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PhD Fellowship in Historical Archaeology, Early Medieval History, Norse Studies


University of Stavanger invites applicants for a PhD Fellowship in Historical Archaeology, Early Medieval history, Norse studies at the Museum of Archaeology, The Department of Cultural Heritage, Norway – Sep 2021

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General Info

Position: PhD
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: ,
Deadline to Apply: Expired on
Joining Date: Feb 1, 2022
Contract Period: 3 Years
Salary: 491,200 NOK/Year

The Museum of Archaeology
The Department of Cultural Heritage


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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 archaeology, history or similar education, preferably acquired recently; or possess corresponding qualifications that could provide a basis for successfully completing a doctorate.

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. The degree must be completed upon application deadline.

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 master degree should be NOKUT approved.

You should be able to read Norwegian or another Scandinavian language sufficiently to use Norwegian source material, as Norwegian archaeological reports, databases, laws, place name material and archive material are important sources.

Emphasis is also placed on your:

  • motivation and potential for research within the field
  • your professional and personal skills for completing the doctoral degree within the timeframe
  • being active and updated within the field of study, especially if there is more than five years since submitting an MA
  • 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

Knowledge of GIS-based, or other related or relevant methods is an advantage.

Responsibilities/Job Description

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.

The position is part of the project «Viking beacons - Militarism in northern Europe», funded by Research Council Norway (RCN).

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

A short application letter with reference to enclosed cover letter, relevant education and work experience as well as language skills must be registered here.

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

  • A cover letter presenting the candidate, her/his skills, research interests, motivations and ambitions for wanting a PhD and applying for this one.
  • Project proposal, a project proposal template can be foud here. Maximum five pages including references, the proposal should outline a project you wish to work on that also supports the main project's aims and goals.
  • Summary/"abstract" of the master thesis in english (max 1 page)
  • 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 (posters, conference papers etc.)

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 Project

The project «Viking beacons - Militarism in northern Europe» is the first major study of Viking Age beacons; the Vikings warning or signalling system for imminent threats. Traces of these warning systems based on light signals are important documentations of the Vikings' fears and preparedness. The main hypothesis is that the Vikings highly advanced form of civil defence was an important driving force in the shaping of centralised power in early historic Europe (AD 500-1600). The primary research question is what was the role of war in the creation, consolidation and maintenance of collective identities, emergent polities and kingdoms in early medieval northern European populations and communities.

The project will identify beacon sites and beacon networks in the Viking homelands through analysis of archaeological, historical, linguistic and geographical evidence from selected case studies in Norway and Scandinavia. We will date beacons through core sampling and C14-analysis, to establish a new chronology of war for Scandinavia. Through beacon systems, we can study how Viking societies prepared for war and attacks, and how civil society and groups contributed to organise the beacons, across communities and law areas. In this way, the project will also challenge the assumptions about the Vikings' aggressive male warrior society.

The project combines knowledge and methods from several disciplines, such as archeology, history, geography and science.

The project is searching for a PhD Fellow who will work with military communication systems at local and regional level within the period 500-1600 AD in selected areas, preferably in northwest Norway and the Trøndelag region. The project will generate data through studies of e.g. place names, laws, historical sources and maps, as well as beacons and other related infrastructures (e.g. boathouses, boathouses, sea barriers, muster places, citizens, centres of power, administrative districts) and their geographical distribution, to study how war and fear-driven reactions influences and institutionalises society. The aim is to shed light on the beacon institution's social and military organisation and especially the civil societies contribution.

The PhD candidate can use different methods, such as landscape- and GIS analysis, use of LIDAR, landscape modelling or other geographical analysis methods. Local area studies should be contrasted by large-scale analysis. The doctoral dissertation must be written in English.

The PhD candidate is expected to generate knowledge that contributes to the candidate's own competence development, as well as to produce results that the overall project can benefit from. The PhD candidate is considered part of the project group and will be involved in the project as a whole, participate in meetings and workshops and contribute to the dissemination of research. The research fellow is expected to complete an exchange stay at one of the project council member institutions (University College London, England) during the project period.

About Project Proposal

As an applicant, you must prepare a preliminary project proposal of 3-5 pages for a doctoral project within the subject area, which explains the problem, relevance, theoretical and methodological approach. The project should also include a progress plan. 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.

The project proposal shall describe a project that contributes to supporting the main project's aims and goals and should also promote an experience of ownership for the candidate.

About the Museum

The museum 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 of writings which are point-giving in CRIStin.

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

About the Employer: University of Stavanger, UiS



  • a possibility to participate in a new and exciting interdisciplinary and international RCN-project
  • 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.
  • 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)

General information

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 UiS.

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".

Your qualifications for the position, based on documentation registered in Jobbnorge, will be assessed by an internal expert committee. Based on the committee's statement, relevant applicants will be invited to an interview before any recommendations are made. References will also be obtained for relevant candidates. More about the hiring process on our website.

The appointee will be based at the University of Stavanger, with the exception of a stay abroad at a relevant centre of research.

It is a prerequisite that you have a residence which enables you to be present at/available to the academic community during ordinary working hours.

The position has been announced in both Norwegian and English. In the case of differences of meaning between the texts, the Norwegian text takes precedence.

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Contact details

More information on the position and project description can be obtained from project leader Dr. Marie Ødegaard, tel: + 47 92425068, e-mail: marie.odegaard@uis.no or Head of Department Krister Scheie Eilertsen, tel: + 47 98826959, e-mail: krister.eilertsen@uis.no.

Information about the appointment procedure can be obtained from HR adviser Janne V. Endresen, tel. +47 51831216, e-mail: janne.v.endresen@uis.no.

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