UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education - Department of History and Religious Studies

Postdoctoral Fellow in Contemporary Archaeology/Critical Heritage Studies

UiT – the Arctic University of Norway has a full-time postdoctoral fellow position vacant. The position is attached to the research project Unruly Heritage: An Archaeology of the Anthropocene. The appointment is a fixed term position for a period of three years starting January 1, 2018.


The main objective of the appointment as a post-doctoral research fellow is to qualify for work in senior academic positions. No one may be appointed to more than one fixed term period as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the same institution.


Further information about the position is available by contacting Professor Bjørnar Olsen, phone + 47 98061579, e-mail: bjornar.olsen@uit.no and Head of Department Fredrik Fagertun, phone +47 776 46176, e-mail: fredrik.fagertun@uit.no


The position’s affiliation

The postdoctoral fellow will be affiliated with the Department of Archaeology, History, Religious Sciences and Theology (AHR) and the research project Unruly Heritage: An Archaeology of the Anthropocene. This is a new five-year research project funded through the Norwegian Research Council’s Toppforsk program and led by Professor Bjørnar Olsen. Together with four PhD Candidates, one additional postdoctoral fellow and a senior researcher, the team will comprise seven recruitment/research positions in addition to the Project Leader.


The objective of the new position is to contribute to the building of a dynamic and internationally leading research environment in contemporary archaeology at UiT, a development started with the earlier Ruin Memories project and continued through the still on-going Object Matters project (http://objectmatters.ruinmemories.org/).


AHR has 25 permanent academic staff members covering the disciplines of Archaeology, History, Religious Studies and Theology with a joint administration. The department is involved in education, research and public outreach mainly related to northern and indigenous studies, but is also concerned to situate this in a wider comparative and international context. Archaeology has an active research environment made up of 7 permanent academic staff members, two academic staff members in temporary positions, 4 PhD students, two postdocs and three more PhD students in the process of being hired. The department hosts 11 research groups in total.


The appointed Post-doctoral Research Fellow will have her/his daily workplace at the UiT, campus Tromsø.


The positions’ field of research

Drawing on the overall themes of the new Unruly Heritage Project the postdoctoral position is broadly situated within the field of Critical Heritage Studies. While often exemplary inclusive, most general notions and definitions of heritage hardly reflect much concern for the fact that our legacy has become increasingly more mixed and messy: landfills, archipelagos of sea-borne debris, ruining metropolises, industrial wastelands, sunken nuclear submarines and toxic residues in seals and polar bears. Our legacy, or “footprint”, is so conspicuously manifest it has even become diagnostic of a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. While this disturbing development has triggered debate within the heritage field, this mostly reflects concern for heritage loss and safekeeping with future generations in mind. That is, these discernible footprints are themselves not considered to represent heritage and have thus rarely led to any profound rethinking of the way heritage is conceived and understood. The new research project, Unruly Heritage, aims at undertaking this rethinking. Based on extensive case studies of modern ruin landscapes and sea-borne coastal debris, the main objective is to develop alternative and less anthropocentric understandings of heritage.


The research project of the postdoctoral fellow should contribute to this rethinking through an exploration of how new approaches to this Anthropocene legacy may challenge existing heritage conceptions and foster alternative engagements with the past. Drawing on the main topics of the Unruly Heritage project: material memory and thing-/posthuman ethics and care, the postdoctoral fellow may approach this from a primarily theoretical perspective or via a case based approach. Possible case studies must fit in with the overall orientation of the project.


Qualification requirements

Appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow requires a Norwegian doctoral degree in the subject area concerned or a corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognised as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree. The position is open to candidates with a background from archaeology, heritage studies, anthropology and other relevant subject areas.


The applicant must provide a project proposal with a progress plan encompassing the project’s main activities. It is a prerequisite that the applicant will be able to complete the project within the period of employment.


In the assessment the main emphasis will be given to the submitted works and the project proposal. Emphasis will also be given to experience from popularization/dissemination and academic policy and administrative activity.

The applicant must have a good command of both spoken and written English.


Personal suitability will be taken into account.


Working conditions

The working hours shall be utilised for research, research-related activities and research administration.


The successful applicant must be willing to engage himself/herself in the ongoing development of his/her discipline and the university as a whole.


The remuneration for this position is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1352.

A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted.




The applicants will be assessed by an expert committee. The committee’s mandate is to undertake an assessment of the applicants’ qualifications based on the material submitted by the applicants, and the detailed description drawn up for the position.


The best qualified applicants will be selected for interviews. The interview shall among other things aim to clarify the applicant’s personal suitability for the position. A trial lecture may also be held.



The application must be submitted electronically via the application form available on www.jobbnorge.no and shall include: 

  • letter of application
  • project description
  • CV (containing a complete overview of education, supervised professional training and professional work)
  • diplomas and references
  • documentation of teaching qualifications
  • list of works and description of these
    • the list of works shall contain the following information:
      • author(s), the work’s title
      • for articles: the journal’s name and volume, the first and last page of the article, year of publication
      • for publications: publisher, printer, year of publication, number of pages
  • up to ten works that are central to the applicant’s academic production. The applicant’s PhD thesis should be submitted as one of these works.

Additionally, the applicant should provide a description of his/her academic production, indicating which works are the most relevant in relation to the announced position, and therefore should be emphasised in the assessment. The remaining listed works should be described briefly in order to demonstrate the depth of the production. The descriptions should be attached to the application.


All submitted material must be in English or a Scandinavian language.


Other information


UiT The Arctic University of Norway wishes to increase the proportion of women in research positions.

In the event that two or more applicants are found to be approximately equally qualified, female applicants will be given priority.


For further information, applicants should consult the supplementary regulations for appointment to postdoktor (postdoctoal Research Fellow), stipendiat (PhD) and vitenskapelige assistent (Research Assistant) positions at the UiTand the http://www.uhr.no/documents/Regulations_Post_doctoral_and_research_fellow.pdf


Questions concerning the organisation of the working environment, such as the physical state of the place of employment, health service, possibility for flexible working hours, part time, etc. may be directed to the telephone reference in this announcement.


UiT’s HR policy objectives emphasises diversity, and encourages all qualified applicants to apply regardless of gender, functional ability and national or ethnic background.


UiT is an IW (Inclusive Workplace) enterprise, and will make the necessary adaptations in order to facilitate for employees with reduced functional ability.


Personal data given in an application or CV will be processed in accordance with the Act relating to the processing of personal data (the Personal Data Act). In accordance with Section 25 subsection 2 of the Freedom of Information Act, the applicant may request not to be registered on the public list of applicants. However, the University may nevertheless decide to publish the applicant’s name. The applicant will receive advance notification in the event of such publication. 


In case of discrepancies between the Norwegian and the English version of this description, the Norwegian version takes precedence.

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About this job

  • Deadline
    Friday, August 18, 2017
  • Employer
    UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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