PhD Position in Iron Age textile manufacture – University of Stavanger, Nov 2022



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The University of Stavanger invites applicants for a Ph.D. Fellowship in Iron Age textile manufacture at the Museum of Archaeology, Department of Collections, Norway – Nov 2022

Qualification Details

We are looking for applicants with a strong academic background who have completed a five-year NOKUT-approved master degree (3+2) within archaeology, 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. If you finish your education (masters degree) in the autumn of 2022 you are also welcome to apply. 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. 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

Requirements for competence in English

A good proficiency in English is required for anyone attending the PhD program. International applicants must document this by taking one of the following tests with the following results:
  • TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language, Internet-Based Test (IBT). Minimum result: 90
  • IELTS - International English Language Testing Service. Minimum result: 6.5
  • Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) og Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) from the University of Cambridge
  • PTE Academic - Pearson Test of English Academic. Minimum result: 62
The following applicants are exempt from the above requirements:
  • Applicants with one year of completed university studies in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, USA
  • Applicants with an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma
  • Applicants with a completed bachelor's and / or master's degrees taught in English in a EU/EEA country

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 appointment is for three years with research duties exclusively. 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 defense. Read more about the PhD education at UiS on our website.

Research topic

The main objective of this PhD project should be to achieve novel knowledge of Iron Age textile production by using a combination of archaeological, experimental and/or archaeometric research methods. The manufacturing of wool and textiles of high quality involve a long and complex production sequence, based on a wide spectrum of knowledge, beginning with the breeding of sheep, feeding and grazing regimes, the plucking, sorting and dyeing of the wool, to the finished cloth or tablet woven band. Empirical knowledge of the operational chains and the spectrum of actors involved in prehistoric textile production is needed. Rather than focusing on one specific textile production technique, the successful candidate with take into account the whole complex of the production sequence and from there, zoom in on aspects of the process (production, use, deposition, context). Studies aiming to identify wool colours and thus the aesthetic and visual aspects of the Iron Age dress are also welcomed. Wool is a central component in Iron Age textile products. In Norway, the Migration period in particular stands out due to its wealth of information regarding textile production, in particular high quality textile products, such as the tablet woven bands. The project can focus of material from our collection, or on other geographical areas, materials and periods, if better suited to meet the objectives. Textiles and textile production is also central to developing new understandings of Iron Age everyday life, social conditions, technology, aesthetics, ritual and economy. Clothes in general, make up an understudied material in Iron Age research. The importance of the textile craft is documented through the deposition of textile tools such as loom weights in settlements/houses and spindle whorls and weaving battens in burials. Textile tools appear to be important in the materialization of identity; some tools, such as spindle whorls, heckles and weaving battens, may represent particular gendered identities. The production of wool is also entangled with sheep breeding. Hence, various theoretical perspectives can be employed, such as human-sheep engagement, gendered craft, transmission of knowledge and apprenticeship, to focus on textile craft and crafter(s), transmission of craft and the animals involved in wool production.

Methodological approaches

The research on archaeological textiles and textile manufacture techniques is currently expanding, the project should employ a combination of archaeological, experimental and/or archaeometric research methods. Experimental approaches and collaborations with modern master weavers and their products also make up a valuable contribution to a more profound understanding of textile craftmanship. Possible approaches may include micro IRT-analysis, micro residue analysis, microarchaeological studies of fibres/hairs, characterisations of ancient sheep breeds and wool types through microscopic methods and digital images such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM) or transmitted light microscopy (TLM) and strontium isotope analysis to analyse textile provenance. “Learning for life” is a central theme in the University of Stavanger’s strategic plan, and the museum can make a unique contribution to this by focusing on past practices and systems of practical knowledge transfer. Potential avenues of investigation which invite collaboration with research communities in conservation, craft and experimental archaeology include for example:
  • Biographies of wool production or the production of clothes/textiles
  • The exploitation and use of plants and other substances used as pigments in textile dyeing.
  • Understanding textile-production or dyeing techniques through experimental approaches
  • The relationship between sheep and wool production
  • The manufacture and use of textile tools, such as spindle whorls and weaving battens
  • Experimental and use-wear studies of loom weights, weaving-battens and spindle whorls

Project proposal

As an applicant, you must prepare a preliminary project proposal for a doctoral project within the subject area, which explains the problem, relevance, theoretical and methodological approach. The preliminary project proposal is heavily weighted in the application assessment, and applications which do not have a project description attached will not be assessed. A project proposal template can be found here. 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.

How to Apply?

Application Method: online_applicationRef. No. -

Application Procedure

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, publications or other relevant research work
  • references, certificates/diplomas and other documentation that you consider relevant
  • Diploma Supplement or similar and a confirmed conversion scale if this is required
  • documentation on competence in English if this is required
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.


  • 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.
  • colleague-based guidance programme (NyTi) if teaching is a part of your position
  • 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)


University of Stavanger values independence, involvement and innovation. Diversity is respected and considered a resource in our work and learning environment. Universal design characterises physical and digital learning environments, and we strive to provide reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities. You are encouraged to apply regardless of gender, disability or cultural background.

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.

Contact Details

More information on the position (and project description) can be obtained from Associate Professor and Head of research at the museum, Anja Mansrud, e-mail: [email protected], tel: +47 41682138, main supervisor professor Kristin Armstrong-Oma, tel. 51832601, e-mail [email protected] or Head of Department Magnus Mathisen Haaland, e-mail: [email protected], tel. 51832588. Information about the appointment procedure can be obtained from HR advisor Salla Andersen, tel: +47 51831976, e-mail: [email protected]