The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

PhD research fellow in conservation science

Applications are invited for a 3 year position in a Research Fellowship as PhD Candidate in conservation science to be based at the Kulturhistorisk museum, University of Oslo.

Job description

The Museum of Cultural History is part of the University of Oslo. It holds one of the most important archaeological collections in Norway, including the largest collection of wooden artefacts from the Viking age, which is kept at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo. The PhD fellow will collaborate with the project participants, other colleagues from the museum working in relevant areas, as well as national and international research networks. The PhD fellow will furthermore be involved in the preparations for the new Viking Age Museum in Bygdøy.

This position is embedded in the research project Saving Oseberg. The project belongs to the Department of Collection Management, which has 30 employees with expertise in conservation science, digital documentation, geographic information systems (GIS), databases, chemistry, archives and information technology.

The PhD fellow’s research will address the effects of varying climatic conditions (temperature and humidity) on large and complex archaeological wooden constructions. A research-based understanding of the long-term response of archaeological wood to varying climate is of great relevance for both exhibition and conservation practice in museums, as well as for the design of museum buildings.  The topic received increased professional interest in the past years, and an international research group is being established that will collaborate on the monitoring of movements in archaeological ships in museums.

The PhD fellow’s research will focus on the Viking ships on display in the Viking Ship Museum. Since the middle of the 1920s, these ships have stood in a non-air-conditioned building, undergoing gradual, seasonal changes in temperature and humidity. The following research areas will be addressed: the effect of seasonal climatic variation on degradation and deformation, design and methods of monitoring systems, optimisation of climatic conditions in museums, and optimisation of support systems. While the museum’s collection and buildings will serve as research objects, the research should be of general professional relevance for conservation science.

This position is part of the working group on preventive conservation in the project Saving Oseberg Phase II, and is expected to connect material science, archaeology and conservation science in a cross-disciplinary, holistic approach to future conservation strategies for complex objects.

Admission to the PhD program of the Faculty of Humanities is a prerequisite for this position. The program will be administered by the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History (IAKH). A final plan for the researcher training must be approved and agreed on within three months after the start date. The fellow is expected to be able to finish the project and qualify for a doctoral (PhD) degree within the duration of this three-year research training position.

Qualification requirements

  • documented successful completion of a Master's degree program in object conservation (normally equivalent to a Norwegian two years' MA degree/ECTS 120 credits) or a similar higher education program, in both cases with thesis
  • fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • understanding of written documentation in Norwegian
  • good collaboration skills and the ability to create and be part of professional networks

We offer

  • salary NOK 436.900 – 490.900 per annum depending on qualifications in a position as PhD Research fellow, (position code 1017)
  • a positive and stimulation working environment
  • attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities
  • pension arrangements in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund


  • a letter of application with statement of motivation and research interests
  • a project description, including progress plan (max. 3-5 pages), see Research proposal - template
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work)
  • transcript of records of your Master's degree. Non-Scandinavian applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their university's grading system
  • a complete list of relevant publications and academic works
  • a minimum of 2 letters of recommendation including contact details of the referees

The assessment of the application will emphasize the quality of the project description, including:

  • the general approach and overall structure of the project
  • scientific audacity and scientific innovativeness
  • feasibility, progress plan and research allocation
  • plans for dissemination of results
  • national and international collaboration
  • network resources
  • ethical implications

The applicant's academic and personal qualifications for undertaking the project will also be taken into account.

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for this job”. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interviews.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact persons:

Project Manager Louis Boumans
phone: +47 22859425

Head of Section Torunn Klokkernes
phone: +47 22859562

Søk stillingen

Om stillingen

  • Søknadsfrist
    20. september 2017
  • Arbeidsgiver
    University of Oslo
  • Nettside
  • Kommune
  • Arbeidssted
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