Umeå University, Faculty of Arts

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest institutions of higher education with over 35,000 students and 4,200 faculty and staff. We are characterised by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of educations ranked highly in international comparison. Umeå University is also the site of the pioneering discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors - a revolution in genetic engineering that has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

At Umeå University, everything is nearby. Our cohesive campus environment makes it easy to meet, collaborate and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture where we rejoice in each other's successes.

PhD student in Environmental Archaeology, with Digital Humanities and/or Global Societal Challenges orientation at the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies 

The Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies conducts teaching and research in Archaeology, Environmental Archaeology, Philosophy, History, History and Education, History of Science and Ideas, Religious Studies and Theology, and Science, Technology and Environment

Research Environment
The department is interested in developing research questions with a northern focus, including circumpolar archaeology, with a connection to environmental change and human interactions with nature. Applications relating to the digital humanities (DH), including the use or analysis of digital technology in research are particularly welcome. The successful applicant will therefore be part of an interdisciplinary group connected to DH as well as the research group at the Environmental Archaeology Lab (MAL). We also welcome applications with an emphasis on understanding the relationships between people, environments and environmental change during the Holocene, where both cultural and environmental perspectives are considered, and especially in relation to Global Societal Challenges. Potential research directions include archaeoentomology/palaeoentomology, palynology, geoarchaeology (sediments and soils), NIR-spectroscopy/imaging or spatial analyses of landscapes or human environments.

The environmental archaeology unit conducts research and development on new methods for the analysis of past environments and human activities. It is also involved in the development of digital research infrastructures (e-infrastructures), including the national research infrastructure SEAD (Strategic Environmental Archaeology Database) and the BugsCEP database. A research group is currently being formed around these infrastructures, funded by The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, with an aim towards increasing their use in helping to answer contemporary research challenges in a variety of interdisciplinary fields. Applicants interested in geoarchaeology and/or NIR-spectroscopy will be included in the on-going MOBIMA project.

 The successful candidate will be primarily active within the Environmental Archaeology research group at the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. Within archaeology there are currently five active researchers/lecturers including two professors and two associate professors (readers). More information about the research environment is available on the individual researcher’s website at

Requirements and assessment criteria

Requirements: a Master’s or equivalent degree in a relevant field, or at least 240 ECTS credits of which at least 60 ECTS credits are at second cycle (Masters) level. At least 90 ECTS credits must be of relevance for the proposed doctoral research project. In order to meet the specific eligibility requirements for admission to studies in archaeology at third-cycle level, the applicant must have completed at least 30 credits in archaeology at second-cycle level, with an independent project worth at least 15 credits. Students who have acquired equivalent knowledge in some other way, either within Sweden or abroad, may be admitted for third-cycle studies after assessment.

Applicants should have an interest in archaeology as well as knowledge and experience of using computer based or statistical analysis tools, preferably in relation to the analysis or reconstruction of past or contemporary environments. Relevant experience from archaeology, biology, ecology, Quaternary science, geography, palaeoecology or similar fields is welcome. Experience of the use or development of databases and GIS is also welcome, as is experience of lab-work and statistical evaluations. We recommend that applicants wishing to undertake fieldwork provide documented experience of relevant previous experience.

The Environmental Archaeology Lab is a well-established research and development environment with excellent facilities. It is also an active consultancy unit involved in projects nationally and internationally.

Applicants are ranked with reference to their capacity to benefit from and complete the program. The assessment is based primarily on prior study results, with particular consideration given to essays, and the quality and relevance of the project proposal.

Assessment will take into account how successfully the proposed project can be pursued given supervision and research resources at the department. Applicants are thus encouraged to discuss their project proposals with local representatives (see below for contact information).

We conduct interviews and take references before hiring decisions.

Terms of employment

Employment will be for a period of four years (first a contract of 12 months with annual extensions of 12 months after positive annual evaluation). This time must be research activity orientated and lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. Additionally, and depending on availability a PhD student may also work with teaching and administration up to a maximum of 20 % of his/her normal working hours. The period of employment may thus be extended up to a maximum of five years. 

Physically, the employee will be placed at the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, where the subject-specific education and mentoring takes place. Learn more about the subject specific content in the general study plan for doctoral studies.

For information about the department, please contact Head of Department Jonas Nilsson, phone +46 90-786 99 90,, or director of graduate studies Peter Lindström, phone +46 90 786 62 31,

For information about graduate studies in environmental archaeology and to discuss project proposals, please contact Associate Professor Phil Buckand, phone +46 90 786 52 92, or Associate Professor Johan Linderholm, phone +46 90 786 79 39,

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2016-08-29
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-69-16
  • Philip Buckland, Senior lecturer, 090-7865292,
  • Johan Linderholm, Senior lecturer, 090-7867939,
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 12.Feb.2016
Last application date 08.Mar.2016 11:59 PM CET

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