Call for applications
PostDoc in Bayesian Chronological Modelling (fulltime until 31 Dec 2023)

As part of its role in the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centre ‘Scales of Transformation: Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies’ (CRC1266), the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology (ZBSA) seeks to appoint a postdoctoral research associate (PDRA) specialising in Bayesian chronological modelling of archaeological sequences, within sub-project G1 ‘Timescales of Change’ (PI Dr John Meadows).

The project
G1 aims to apply international best-practice methods of Bayesian chronological modelling, to identify chronological problems and develop and test methods to address them, usually in the context of new fieldwork by CRC case-study sub-projects on later prehistoric sites in northern, central and south-eastern Europe. Often we are concerned with radiocarbon (14C) sample selection and measurement, and eliciting relevant prior information for use in Bayesian chronological models of site-based sequences. Some case studies require us to validate or reject legacy 14C data, so a sound understanding of laboratory methods is essential. Other applications may deal with aggregated 14C data sets that are regarded proxies for archaeological phenomena, such as temporal trends in the number of sites occupied.

The position
Funding is available for 8 months (May-Dec 2023) fulltime employment at TVL-E13. The PDRA will share an office either on the campus of the Christian-Albrechts University, Kiel, or at the ZBSA, a non-university research institute within the Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottorf, Schleswig. There will be regular meetings in Kiel throughout the project and at least one 2-day workshop elsewhere in Schleswig-Holstein, and possibly short field trips within Europe. The PDRA may be expected to contribute to or lead internal seminars of the CRC and ZBSA.

The PDRA will work with the PI of G1 and collaborators within CRC1266. With a modest budget for 14C dating, the PDRA will aim to validate or replace particularly influential legacy 14C dates, and to replicate some new 14C dates for quality control. The PDRA will use and develop a database for new 14C dates, and may also supervise the work of student research assistants.

The PDRA should aim to be the lead author of papers in peer-reviewed journals to disseminate the results of joint research in CRC1266. Support for publication costs (open access fees) is usually available through the CRC, DFG, the university and/or the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

The applicant
Applicants should be legally entitled to work in the European Union. The Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottorf is committed to actively promote equal opportunities of all members of staff. We therefore encourage applications from all qualified persons irrespective of their cultural or social origin, age, gender, religion, philosophy of life, disabilities or sexual preferences. Persons with registered disabilities will, with appropriate qualifications, competence, and expertise, be employed preferentially.

The following criteria will be used to rank eligible applicants:

Essential Desirable
  • PhD in any relevant field, which must be finished at time of appointment
  • undergraduate or Masters degree in archaeology or related field
Work experience
  • any professional research role
  • publication record appropriate to career stage
  • archaeological fieldwork
  • work experience in laboratory environment
  • work experience in museum setting
  • postdoctoral research at a university
  • editing or proofreading for academic publication
  • capacity to independently choose and apply appropriate mathematical or statistical methods
  • excellent IT skills, including programming in R or similar, use of Access databases
  • in-depth understanding of a scientific dating technique (preferably 14C)
  • advanced research skills in archaeology (preferably European prehistory)
  • proficiency in the use of Bayesian chronological modelling software (e.g. OxCal, BCal, ChronoModel)
  • ability to converse, present, read and write in academic English
  • ability to converse in German and read academic publications
  • ability to read academic publications in other European languages
  • interest in archaeology
  • ability to work independently and collaboratively in an academic environment
  • appetite for analytical and technical problem-solving
  • critical approach to previous research
  • willingness to travel if necessary
  • openness to interdisciplinary collaboration

The application
Informal enquiries should be directed to John Meadows ( Applications consisting of a cover letter, brief résumé, relevant publications or unpublished written work, should be sent as a single PDF (max 8 MB) to by 12 March 2023, with contact details for 2 referees.
Please do not include any personal information which is not directly relevant to the position. Please remark that your application with be treated confidentially and in strict compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) [Regulation (EU) 2016/679). Information on data protection is available at our homepage:
Referees will not be contacted before shortlisting, which will be based solely on the written application.
Interviews will be held via Zoom in late March 2023, in order for the successful candidate to start work on or about 1 May.

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