phd fellowship


Univ. Stavanger








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Job description

The University of Stavanger invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in Archaeology and Cognition at the Museum of Archaeology. The appointment is for three years with research duties exclusively.

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.
Research topic

PhD in archaeology and cognition: interdisciplinary approaches to human- animal relations in archaeology

The main objective of this PhD-project should be to achieve novel understandings of human-animal relations in archaeology, by using a combination of archaeological and cognitive research. Throughout prehistory, humans have shared the planet with other animals, in various multi-species environments. Animals have been tamed, bred, domesticated, buried, nurtured as pets and companions, in addition to being exploited for food and products.

The project should utilize an interdisciplinary approach to better our understanding of changing relations between human and animals in past environments. By integrating archaeology or archaeometry, human-animal studies and cognitive studies, the project should aim to move beyond the purely practical uses of animals in archaeology, towards the study of human-animal engagements and interactions, or address how changing modes of entanglement between humans, wild and domestic animals impacted their everyday life-courses.

Changing human-animal interactions have created a landslide of civilizational development. Both intangible relationalities and material cultures changed irrevocably. These processes are currently understood in terms of their consequences. The biological and cognitive foundations underpinning intra-species interaction and communication remains yet to be fully explored in archaeological research. If applicable, the PhD- project should study human-animal interactions and animal cognition by investigating themes such as biochemical prerequisites for the development of the human-animal bond, neurological and/or cognitive aspects of human-animal interactions in combination with a study of archaeological data.

The PhD-project is a collaboration between the faculty Museum of Archaeology and the Lab of Cognition, and will approach archaeological research on human-animal relations as a combination of three perspectives:

Human-animal interactions as biological processes - assessments of biochemical data
Human-animal interactions as social processes - assessment and development of theories for exploring human-animal interaction
Human-animal interactions as cognitive process - assessment and experiments supported by the Lab of Cognition

The PhD-project could potentially address issues like seeking novel understandings of domestication events or processes, such as moments in time where the trajectory of human-animal relations entered new configurations, for example pastoralism or transhumance grazing systems, or other processes of domestication, commensalism and co-domestication which forged new ways of living for both humans and animals. Potential research questions could be:

Why did some species become domesticated and others not?
How did the utilization of milk products or other secondary animal products create new types of relations?
How did human-animal interactions unfold in everyday life, as part of households, herds or other multi-species configurations? How did new environmental niches create new kinds of human-animal relationships?

Species of interest range from dogs, cats, hens, sheep, goat, cattle, horses, pigs, reindeer, and other deer species.

Human-animal relations also lies at the heart of the environmental humanities. The traditional narratives of the past, outlined as one of human mastery over animals, is increasingly contested. Archaeological materials can contribute to or challenge and contest present norms and understandings of boundaries between humans and other beings. Archaeological investigations may focus on faunal remains, household materials, the organization of spaces and dwellings and similar.

New scientific analyses of have successfully extrapolated the unfolding of new relations, interactions and events. Through archaeometric methods such as DNA and trace elements in ancient animal bones, isotope analysis, lipid analysis of ceramic and microarchaeological studies, animal remains and materials from different contexts can be explored, for example faunal remains, ceramics and secondary products of organic origin like fibres, feathers and hair.

Although it is preferable that the project deals with the archaeological record from the museum collections, applicants can choose geographical areas, materials and periods that are best suited to meet the objectives.
Project proposal

As an applicant, you must prepare a preliminary project proposal for a doctoral project that formulates relevant scientific research questions anchored in applicable methods and theories, oriented towards an interdisciplinary approach anchored in archaeology in combination with cognitive studies. The description should also outline a plan for accessing the relevant data set(s). 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.
Project proposal
Qualification requirements

We are looking for applicants with a strong academic background who have completed a five-year master degree (3+2) within Archeology, 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.

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

Marte Pupe Støyva
Arkeologisk Museums bibliotek
We offer

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 482 200 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.
Contact information

More information on the position can be obtained from Professor and Head of research at the museum, Kristin Armstrong-Oma, tel: +4751832601/+4790577653, e-mail: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein! or Associate Professor Anja Mansrud, tel +4741682138, e-mail Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!

Information about the appointment procedure can be obtained from teamleader recruitment May Merete Tjessem Opdal, tel: +4751833011, e-mail:
Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!.

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.
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.
Arkelogis museum
UiS - challenge the well-known and explore the unknown

The University of Stavanger (UiS) has about 12,000 students and 1,900 employees. The university has high ambitions. We strive to have an innovative and international profile, and be a driving force in knowledge development and in the process of societal change. Our common direction is driven by consideration for sustainable change and equitable social development, through new ways of managing natural resources and facilitating better cities and local communities. Energy, health and welfare, learning for life are our focus areas.

In constant collaboration and dialogue with our surroundings, regionally, nationally and internationally, we enjoy an open and creative climate for education, research, innovation, dissemination and museum activities. Academic life at the University of Stavanger is organised into six faculties comprising various departments/schools and National Research Centres, as well as the Museum of Archaeology. We are a member of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities. The university is located in the most attractive region in the country with more than 300,000 inhabitants. The Stavanger region has a dynamic labour market and exciting cultural and leisure activities.

Together with our staff and students we will challenge the well-known and explore the unknown.

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 80 permanent employees in four departments and in the museum administration.

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15th August 2021

University of Stavanger



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