Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Museum of Cultural History

Deadline: 10.12.2019

Job description

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 to the Reformation, including the Viking ships at Bygdøy, considerable collections of ethnographic and numismatic objects, medieval ecclesiastical art, antiques from the Mediterranean region, and an archive of runic inscriptions.

Flere stillinger fra Universitetet i Oslo

The Museum of Cultural History wishes to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to take part in the project Human Sacrifice & Value: the Limits of Sacred Violence, (HS&V), funded by The Norwegian Research Council (NRC) as a FRIPRO-project, hosted by the Museum, and comprised of several international scholars. This project aims at understanding why the ideas and practices associated with human sacrifice reappear throughout human history, from prehistory to the present and across cultures. The project focuses on developing both historical and contemporary perspectives on discourses on human sacrifice and the transformations of its perceived value across diverse cultural value systems.

The project will embed this postdoctoral fellowship into an interdisciplinary research team that includes researchers from Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, The National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, and Aarhus University, with an advisory board with members from universities and museums in Norway, Denmark and the United Kingdom.

More about the position

The primary objective of this postdoc project is to analyze cultural and historical materials data through quantitative, yet empirically grounded, methods towards developing novel insights into human sacrifice traditions in the past and their corollaries today. The candidate will work with other project members to interpret such phenomena in both specific-case studies and in long-term perspective.

The postdoctoral fellow will carry out a research agenda based on case studies of human sacrifice with a focus on transformations of human sacrifice traditions in Northern Europe from late prehistory to the medieval period, as well as more recent permutations of human sacrificial practices from around the world. As a primary regional focus will be Scandinavia, the ability to read a Scandinavian language with high level of proficiency will be highly valued.

The chosen Fellow will be directly involved in the academic coordination of the project’s overall research agenda across disciplines, working with project members and collaborators in the fields of history, anthropology, archaeology and numismatics. The research builds on a broad chronological framework focused on studying human sacrifice and ritualized violence, specifically looking at how different forms of sacrifice have emerged, persisted, faded away and re-emerged across human societies for millennia.

The appointment is for a period of two years. During this time the Fellow will work in close collaboration with three Work Package Leaders, two already standing post-docs and the Principal Investigator (PI) on the project, Rane Willerslev, Director of the National Museum of Denmark. This specific position is placed under the supervision of Work Package Leader Svein H. Gullbekk at Museum of Cultural History (KHM) at the University of Oslo.

The Fellow will actively participate in dissemination of the project’s research with a mission to contribute to new scientific knowledge and the publication thereof in peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings and book collections. The main purpose of the fellowship is to qualify researchers for work in higher academic positions within their disciplines.

Qualification requirements

A comprehensive assessment of the applicant's scientific qualifications forms the basis of appointment. Successful applicants must have handed in their PhD thesis for evaluation before the application deadline, and must have achieved a relevant PhD degree before taking up the post. Moreover, the applicants are expected to have relevant research qualifications at early career researcher level within one or several of the museum’s fields of expertise, e.g. archaeology, anthropology, numismatics, cultural history and related disciplines. The applicant will partake and be responsible for building databases for cladistics and various statistical analyses. Editorial experience will be an advantage.

The successful Fellow will be expected to participate in research dissemination at the professional academic level through participation in conferences and symposia, as well as working actively with other project members in the organization of workshops, lecture series, general strategies (e.g. social media output) for generating project visibility.

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the quality of the proposal to work on the project.

Applicants are expected to document experience and results in relation to:

  • research management
  • papers for publication
  • applying for and obtaining external research funds
  • collaboration with international networks

The applicants will have built up their experience from previous positions at institutions of higher education, government research institutions, museums or similar institutions.

The applicants are expected to:

  • Independently and in collaboration with the project members handle a portfolie of tasks within the framework of the HS&V project.
  • Research and write papers for publication that make original contributions to knowledge about the dynamics of human sacrifice across cultures, in close collaboration with international co-authors from different disciplines.
  • Possess outstanding cooperation and communication skills.

We offer

  • salary NOK 552 800,- to 583 900,- per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (position code1352)
  • a professionally stimulating 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

How to apply

The application must include

  • cover letter (statement of motivation, summarizing scientific work and research interest
  • a research outline, including relevant research questions and theoretical and methodological approaches (max. 2-3 pages)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, administrative experience and other qualifying activity)
  • copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  • a complete list of publications
  • 3 academic works that the applicant wishes to be considered
  • list of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone 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 (or a Scandinavian language).

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, the project description and the quality of the project as well as the candidate’s 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

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow period at the University of Oslo.

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.

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

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

Contact information

For questions regarding the recruitment system please contact HR-adviser Anita Marie Hansen, e-mail: [email protected]

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