Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)
Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)

Researcher in Chemistry / Material Science / Conservation Science

Deadline: 09.11.2021

Universitetet i Oslo

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.


The Museum of Cultural History at the University of Oslo is one of Norway's largest museums of cultural history and, in addition to being a museum, it is a university department equal in status to UiO's faculties. It houses Norway's largest archaeological collection of artefacts from pre-history and the Middle Ages, including the Viking ships at Bygdøy, a considerabel collection of medieval ecclesiastical art, a collectionof antiques from the Mediterranean region and an archive of runic inscriptions.

Researcher in Chemistry/Material Science/Conservation Science: Bio-inspired materials for conservation of archaeological textiles

Job description

The Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, and the DWI-Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials, Aachen, are inviting applications for a position as researcher in the project ‘Virtual Reconstruction, Interpretation and Preservation of the Oseberg Textiles’ (TexRec). We are looking for an applicant who is interested in in-depth investigation of archaeological textile fibres and attracted by developing new, bio-inspired materials for preservation of archaeological textiles.

The Museum of Cultural History is part of the University of Oslo and houses one of Norway’s largest collections of archaeological artifacts, including the Oseberg find. The Oseberg find, excavated in 1904, represents one the most important collection of Viking Age objects in the world. The collection includes a number of different textiles, reaching from simple wool fabrics to precious silk embroideries. The fabrics are fragmented and in a fragile condition today. The TexRec project focuses on the over 80 fragments belonging to several different tapestries. The tapestry fragments show scenes with finely crafted human figures, weapons, animals, carriages and houses, as well as geometric symbols. This collection is one of a kind and the fragments therefore constitute a unique source of knowledge about Viking Age design, mythology and textile technology.

The DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials origins from the German Wool Research Institute. Today’s research activities cover a wide range of research topics on development of new materials, focusing on bio-inspired materials, mimicking biological processes and studying the interaction between living organisms and new materials. The institute is closely linked to the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH), Aachen.

The successful applicant would be employed at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo. A significant part of the work (ca 75%) would be conducted at the DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials, Aachen.

The position is for a period of one year and should start 1st of March 2022.

More about the position

The project TexRec is funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The research fellow will be part of a larger, international group of researchers from different fields. The research team consists of chemists, archaeologists, a botanist, conservators, computer scientists and experts in photography and imaging.

The TexRec project will focus on the over 80 fragments from several different tapestries. The project covers a thorough investigation of the fabrics, the development of a computer-assisted virtual reconstruction, archaeological interpretation of the motifs, the development of a suitable preservation strategy and communication of our research to the public.

Project partners are:

  • Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim and Gjøvik, Norway
  • University of Nottingham, National Centre for Macromolecular Hydrodynamics, UK
  • DWI Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials, Aachen, Germany
  • University of Bologna, Italy
  • University of Bergen, Norway
  • Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Norway
  • AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland

The researcher will work mainly with two tasks:

1. Investigation of the structure and chemical composition of the remaining fibres with the aim to elucidate deterioration processes on a molecular level.

2. Preparation of a glue made from a class of highly charged recombinant peptides (super charged unfolded protein polymers (SUP)) and study its application for conservation purposes.

The study will lead to a better insight into deterioration processes in archaeological wool fibres, forming a more solid foundation for future conservation treatments of wool textiles.The developed conservation materials are expected to be applied also to textile objects in other collections.

If you

  • are attracted to an exciting combination of science, technology and historical artifacts
  • think that the switch to Green Chemistry is important also in the field of Cultural Heritage, and consider the biomimetic approach to be a valuable tool in development of new materials
  • are interested in applying biochemistry/biotechnology to the field of cultural heritage
  • enjoy working in a cross-disciplinary, international team
  • are considering a novel direction for your career

then do not hesitate contacting us.

Qualification requirements

  • PhD degree in chemistry, biochemistry or a related field
  • Knowledge of analytical techniques for studying biopolymers
  • Good written and oral communication skills in English

Desirable

  • Previous experience in genetically modifying microorganisms
  • Strong interest in cultural heritage
  • Previous experience in genetically modifying microorganisms
  • Strong interest in cultural heritage

The successful candidate is expected to participate in joint activities related to the project, e.g. organization of workshops and conferences, preparation of applications, and communication of research to a wider audience.

Personal skills

The candidate is expected to be

  • able to develop new research ideas, and to realize them within the project’s framework
  • interested and able to communicate and collaborate with project participants from very different working fields
  • result- and solution-orientated
  • well organized and delivers quality results within agreed deadlines
  • able to work independently as well as in teams

We offer

  • salary NOK 574 700,- - 637 900,- per annum depending on qualifications in position as Researcher (position code 1109)
  • the challenge of working in one of Europe’s most comprehensive projects in textile conservation
  • an inspiring and friendly working atmosphere in a European network of leading research institutions in chemistry, biopolymer research, material science, conservation, computer and imaging science, and archaeology
  • attractive welfare arrangements

How to apply

The application must include

  • cover letter (statement of motivation, summarizing scientific work and research interests)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic experience and relevant non-academic work and activities)
  • a complete list of publications
  • copies of up to five publications the candidate wishes to be reviewed
  • copies of educational certificates
  • list of reference persons: two references (name, relation to the candidate, email and telephone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their university’s grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English.

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, as well as the candidates motivation and personal suitability.

Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete the project in the course of the period of employment.

Formal regulations

According to the Norwegian Freedom of 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.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. We also want to have employees with diverse expertise, combinations of subjects, life experience and perspectives. We will make adjustments for employees who require this.

If there are qualified applicants with special needs, gaps in their CVs or immigrant backgrounds, we will invite at least one applicant in each of these groups to an interview.

Contact information

  • Associated professor Hartmut Kutzke, project coordinator TexRec, Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, phone: +47 97985024. E-mail: [email protected]
  • Professor Andreas Herrmann, work package leader, DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials, phone +49 (0)241 80-23304, E-mail: [email protected]
  • Dr. Barbara Dittrich, DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials, phone: +49/(0)241-80233-40, E-mail:[email protected]

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