4-OCEANS Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Geometric & Traditional Morphometrics

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 12 Jun 2022

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About the position 

We seek to appoint a three-year postdoctoral research fellow (PDR) specializing in geometric and traditional morphometrics, to be applied to archaeological and historical osteological specimens of marine fish and sea mammals.

The postdoctoral fellowship position is a temporary position where the main goal is to qualify for work in senior academic positions.  

The successful applicant will: (i) join a growing interdisciplinary team studying human impacts on key marine taxa globally over the last two millennia; (ii) lead their own measurement-driven research, within the overall goals of the 4-OCEANS project; (iii) collaborate with project team members specializing in ancient DNA, bulk and compound-specific stable isotopes, zooarchaeology and environmental history; and (iv) build collaborations with national and international institutions and researchers. Additionally, the PDR will have the opportunity to invest in state-of-the art data-capture technologies and conduct research in national and international collaborating institutions.

More specifically, the successful applicant will design data-collection strategies for traditional (calliper-based) morphometrics, 2D image-based geometric morphometrics (GMM) and GMM using 3D models. They will establish protocols for comparable data collection across the team, carry out primary laboratory recording, conduct quantitative data analysis in cooperation with other project members, and lead the writing of morphometric papers for international journals, as well as being a co-author of other interdisciplinary papers.

The post-holder will have successfully defended their PhD, authored high-quality publication(s) in a related field, and demonstrated evidence of being both intellectually driven and highly cooperative in a teamwork setting. They will be clearly motivated to contribute to the scientific and societal goals of the 4-OCEANS project, and also to work collaboratively with Indigenous rightsholders. Candidates having backgrounds in either (zoo)archaeology or ecology (broadly defined) are welcome, with training available to assist the successful applicant in bridging disciplines.

4-OCEANS is a new European Research Council Synergy Project funded for six years under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 951649). It aims to assess the importance of marine life for human societies globally during the last two millennia, up to the age of fishing under steam-powered vessels. Further information regarding the project and growing team is available at https://www.ntnu.edu/museum/4-oceans  and https://www.tcd.ie/tceh/4-oceans/ .

The post-holder will report to principal investigator Professor James Barrett . For informal inquiries regarding the position, he can be contacted at james.barrett@ntnu.no . It is anticipated that the post-holder will begin on 1 September 2022.


Duties of the position
  • Finalise the research design for the morphometric strand of the 4-OCEANS project.
  • Design data-collection strategies for traditional (calliper-based) morphometrics, 2D image-based geometric morphometrics (GMM) and virtual GMM using 3D models, including taking final decisions regarding hardware and software.
  • Establish and publish protocols for comparable morphometric data collection of faunal material of the ten key taxa of the 4-OCEANS project.
  • Conduct primary laboratory recording, nationally and internationally.
  • Conduct quantitative data analysis in cooperation with other project members.
  • Lead the writing of morphometric papers for international journals.
  • Co-author interdisciplinary papers led by other team members.
  • Ensure the open-access archiving of project morphometric data, and associated meta-data, following project protocols.
  • Maintain accurate and accessible records of the post-holder’s research expenses and research activities, for reporting to the funder.
  • Give effective project presentations in English, and act as a project ambassador during research activities and conference attendance, nationally and internationally.
  • Provide frequent updates of project progress to PI James Barrett and other team members.
  • Engage with training opportunities as needed, to fulfil the interdisciplinary objectives of the role.

Required selection criteria
  • A professionally relevant background in (zoo)archaeology, marine ecology or a cognate discipline, with direct experience of traditional and/or geometric morphometric methods.
  • A successfully defended PhD (by the start date).
  • A strong academic background from your previous studies.
  • A track record of international journal publication, commensurate with career stage. For recent graduates, planned publications can be in manuscript (e.g. forthcoming) form if available for evaluation.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail regarding data collection and analysis.
  • Evidence of collegial teamwork and collaborative research.
  • Demonstrated clear motivation to further the aims of the 4-OCEANS project and to work at NTNU.
  • Ability to conduct daily spoken and written work in English.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant   


Preferred selection criteria
  • Candidates with direct experience of zooarchaeology may be preferred.
  • Other qualifications being equal, candidates with direct experience of GMM (in addition to traditional morphometrics) may be preferred.
  • Candidates with experience of creating and manipulating 3D models may be preferred.
  • Candidates with evidence of excellent public presentation skills may be preferred.
  • Candidates with a second language pertinent to the 4-OCEANS project may be preferred.
  • Candidates with experience using Microsoft Access or Open-Office databases may be preferred.
  • Candidates with evidence of experience working with computer programming languages (e.g. Python/R) and statistical analyses may be preferred.

Personal characteristics
  • Honesty
  • Collegiality
  • Intellectual ambition
  • Generosity
  • Attention to detail

We offer 
Salary and conditions

As a Postdoctoral Fellow (code 1352) you are normally paid from gross NOK 553 500 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund. 

 The period of employment is 3 years.  

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work. 

The position is subject to external funding. 

It is a prerequisite that you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily, except when on holiday or travelling for agreed project research.


About the application 

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English. 

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above.  

The application must include: 

  • CV, including education (with results), employment, awards, major conference presentations and publications list
  • A cover letter setting out your previous research history, your intellectual ambitions within the 4-OCEANS project, and your motivation for joining the project and NTNU.
  • Name and address of three academic referees
  • Up to three sample publications or other relevant research work
  • If not yet graduated, an official confirmation of the date your PhD requirements will be fulfilled.
  • If offered the position, you may be required to provide documentation (certificates and diplomas) of your qualifications

Co-authored works are welcome as sample publications. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, please attach a brief description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA. 


General information 

Working at NTNU 

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background.  

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is Norway’s largest university, with c.42 000 students and c.7760 staff. In recent years, around 400 PhD degrees have been awarded yearly, of which a large share is international PhD students. The university has a wide international network and has participated in 218 Horizon 2020 projects, 60 as coordinator, including 13 ERC grants and 30 MSCA-IF. It presently holds two ERC Synergy grants. NTNU has four strategic areas of research: sustainability, energy, oceans, and health. The university is the host or partner for 46 large research centres.

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.  

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted. 

Under the freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants. 

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Prof. James Barrett, email: james.barrett@ntnu.no . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Senior Executive Officer Haavar Meyer Bratt, e-mail: haavar.bratt@ntnu.no .

Please submit your application electronically via jobbnorge.no with your CV, cover letter and the other documents requested above. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. 

Application deadline: 12 June 2022 

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Our most important field of research is cultural history and cultural heritage, technology and methods of spatial analysis, and conservation in practice. In terms of the Cultural Heritage Act, we conduct archaeological surveys and excavations both on land and in water. Heritage management duties also include preservation and curation of cultural heritage archives and collections. We conduct extensive dissemination and outreach, and educate archaeologists in cooperation with the Department of Historical Studies. The Department of Archaeology and Cultural History is one of two departments at the NTNU University Museum. 


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