PhD Studentship in Geoarchaeology

Durham University - Department of Archaeology

The Department of Archaeology at Durham University is seeking applications for a partially-funded PhD studentship in Geoarchaeology, to start any time between 1st November 2017 and 1st March 2018.

The topic of the PhD may be related to any time period or region of Eurasia, and presents an opportunity for the student to develop a unique PhD topic tailored to their specific interests. Supervision will be provided by Dr. Karen Milek as well as a second member of the department who specialises in the region, period, theoretical approach, or complementary scientific technique of the chosen topic. Prior to applying the candidate should contact Dr. Milek (karen.b.milek@durham.ac.uk) to discuss possible topics.

Topics of interest aligned to Departmental specialisms include: settlement archaeology in Pictish Period Scotland and Viking-age Iceland, coastal structures in the North Atlantic Region, and 19th-century agricultural improvement. Projects and geoarchaeological sample sets are available for all these areas of study. Staff in the Department of Archaeology (https://www.dur.ac.uk/archaeology/staff/) and Durham Archaeological Services (https://www.dur.ac.uk/archaeological.services/) run a wide-ranging field programme, extending throughout Eurasia and including North East England and the North Atlantic Region. Geoarchaeological projects developed in alignment with these projects are highly encouraged. Those that create new synergies between geoarchaeology and other departmental specialisms in landscape archaeology, GIS, remote sensing, aDNA, isotopic analysis, luminescence dating, materials analysis, conservation, or the protection and management of cultural heritage resources are also encouraged.

Academic criteria: The candidate will ideally have an upper second class UK honours degree (2:1) or an equivalent qualification, as well as an MSc degree in Geoarchaeology, Archaeological Science, Environmental Archaeology, Bioarchaeology, Physical Geography, Soil Science, or Chemistry, or will have equivalent professional experience. The candidate’s background should be appropriate for the proposed research.

Training: The student will be joining a department with world-class laboratory facilities and technical expertise, and will have training opportunities in a wide range of geoarchaeological and complementary scientific methods, including soil/sediment thin section microscopy, isotopic analysis, DNA analysis, luminescence dating, X-radiography, XRF, micro-XRF, EDXRF, SEM, FTIR, GIS and remote sensing. The training programme will be designed specifically for the candidate’s proposed project.

Funding: The studentship is a one-off grant of £8,390, which must be spent by 1st July 2018. This sum can be put towards tuition fees, PhD research expenses, or a personal stipend, depending on the individual needs of the candidate. This PhD is especially appropriate for candidates who have additional sources of funding, or who intend to do the PhD part-time while working part-time within professional archaeology services.

How to apply:

Applications should be made using Durham University’s online application system (https://www.dur.ac.uk/postgraduate/study/apply/). The personal statement should include an explanation of motivations for applying for this PhD, academic background and research history, training needs, and preferred start date. Supporting documents should include:

  • A short research proposal (max. 2000 words) for a three-year geoarchaeological research project, including a short review of relevant literature and an explanation of the originality and importance of the project
  • A budget proposal for spending the £8,390 grant before July 1st, 2018
  • A full CV
  • Copies of degree certificates/transcripts
  • Proof of meeting Durham University’s English language proficiency requirements if you are not a native English speaker. See https://www.dur.ac.uk/learningandteaching.handbook/1/3/.

Interviews are likely to happen in early October, and remote interviews (e.g. via Skype) are possible.

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

Northern England