PhD in BAYESIAN CHRONOLOGICAL MODELLING
As part of the new DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre ‘Scales of Transformation: Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies’ (SFB1266), a 3-year PhD position is available, starting on 1 October 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter, within sub-project G1 ‘Timescales of Change’ (PIs Dr J Meadows, ZBSA & Prof T Meier, CAU). The position is hosted by the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology, Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottorf. If successful, the student would graduate from Christian-Albrechts University, Kiel.
Applicants should propose a topic based on a significant transformation in the archaeological record whose chronology is inadequately understood, and which could be clarified by dating a sufficient number of new AMS radiocarbon samples. The concept of transformation is broad, and could include any widespread, non-instantaneous phenomenon (e.g. a change in mortuary practice or settlement pattern, the spread of a new crop or artefact type, the colonisation or abandonment of a region, a horizon in traditional periodisation). It is envisaged that the student will select 100–200 AMS samples to address this topic. The dating programme must be feasible within the 3 years of the PhD, and should therefore not rely primarily on unexcavated material. Feasibility will also be assessed according to how the topic complements expertise and facilities available through other SFB1266 participants; the topic would therefore probably cover an aspect of post-glacial European prehistory.
Funding is offered for 36 months at 65% of TVL-E13. The student will have a shared office on the campus of the Christian-Albrechts University, Kiel, and access to laboratory facilities, including the Leibniz-Laboratory for AMS Dating and Stable Isotope Research. She/he will also be a full member of the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology (ZBSA). Sub-project G1 has a generous dating budget, about half of which would be committed to the student’s PhD topic. A small travel allowance is included to support sampling trips and/or conference attendance. As training, the student would take part in dating programmes undertaken by John Meadows in collaboration with other SFB1266 researchers, leading to co-authorship of 2–3 papers in international journals.
Applicants should be academically eligible to enrol for a doctoral degree at Christian-Albrechts University, Kiel, and entitled to work in the European Union, before 1 October 2016.
Applicants should be fluent in English; additional language skills relevant to the research topic are highly desirable. Familiarity with radiocarbon science would be advantageous, but is less important than a good understanding of archaeological research methods in general, and the specific context of proposed topic (e.g. research history, location of archives, current debates). Demonstrable statistical and computational skills would be highly regarded, including experience in the use of Bayesian chronological modelling software (e.g. OxCal, BCal, ChronoModel).
The Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottorf encourages women with appropriate qualifications to apply. The Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottorf supports the employment of disabled persons. Persons with disabilities will, with appropriate qualifications, competence, and expertise, be employed preferentially.
Applicants should contact John Meadows (email@example.com) as soon as possible to discuss potential topics and any other questions.
Applications consisting of a cover letter, brief résumé, copies of relevant publications (or unpublished written work, e.g. MA thesis), should be sent to John Meadows by e-mail by 15 August 2016, with contact details for 2 referees. Please do not include photographs or unnecessary personal information.
The application should include a separate, short (max 1000 words) proposal for the PhD research topic, explaining the chronological problem to be investigated, current consensus and disagreements, and the potential for these issues to be addressed by a radiocarbon dating programme. Applicants should demonstrate that they have carefully considered whether enough suitable samples will be available for the dating programme to meet its objectives. Proposals will be treated confidentially.