from SE Norway, W-France and N-Spain will be compared to identify potential similarities and differences of human-environment interaction in the Stone Age (STA) (synergy with DC2). The comparison of these areas will cross-fertilize the regions’ respective knowledge and knowledge-gaps (different archaeological situations, topography, preservation conditions) to enhance our insights on HFG use of coastal areas in the STA. Across Europe, HFG settlement at the coast and HFG engagement with the marine surroundings has predominantly been explained from an economic perspective (e.g. fishing, sea mammal hunting).

DC3 will investigate, from a novel perspective, other important aspects of these sites’ past social significance, including: 1) The sites’ social, economic and communicative meaning and function within a social network as can be reconstructed from the archaeological finds, 2) their placement in a – strategic – landscape of communication, 3) their physical accessibility in different seasons as well as access to other resources, (terrestrial animals, plants, raw material), and 4) The potential cosmological aspects of human-environment interaction (synergy with DC4). The project combines various methods in a novel way: 1) analysis of coastal topography (geographic/geological maps and field observations), 2) Collection and analysis of archaeological evidence (on the basis of existing databases, literature and selected material studies), 3) Existing palaeo-environmental data (geology, archaeobotany, shoreline displacement models), 4) GIS modelling (including topographic analysis, view-shed analysis, least-cost-analysis, Tobler’s hiking function) and 5) Comparison of archaeological results with ethnographic observations on recent HFGs.  

With its innovative comparative, cross-regional approach, DC3 will re-evaluate the significance of coastal areas for past HFGs. The identification of specific knowledge as well as knowledge gaps from the different areas will be cross-fertilized, contributing significantly to a thicker and more reflected description and understanding of the economic, social and communicative meaning of STA coastal sites in their social networks. The perspective of site placement and meaning has high relevance for the present and future management, preservation and communication of the STA coastal legacy’s significance in today’s landscapes (synergies with DC 8-10). The project provides training for a career in research, in international, green cultural heritage management, regional development, European development.

Academic secondments: University of Cantabria (International Institute of Prehistoric Research of Cantabria) (3 months) and CNRS (UMR 6566)/University of Rennes (2 months), to study comparative data, landscape situations and material.

Non-academic secondments: Akershus County Council (1 month), to learn on regional management of archaeological sites and administration of cultural landscapes with diverse stakeholders.

Main supervisor: Professor Almut Schülke (University of Oslo, Museum of Cultural History).

Co-supervisors: Professor Pablo Arias (University of Cantabria, International Institute of Prehistoric Research of Cantabria), Professor David K. Wright (University of Oslo, IAKH).

Appropriate academic knowledge and skills to apply for this position: Archaeology, Mesolithic Archaeology, settlement archaeology, interdisciplinary experience, knowlegde of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and/or spatial modelling using applications such as R, insights into ethnogrpahic literature.

More about the position

The research fellow will be enrolled in the PhD programme at the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo and is expected to complete the project within the three-year period. The main purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

Doctoral research fellows at the Museum of Cultural History must take part in the PhD program at the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the Faculty of Humanities, and are responsible for applying for admission within given deadlines. The applicant must, in collaboration with her/his supervisor, within 3 months after employment, have worked out a complete project description to be attached to the application for admission to the doctoral program.

To be eligible for admission to the doctoral programmes at the University of Oslo, applicants must, as a minimum, have completed a five-year graduation course (Master’s degree or equivalent), including a Master’s thesis of at least 30 ECTS. In special cases, the Faculty may grant admission on the basis of a one-year Master course following an assessment of the study programme’s scope and quality.

At the Museum of Cultural History, all PhD candidates who submit their doctoral dissertation for assessment with a written recommendation from their supervisor within 3 years after the start of their PhD position, will be offered a 12-month completion grant.

The recruitment process for all Doctoral candidates in the HORIZON-MSCA-2022-DN ArCHe follows a common recruitment strategy, which is based on the European Commission’s Code of Conduct of Recruitment.

Qualification requirements

  • A Master’s degree in archaeology or equivalent
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English as the project operates in English language. Knowledge of the language of the host country may be considered a merit. 
  • Scientific excellence to fit the PhD project including the comparative ArCHe-perspective: International, interdisciplinary, intersectoral and with a past-present-future perspective
  • Interdisciplinary knowledge

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on:

  • Originality, independent thinking
  • Knowledge of the state of the art and how the applicant goes beyond this
  • Theoretical and methodological foundation
  • Scientific ambition and innovativeness
  • Feasibility 
  • Suitability of the proposal not least in terms of the Doctoral network thought, and specifically regarding to ArCHe
  • Ethics implications

All of the above is assessed based on submitted documentation. In addition, the following soft skills are assessed during the interview:

Personal skills

  • High motivation for doing their PhD in a MSCA-Doctoral network, and specifically ArCHe
  • Flexibility
  • Team-mindedness


The eligibility criteria for MSCA Doctoral Candidates are the following:

  • MSCA Mobility Requirement: Researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before their date of recruitment
  • All researchers recruited in a Doctoral Network must be doctoral candidates (i.e. not already in possession of a doctoral degree at the date of the recruitment)

We offer

  • Salary NOK 532 200 – 575 490 per annum depending on qualifications in a position as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017).
  • All MSCA DCs are entitled to receive mobility allowance: EUR 600 per month. Family allowance (EUR 495 per month) is only eligible to these conditions: "Family" means persons linked to the researcher by marriage (or a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the legislation of the country where this relationship was formalized) or dependent children who are actually maintained by the researcher.
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities.

How to apply

For an application to be valid, the applicant must submit a complete set of documents, consisting of

  • Letter of motivation
  • Project proposal (approximately 14,000 characters including spaces, references in addition) describing how the candidate would approach the given PhD-topic, including substantial reflections (not more than 4,200 characters including spaces) on how the specific PhD-project topic will contribute to achieving the general aims of the Doctoral network ArCHe as described on the ArCHe homepage ( A progress plan should be included.
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work)
  • Complete list of publications and academic works
  • Proof of language proficiencies
  • List of two reference persons to be contacted by the selection committee (name, relation to candidate, e-mail address and phone number)
  • Copy of MA degree diploma(s) and academic transcripts

Applicants may be asked to submit their Master's thesis or further information later.

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

Please save and upload all attachments with your surname in the file name, e.g. SURNAME-Att-1. Please note that only documents submitted through the portal will be considered. Do not send any documents by email and do not upload any extra attachments (e.g. articles, thesis). The application portal “JobbNorge” has a field for “application text” and a standard CV that is entered in the portal. Please do not use these online forms, but instead use the CV template and the Motivational letter template. It is only these attachments that will form the basis for the evaluation. You can submit the application at any date until the Call closes at 23:59, Central European Time, on the deadline date. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

When evaluating the application, emphasis will be given to the project description and the applicant’s academic and personal prerequisites to carry out the project. Applicants may be called in for an interview.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

Contact information on the position

Professor Almut Schülke, e-mail:, mobile: +47 968 82 161

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