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PhD Fellowship in Archaeobotany, Palaeoecology – UiS, Norway 2022

Norway, University of Stavanger, UiS

The University of Stavanger (UiS) invites applicants for a PhD Fellowship in Archaeobotany or Palaeoecology at the Museum of Archaeology, Department of Archaeological Excavations and Natural Sciences – Norway 2022

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General Info

Position: PhD
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , ,
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 3 years
Salary: NOK 491 200 per annum

Museum of Archaeology
Department of Archaeological Excavations and Natural Sciences
University of Stavanger, UiS
Stavanger, Norway

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Qualification Details

We are looking for applicants with a strong academic background who have completed a five-year master degree (3+2) within one or more of the following fields: botany, archaeology, ecology or quaternary geology, with a specialism in the analysis of plant macrofossils, pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs, charcoal, phytoliths or another related field, preferably acquired recently; or possess corresponding qualifications that could provide a basis for successfully completing a doctorate. The successful candidate should have a NOKUT-approved MA.

To be eligible for admission to the doctoral programmes at the University of Stavanger both the grade for your master’s thesis and the weighted average grade of your master’s degree must individually be equivalent to or better than a B grade.

Applicants with an education from an institution with a different grade scale than A-F, and/or with other types of credits than sp/ECTS, must attach a confirmed conversion scale that shows how the grades can be compared with the Norwegian A-F scale and a Diploma Supplement or similar that explains the scope of the subject that are included in the education. You can use these conversion scales  to calculate your points for admission.

The successful candidate must have at least reading comprehension of Norwegian or another Scandinavian language, as much of the research material is in Norwegian.

Emphasis is also placed on your:

  • motivation and potential for research within the field
  • professional and personal skills for completing the doctoral degree within the timeframe
  • ability to work independently and in a team, be innovative and creative
  • ability to work structured and handle a heavy workload
  • having a good command of both oral and written English

Responsibilities/Job Description

The appointment is for three years with research duties exclusively. The position is vacant for accession as soon as possible.

This is a trainee position that will give promising researchers an opportunity for academic development through a PhD education leading to a doctoral degree.

The hired candidate will be admitted to the PhD program in Social Sciences. The education includes relevant courses to about six months of study, a dissertation based on independent research, participation in national and international research environments, relevant academic communication, a trial lecture and public defence. Read more about the PhD education at UiS on our website.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page

Reference Number: -
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

To apply for this position please follow the link "Apply for this job". Your application letter, relevant education and work experience as well as language skills must be registered here. In your application letter, you must state your research interests and motivation for the position.

The following documents must be uploaded as attachments to your application:

  • project proposal, a project proposal template can be found here.
  • CV with a full summary of your education and experience
  • references, certificates/diplomas and other documentation that you consider relevant
  • Diploma Supplement or similar and a confirmed conversion scale if this is required
  • publications or other relevant research work

Applications are evaluated based on the information available in Jobbnorge at the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above and that you have attached the necessary documentation.

The documentation must be available in either a Scandinavian language or in English. If the total size of the attachments exceeds 30 MB, they must be compressed before upload.

Please note that information on applicants may be published even if the applicant has requested not to be included in the official list of applicants - see Section 25 of the Freedom of Information Act. If your request is not granted, you will be notified.

UiS only considers applications and attachments registered in Jobbnorge.

About the Research topic

Museum of Archaeology is home to a strong and dynamic research community in archaeobotany and palaeoecology. Archaeobotany is the study of human exploitation of, and interaction with, plants in the past. Palaeoecology explores past environments and human interactions with nature over the long-term, for example through the study of changes in flora, vegetation, and landscape.

The “green transition” is a central theme in the University of Stavanger’s strategic plan, and the museum can make a unique contribution to this by highlighting long-term trends in the development of ecosystems. Studies of past plant use and adaptations to climate change and other natural and anthropogenic environmental changes can provide us with the tools to shape a sustainable future.

With this in mind, we at the museum wish to analyse, compare, interpret and synthesise our large corpus of archaeobotanical material from southwest Norway, in order to activate and showcase a part of the collections which is often less visible than archaeological artefacts. Archaeobotanical material is essential for understanding the complex interplay between society and ecology. The successful project will preferentially include material from Museum of Archaeology's collections, which include pollen and plant macrofossils from both archaeological contexts and natural archives such as sediment cores from bogs and lakes. This material can either be the main focus of the study or can be compared with material from other regions in Norway or further afield. It will also be possible to collect and analyse supplementary material.

Climate and biodiversity are interlinked, and the rapidly increasing loss of species and biotopes as a result of human activity can even accelerate climate change. We need concrete and factual information about prehistoric and preindustrial biodiversity, as well as past exploitation of plant resources, in areas with documented past human occupation in order to investigate this. There is also a need to critically examine the role of cultural heritage management in development practices that have led to certain ecosystems becoming threatened and even in danger of disappearing entirely from the landscape.

Potential avenues of investigation which invite collaboration with research communities in natural science and archaeology, the municipal environmental protection department, and other regional administrative institutions, include:

  • Sustainable land use, agriculture and/or plant exploitation in the past.
  • The use of wild plants in the past as food, medicine, textiles, pigments, fuel etc.
  • Cultural heritage management and collections management from an environmental perspective – sustainable practice?
  • Variation in biodiversity in selected biogeographical regions in a long-term perspective, and how this relates to settlement history, population density, natural and anthropogenic environmental changes, etc.
  • Ecological resilience or collapse. Changes in ecosystems or landscapes vs. settlement change or abandonment. Identify possible tipping points which have resulted in changes in ecosystems.
  • Climatic and/or anthropogenic causality in known periods of change in vegetation history, which are also reflected in the archaeological record.

About the Project

As an applicant, you must prepare a preliminary project proposal for a doctoral project within the subject area, which explains its research question(s), relevance, theoretical and methodological approach. Your preliminary project proposal will be included in the application assessment.

During the first three months of the employment period, the project proposal and progress plan will be further developed in cooperation with your supervisors and completed for the final plan for the PhD-project. A project proposal template can be found here.

About the Department

The Museum of Archaeology has an academic staff with researchers in archeology, conservation, various natural sciences and more recent cultural history. The staff covers several fields within conservation, laboratories, photographic services, archives and scientific collections, management tasks under the Cultural Heritage Act, exhibition production, graphic design, school service and public involvment. The museum publishes two series on level 1 in the CRIStin-system.

The museum currently has a total of approximately 90 permanent employees in four departments and in the museum administration.

About the Employer: University of Stavanger, UiS

Note or Other details

  • a PhD education in a large, exciting and socially important organisation
  • an ambitious work community which is developing rapidly. We strive to include employees at all levels in strategic decisions and promote an informal atmosphere with a flat organisational structure.
  • salary in accordance with the State Salary Scale, 17.515, code 1017, NOK 491 200 gross per year with salary development according to seniority in the position. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • automatic membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, which provides favourable insurance- and retirement benefits
  • favourable membership terms at a gym and at the SIS sports club at campus
  • employment with an Inclusive Workplace organisation which is committed to reducing sick leave, increasing the proportion of employees with reduced working capacity, and increasing the number of professionally active seniors
  • "Hjem-jobb-hjem" discounted public transport to and from work
  • as an employee in Norway, you will have access to an optimal health service, as well as good pensions, generous maternity/paternity leave, and a competitive salary. Nursery places are guaranteed and reasonably priced
  • relocation programme
  • language courses: On this page you can see which language courses you may be entitled to (look up “language courses” under employment conditions)

Employment as PhD Fellow is regulated in "Regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of post-doctoral research fellow and research fellow, research assistant and resident".

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Contact details

More information on the position (and project description) can be obtained from Head of Research Anja Mansrud, tel: +47 41682138 ,
e-mail: or Head of Department Krister Eilertsen, tel: +47 98826959, e-mail:

Information about the appointment procedure can be obtained from HR adviser Janne V. Endresen, tel: +47 51831216,

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