Senior Research Assistant in Digital Archaeology

Updated: about 1 month ago

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest institutions of higher education with over 37,000 students and 4,800 faculty and staff. We are characterised by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison. Umeå University is also the site of the pioneering discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors - a revolution in genetic engineering that has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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The Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies is part of Umeå University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities has about 110 employees. The department combines researchers, lecturers, and students within the fields of archaeology, environmental archaeology, philosophy, history, history and education, history of science and ideas, religious studies, and theology under one roof. The department also hosts two national research infrastructures: The Environmental Archaeology Laboratory  and the Strategic Environmental Archaeology Database (SEAD) .

We are now looking for a Senior Research Assistant in Digital Archaeology to help build up and work within the Swedish National Infrastructure for Digital Archeology: SweDigArch/SveDigArk . 

The digital and scientific developments of the 21st century have led to an exponential increase in the amount of data on prehistory created by research and contract archaeology. Through the SweDigArch national infrastructure, funded by The Swedish Research Council, the tremendous knowledge potential which exists in archaeological documentation, scientific analyses and cultural heritage collections will be organized, collated, and made available. SweDigArch will facilitate advanced, data driven analyses at a scale not previously possible. The infrastructure is organized into six modules, and Umeå University will lead the work in environmental archaeology/archaeological science, in close collaboration with Humlab at Umeå University and several national partners.

Job description
The primary tasks will involve coordinating work within Module 4 of SweDigArch, and contributing to the technical and scientific development of a system for managing and disseminating archaeological science data. This will include coordinating data management for different analysis methods, advising on and testing of interface designs, and quality assurance and testing of various data management features. Testing may also involve limited data entry and pilot projects to raise awareness of the system and provide the research community with good examples. Results from these projects are expected to be published in scientific journals and displayed on the project's website and .

The person hired will work closely with the module leader, participate in decision-making processes and, if necessary, replacing the module leader in national and international meetings and be responsible for the module's website, . The employed person will act as the point of contact for SweDigArch in Umeå, maintain discussions with the national coordinator in Uppsala, organize local project meetings, and initiate and maintain project documentation. The work will involve close collaboration with the archeology section and Humlab at Umeå university, as well as other national partners in the project.

Qualifications and assessments
We are looking for someone with a PhD in archeology, biology, ecology, geography, geology, paleoecology or any other subject relevant to the position; experience of working within several projects, and/or work experience of e.g. contract archeology, environmental analysis; previous work with natural science research methods such as analyses, sampling, and data management.

High level of computing competence, with experience of MS Office as well as documented experience in writing, presenting, and communicating scientific texts in English are a requirement for the employment. Fluency in written and spoken English is also required.
You are a self-motivated individual and can cooperate well with others within the SweDigArch consortium.

Other desirable qualifications
It would also be an advantage to have:

  • Experience of interdisciplinary research (through cross-disciplinary collaboration in projects and/or publications).
  • Experience on project management or equivalent skills (e.g. leading role in a completed project or leadership training).
  • Experience of analyzing, presenting, and communicating scientific data to other researchers (e.g. websites, publications, conference presentations).
  • Experience of working with several different analysis methods and data types.
  • Knowledge of the Swedish language, or an interest in being able to communicate in Swedish in the future.

The application must be written in English or Swedish and contain:

  • A personal letter describing your qualifications and motivation for applying (1-2 pages)
  • A description written in English of what you think SweDigArch can have for impact on interdisciplinary research in Sweden and internationally (maximum 1 page)
  • CV (Curriculum Vitae)
  • A copy of your doctoral diploma, as well as other relevant certificates and/or grades
  • Publication list with attached copies of the 2-4 most relevant works that confirm the competencies we are looking for
  • Contact information for two reference persons

Please apply through Umeå University’s e-recruitment system Varbi.
The last day to submit your application is October 14, 2022.

Other information
The employment is full-time and permanent, but an initial trial employment may be applied.

The starting date of the employment is as soon as possible and according to agreement.

If you have any questions, please contact the Director of the Environmental Archeology Laboratory Philip Buckland (090-7865295, or Head of Department Jonas Nilsson (090-7869990,

For information about the department, see Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies  and The Environmental Archaelogogy Lab .

We look forward to receiving your application!

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