University of Bergen

Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion

The University of Bergen (UiB) is an internationally recognised research university with more than 14,000 students and close to 3,500 employees at six faculties. The university is located in the heart of Bergen. Our main contribution to society is excellent basic research and education across a wide range of disciplines.

Postdoctoral research fellow

The Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE), funded by the Centre of Excellence Schemes (CoE), and based at the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion (AHKR), University of Bergen (UiB), invites applications for a position as postdoctoral research fellow in the field of experimental archaeology and material culture analysis specifically related to the Middle Stone Age (MSA) in southern Africa. The position is for a period of three years.

About CoE schemes and SapienCE:

The SFF programme, funded by the Research Council of Norway, gives Norway’s best scientists the opportunity to establish research centres in order to reach ambitious scientific goals within a defined period. The emphasis of these centres is on excellence and long-term research goals that meet the highest international criteria.

The SapienCE Centre of Excellence (CoE), directed by Professor Christopher Henshilwood, ( focuses on the behavioural origins of Homo sapiens in southern Africa between 100,000-50,000 years ago. The core research within the CoE is led by the Leader Group, comprising five Principal Investigators and the Director. Our inter-disciplinary team of scientists, at UiB and at the facilities of our international partners, will integrate high-resolution records of early human cultural, social, technological and subsistence behaviours with innovative geoarchaeological, climate and cognitive data models. This holistic approach will provide ground-breaking insight into the diverse aspects of what it means to be human.

About the position as postdoctoral research fellow:

The main objectives for the position:

  • To engage in independent scientific research that will result in high-quality publications addressing core themes of the SapienCE research project, namely the origins of early Homo sapiens behaviour
  • To participate in the excavation of our Middle Stone Age archaeological sites in South Africa and to carry out analyses of recovered archaeological material in our project laboratories
  • To carry out experimental research on i) techniques used to produce material culture during the MSA (specifically lithics, shell beads, ochre, ostrich egg shell) and ii) on the use of fire and storage vessels related to cooking . The results will be interpreted within the frameworks of the SapienCE project aims and goals.
  • To institute innovative approaches to the laboratory analysis of various categories of material culture (bone, stone, eggshell, marine shell) recovered from SapienCE MSA sites in association with our Principal Investigators. This will require a good working knowledge of, for example, XRF, XRD for geochemistry and SEM for lipid analyses. Skills in multivariate statistical analyses are essential.
  • To support and work with the CoE Director and the SapienCE Leader Group in carrying out the research project
  • To actively contribute to the academic life of the SapienCE research group that is based in Bergen.

The research will be done at the SapienCE offices located at the University of Bergen, Norway, in the field and at our laboratories in South Africa, and at the University of Bordeaux, under the supervision of our Principal Investigators. SapienCE offers excellent facilities for advanced analysis of archaeological materials recovered from our Middle Stone Age sites situated in the southern Cape, South Africa.

The position as postdoctoral research fellow is a fixed-term appointment for three 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. The applicants must submit a proposal for this qualification plan.

It is a premise that the successful applicant will complete the project within the stipulated period of employment.

Individuals may not be hired for more than one fixed-term period as a postdoctoral research fellow at the same institution. The postdoctoral position demands that the successful candidate has his or her regular workplace at the University of Bergen, Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE), and comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at all times.

Qualifications and personal qualities:

The candidate must hold a PhD-degree within the field of Archaeology or cognate discipline with a specialization corresponding to the given tasks above and clearly related to the core themes of the SapienCE research project. Wide-ranging laboratory, field and excavation involvement relating to southern African Middle Stone Age archaeological sites, preferably in an organisational role, is an essential requirement.

Excellent communication skills and fluency in both written and spoken English are required. A knowledge of Norwegian is an advantage.

The candidate must demonstrate a strong commitment for scientific research, be able to work independently, in a structured manner, and interactively in a team setting, be responsible and have a high working capacity. A prior publication record is required.

We can offer:

  • A good and professionally challenging working environment
  • Salary at pay grade 59 (Code 1352/Pay range 24) in the state salary scale, currently approx. NOK 514.800 gross p.a. following ordinary meriting regulations.
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • A position in an inclusive workplace (IW)
  • Good welfare benefits.

How to apply for the job:

Please apply electronically via the link «APPLY FOR THIS JOB». The application must include:

  • A presentation of the applicant's qualifications, research interests and motivation for applying for the position (max 3 pages).
  • CV
  • The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of these must be a supervisor from the PhD programme.
  • List of publications.
  • An electronic version of the PhD thesis
  • Scanned versions of original or certified copies of all academic diplomas and transcripts.
  • Relevant certificates/references.

The application and appendices with certified translations into English must be uploaded at Jobbnorge. The enclosures can be submitted as Word- or pdf-files.

General information:

Further information about the position can be obtained by contacting the Director of Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour, Professor Christopher Stuart Henshilwood, tel. +47 55 58 90 99, e-mail:, or the Head of Department, Professor Jan Heiret, by e-mail, jan.heiret@uib.noor telephone + 47 55 58 97 62.

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. People with immigrant backgrounds 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 persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

Questions or inquiries about the electronic application process can be directed to:

The best qualified applicants will be invited to an interview before the final recommendation.

Application deadline: 5 October 2018

Reference no.: 18/10773

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About this job

  • Deadline
    Friday, October 5, 2018
  • Employer
    University of Bergen
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  • Duration
    Fixed Term

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