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Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Viking Age studies

Deadline: 01.10.2023

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, part of the University of Oslo, is one of Norway's largest museums of cultural history. The museum is research-intensive, and is a university department of equal status to a UiO Faculty. It houses the largest archaeological, ethnographic and numismatic collections in Norway. The museum includes the Viking ships on Bygdøy, an important collection of medieval ecclesiastical art, classical and Egyptological collections from the Mediterranean and an archive of runic inscriptions.

KHM's ethos: Open, exploratory, genuine.

Job description

We are delighted to announce a two-year postdoctoral position (position code 1353) in the Nordforsk-funded project "Making a Warrior: The Social Implications of Viking Age Martial Ideologies", an interdisciplinary and collaborative project, built on the expertise of project partners spread across the Nordic countries, see our project webpage for more details.

Centred on the idea of the Viking Age "warrior", the project seeks both to deconstruct this loaded terminology and simultaneously to situate warrior groups within Viking Age society as we understand it. Blending perspectives on personhood with social structures, practices and ideologies, the aim is to widen the ways in which we study, interpret and represent this particular identity. 

We are a team of four early- to mid-career researchers, and the successful applicant for this position will complete the core research group. The candidate will work at the intersection of public engagement and academic knowledge production, actively engaging with the many levels at which knowledge is shared and co-produced. A key part of the research position is to negotiate questions of how academic knowledge is disseminated, what its reception is in the audiences to whom it is disseminated, and how these audiences in turn can influence and feed into academic knowledge production. Furthermore, the candidate will need to take an active part in the ongoing dissemination of the project results and our social media presence. We therefore seek a candidate who has not only a solid background within Viking studies, but also an interest in the modern-day translation of the Viking Age into consumed heritage. Crucially, the successful candidate should possess a demonstrable ability to work across disciplinary boundaries and participate in collaborative research.

The successful candidate will be employed at the Department of Archaeology at the Museum of Cultural History, located in central Oslo.

The Department of Archaeology manages Norway's largest collections of Nordic antiquities, medieval art and runic inscriptions, and is responsible for the management of cultural monuments and rock art in five counties insoutheastern Norway, according to the Cultural Heritage Act. The Department has a particularly large academic community within the fields of Mesolithic and Viking/Medieval research.

More about the position

The postdoctoral fellowship period is 2 years, placed within the project period of three years. The main purpose of the fellowship is to qualify researchers for work in higher academic positions within their disciplines. 

"Making a Warrior" pursues an ambitious research agenda, applying perspectives from intersectional theory, personhood and cultural memory to martial culture with the ultimate aim of changing the conversation about what and who a warrior was and could be and how warrior identities impacted society more widely. The project has been devised as four work packages, each playing to the combined strengths of the core research team. The postdoctoral position will take the lead on the fourth work package, where the core aim is to engage with public perceptions, but they will also be required to contribute to research and output on all other work packages. 

Qualification requirements

  • Applicants must hold a PhD or equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in Nordic Archaeology, History, Old Norse Philology, History of Art, Religious Studies, Anthropology or a related, relevant discipline. The doctoral dissertation must be submitted for evaluation and approved by the closing date. Appointment is dependent on the public defence of the doctoral thesis being approved.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English is required. Fluency in a Scandinavian language will be considered a benefit.
  • Applicants must be able to read and understand material written in a Scandinavian language.
  • Scientific audacity and scientific innovativeness.
  • Proven track record in academic dissemination and engagement with public interfaces.
  • A strong understanding of digital interfaces with academic dissemination.

Personal skills

  • Good collaboration skills, motivation, and ability to work independently
  • Academic and personal capacity to complete the project on time
  • Driven and ambitious in your research agenda

We offer

  • Salary NOK 575 400 to 657 300 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (position code 1352)
  • 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, including a statement of motivation and research interest
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, relevant academic work and other qualifying activity)
  • An outline of the ways in which the applicant intends to tackle the project needs as outlined above, engaging specifically with the intersection of dissemination, academic knowledge production and public perceptions of the past. The outline should be limited to two pages, excluding literature list
  • A progress plan
  • A summary of scientific merits to date, detailing their relevance for the position
  • Copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  • A complete list of publications and academic works of relevance to the application, including public outreach

PhD thesis and the like are not to be submitted with the application, but applicants may be asked to submit such work or further information later.

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 outline, and the quality of the project as well as the candidates motivation and personal suitability.

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

Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged. They will be asked for a list of 2-3 reference persons (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number).

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.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

Contact information

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