Doctoral student in Archaeology (Radiocarbon dates and Bayesian statistical modelling, From correlations to explanations: towards a new European

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: Fixed term

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At the Department of Historical Studies, which belongs to the Faculty of Humanities, education and research are conducted in the three subjects of History, Archaeology and Classical Archaeology and Ancient History. Education is offered at all levels, from the undergraduate to the PhD student level. The research takes place both within the individual subjects and in major interdisciplinary projects, where national and international collaboration is an important element. The department currently has nearly 100 employees in the form of researchers, lecturers, doctoral students and administrators. Teaching and research within the discipline of Archaeology are concerned with social change in past societies, with a focus on the material remains of human behaviour. The chronological and geographical range is wide. Within the department there is a close collaboration between Archaeology and its sister disciplines History and Classical Archaeology and Ancient History with regard to both research and teaching.

More information about the department and the subject of Archaeology can be found on our website

This position is funded by a recent EU Synergy grant awarded to UCL and Gothenburg and Copenhagen Universities. The person appointed will be a member of an international team developing interdisciplinary approaches to achieve the project’s aims. The successful applicant will be employed by the Department of Historical studies in Gothenburg.

Subject area

Application of Bayesian chronological modelling to Radiocarbon dates within the field of Neolithic studies in Europe.

From correlations to explanations: towards a new European prehistory (COREX)

Synergy projects represent the top level of European Research Council funding, with a budget of €10 million over six years. In the project “From correlations to explanations: towards a new European prehistory (COREX)” geneticists and archaeologists from University College London (led by Mark Thomas and Stephen Shennan) join forces with archaeologists from Gothenburg (led by Kristian Kristiansen and Karl Göran Sjögren), and geneticists from Copenhagen (led by Kurt Kjær, Eske Willerslev and Fernando Racimo). The project will combine prehistoric human genomic, archaeological, environmental, stable isotope and climate data to better understand the processes that shaped our biological and cultural past from the time of the first farmers to the Iron Age (6000 to 500 BC).

Job assignments
  • To apply Bayesian chronological modelling on selected archaeological problems relating to the overall aims of the COREX project, leading to the production of a PhD thesis at the university of Gothenburg. The problems to be addressed may be discussed but should involve interpretation of Neolithisation and prehistoric mobility patterns.
  • The PhD- candidate is expected to perform chronological modelling for the transition hunter-gatherer-Neolithic in particular at the Atlantic façade.
  • To develop theories for the Neolithisation processes in selected regions (e.g. Northwest France and the Bay of Biscay, Scandinavia).
  • To collaborate with other team members on Work Package 1, which aims to integrate existing and newly collected large-scale archaeological data, existing ancient genomes, dietary and mobility isotope results, land cover inferred from pollen diagrams, and new eDNA results. This will provide the basis for exploring the relations between patterns in these different phenomena and modelling how small-scale processes can generate large-scale patterns in genetic and cultural data.

Duties and responsibilities

  • collaborate with other team members in carrying out data collection, data analyses, writing papers and making conference presentations.
  • take part in regular project meetings, online and (hopefully) in person in London, Gothenburg and Copenhagen.

The total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time postgraduate education and may be extended after institutional service, e.g., teaching, by a maximum of 20% in accordance with HF 5, section 5, section 7, doctoral student employment.


To be eligible for the position, the applicant must meet both general and specific entry requirements according to the Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 7.

 The general entry requirements for third-cycle (PhD) studies are:

  • a degree at the second-cycle level, or
  • at least 240 higher education (university) credits (HEC), of which at least 60 HEC must be at the second-cycle level, or
  • largely equivalent knowledge acquired in other ways in Sweden or abroad
  • The specific entry requirements for third-cycle studies in Archaeology are at least 120 HEC in Archaeology, of which at least 30 HEC (including a degree project of at least 15 HEC) must have been completed in the second cycle, or equivalent qualifications.

    • The subject of the Master thesis and/or other research publications should be in a research area relevant to the subject area and involve Bayesian chronological modelling.
    • Experience of working with quantitative archaeological data 
    • IT skills, particularly database management and statistical evaluation
    • Knowledge of European languages other than English and Swedish is desirable


    According to the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 7, applicants will be assessed based on their estimated ability to benefit from the study programmes and on the Department’s supervisory resources. Scientific proficiency will be given priority in the evaluation of the qualifications of the applicants, and it is assessed primarily on the basis of the applicant’s publications. A publication record demonstrating links to the research group's core activities will be considered an important qualification. Great emphasis will be placed on personal suitability.

    The recruitment process may include interviews by video link and contacting references.

    The applications are reviewed by an advisory committee and final decisions on admission are made by the Head of Department. Decisions on admission are announced in early May and cannot be appealed.


    Type of employment: 4 years

    Extent: 100% (full-time)

    Location: Department of Historical Studies, Gothenburg

    First day of employment: 2022-09-01

    After admission to third-cycle studies you will be appointed to doctoral studentship. Regulations for employment of doctoral students are given in SFS 1993:100. The initial appointment may apply for no longer than one year. An appointment may be renewed for no more than two years at a time. A person may be appointed to a doctoral studentship for a total of eight years. The total employment period may, however, not exceed the time corresponding to full-time third-cycle study for four years.

    Salaries for doctoral students are regulated in a local agreement at the University.

    For further information regarding the position

    Kristian Kristiansen, PI COREX

    +46 704 18 57 67

    Bettina Schulz Paulsson, supervisor COREX

    +46 31 99 12 14

    Lise-Lotte Walter, Administrative manager

    +46 31 786 65 73


    Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

    Information for International Applicants

    Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit:

    How to apply

    In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

    The following documents should be attached to the application:

  • A cover letter (max 1000 words) specifying how the candidate is qualified for the research that the position involves. The letter should consist of four sections in the following order: a) a brief presentation of yourself, b) a short presentation of your merits, c) a summary of the intended research project and d) a short motivation why the doctoral studies program at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg is of interest to you.
  • A project proposal briefly outlining the suggested PhD thesis and how it relates to the overall aims of COREX. The proposal should a) demonstrate an ability to formulate scientific problems and to establish the relevance of the project, b) show familiarity with previous and current research, c) describe appropriate sources and methods for the study and d) provide a brief time schedule for the project. The project description should not exceed 3,000 words (approx. 6–7 pages), including abstract, excluding bibliography.
  • A verified Masters degree certificate.
  • A CV listing academic degrees, employments, publications, and other relevant merits.
  • At most three scientific publications, plus a second-cycle thesis (normally the final examination thesis from a Masters program) or another major independently authored scholarly text (e.g., a published article).
  • Contact information for two academics familiar with the research work of the applicant for further contact/reference. 
  • We welcome applications written in English, since a non-Swedish speaking person may be appointed as external expert in the recruitment process.

    Closing date: 2022-02-14

    The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

    Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

    In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.

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