Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Middle Stone Age African Archaeology

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Middle Stone Age African Archaeology

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Postdoctoral Research Fellow

The Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural and Religious Studies invites applications for a postdoctoral position in Middle Stone Age African Archaeology, starting August 1st 2023, or as agreed. The position is for a fixed-term period of four years.

The position is part of Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE), a Centre of Excellence funded by the Norwegian Research Council.

SapienCE focuses on the behavioural origins of Homo sapiens in southern Africa between 120,000-50,000 years ago. The core research within the Centre is led by the Leader Group comprising five Principal Investigators and the Director. Our interdisciplinary team of scientists at the University of Bergen and the facilities of our national and international partners integrate records of early human cultural, social, technological and subsistence behaviours with innovative geoarchaeological, climate and cognitive data and models. This holistic approach provides ground-breaking insight into the diverse aspects of what it means to be human.

About the postdoctoral position:

The position as postdoctoral research fellow is a fixed-term appointment for four years, with the primary objective of qualifying the appointee for work in top academic positions. The successful applicant shall prepare a plan for qualifying for top academic positions in cooperation with the Head of Department. 25 per cent of the time comprises obligatory duties mostly associated with teaching, but also other tasks like dissemination of results and administration. A plan for the obligatory duties will be developed with the Department at the time of appointment.

It is a requirement that the postdoctoral project is completed during the period of employment.

Candidates cannot be employed as a postdoctoral research fellow for more than one fixed term period at the same institution. The successful applicant will be expected to conform to the regulations that apply to the position and must accept that their primary residence will be in Bergen for the full term of the appointment.

The successful applicant’s research project will synthesise and integrate SapienCE archaeological data with those from our climate and cognition research groups to construct a publishable data-driven and theoretically grounded narrative on the development of modern human behaviour. One of the most important tasks of the postdoctoral researcher will be to compare and contextualise the SapienCE data within similar developments elsewhere in Africa and the world. To achieve this task, the successful candidate will collaborate with SapienCE scientists from all relevant fields and will have access to SapienCE archaeological data and materials, most of which are stored in South Africa (Cape Town). Although the ideal applicant will have a technical specialisation of their own, the ability to step outside subject-specific debates and generate a broader, more synthetic narrative of changes during the MSA is critical. Field research or other primary data collection will be possible where necessary, but this position is intended to focus on utilizing SapienCE’s existing data and collections in combination with published datasets.

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • The applicant must hold a Norwegian PhD or an equivalent foreign degree in archaeology or relevant discipline (anthropology, geoarchaeology, or similar). The doctoral dissertation must have been submitted for evaluation within the closing date of the application. The PhD degree must be obtained prior to appointment.
  • The applicant must provide a project proposal within the described research field, including a progress plan for the project’s main activities, and a plan for publishing results in recognized international channels.
  • The applicant must be able to travel in Europe and Africa to collaborate with researchers at SapienCE affiliated institutions and elsewhere.
  • The applicant should be willing to engage with researchers from different disciplines and be enthusiastic about collaborating on the production of multi-disciplinary publications.
  • The applicant must be able to work independently in a well-structured way and have good cooperation skills.
  • Applicants must have a good command of English.

In the assessment, the main emphasis will be placed upon the quality of the proposed project, the applicant’s academic qualifications and the feasibility of the project. 

In cases where applicants have approximately equivalent qualifications, motivation and the applicant’s personal eligibility will be taken into account. We will further consider the following criteria:

  • Experience with multiple MSA archaeological projects in Africa.
  • Publication record that demonstrates the ability to integrate data across disciplines in a manner consistent with archaeological theory.
  • Strength and breadth of the publication record.
  • Experience working within multidisciplinary international research teams.

We can offer:

  • A thriving and professionally stimulating working environment. 
  • Salary NOK 573 500 gross p.a. (code 1352), equal to pay grade 62 in the state salary scale, following ordinary meriting regulations.  Further salary advancement will depend on seniority in the position.
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • A position in an inclusive workplace (IA) enterprise.
  • Good welfare benefits

How to apply for the job:

Applications must be sent electronically via the link on this site “APPLY FOR THIS JOB”. The applicant must use the electronic CV form.

The application must include:

  • A brief account of the applicant’s research interests and motivation for applying for the position.  
  • A summary of the proposed project (up to five pages/12.000 characters, excluding the bibliography).  
  • A progress plan for the proposed project, and a plan for publishing results in recognized international channels. 
  • Bibliography for the proposed project.  
  • Full list of any scientific work (publication list). 
  • Up to five academic works (may include theses, monographs and articles) that are to be given special consideration in the assessment of your academic qualifications.  
  • A short summary of the PhD-thesis (up to three pages).  
  • CV. 
  • Transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and diploma for the PhD or documentation showing that the thesis has been submitted for assessment.  
  • Relevant certificates/references.  
  • The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of these must be a supervisor for the PhD thesis.

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge. Attachments can be either in a Word or a PDF-format.

General information:

Detailed information about the position can be obtained by contacting the Head of Department, Teemu Ryymin, e-mail:, phone: 55 58 38 79 or the SapienCE Administrative Project Manager, Zarko Tankosic, e-mail:,  phone: 55 58 31 77.

The public sector shall reflect the diversity of the Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions. Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of applicants. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

The best qualified candidates for the position will be invited to an interview.

Questions or queries about the electronic application process can be directed to

Further information about our employment process can be found here.

About The University of Bergen (UiB) 

The University of Bergen is a renowned educational and research institution, organised into seven faculties and approximately 54 institutes and academic centres. Campus is located in the centre of Bergen with university areas at Nygårdshøyden, Haukeland, Marineholmen, Møllendalsveien and Årstad. 

There are four departments and four centres at Faculty of Humanities. Read more about the faculty and departments. 

Deadline: 2023-04-11 at 23:59
Unit: Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion

Read the job description at the university homepage or apply.

Post expires on Tuesday April 11th, 2023