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Post Doc Opportunities

December 7, 2016

The Johanna Mestorf Academy (JMA) is a Central Institution at Kiel University, Germany. Research at JMA is conducted by a highly interdisciplinary community, focusing on socio-environmental change and Landscape Archaeology. The Graduate School Human Development in Landscapes at Kiel University ( offers a unique research environment at the interface between the Humanities and the Natural and Social Sciences. In its research it addresses the interaction between physical and social landscapes as the most profound process that catalyses human activity space and time; integrating the interplay of environments, social relationships, material culture, population dynamics, and human perceptions of socio-environmental change.

JMA and GSHDL invite applications for 6 postdoctoral positions in the following areas related to past environments and past societies:

1) Paleo-ecological research – The research on Human Development in Landscapes should be strengthened and supplemented in the area of paleo-ecological, paleo-climatological or environmental-archaeological research. Creative proposals from the area of dendro-ecology, dendro-climatology, and dendro-archaeology are especially welcome.

2) Ancient diet and food – We seek a candidate with an interest in investigating dietary change, metabolic shifts, and/or food processing in past societies through the analysis of ancient human, animal, and/or plant remains. We are particularly interested in candidates with an analytical background in LC-MS based proteomics or compound specific stable isotope analysis, although other approaches are welcome.

3) Cognitive archaeology: Knowledge production and technology – The research on Human Development in Landscapes should be strengthened and supplemented by research on examples of innovation, knowledge production, or technology. Proposals may refer to interdependencies between transformations of knowledge/ technology and societal/environmental developments. Theoretical expertise or interest of the candidates in these research fields is especially welcome.

4) Urban agency and perception – The focus of this post-doctoral position will be a theoretically reflected study on urbanscapes in ancient (Greek and Roman) or medieval contexts. It will address forms of agency and perception within a built and designed urban environment. On the one hand, it discusses forms of urban agency in reference to its spatial context and the shaping of human action by architecture, on the other hand, forms of sensual perception (sensescapes) and urban atmospheres come into view. With regard to one or both of these aspects, forms and causes of urban change will be in the focus of the project.

5) Social archaeology – The applicant should be capable of addressing all dimensions of past conflict as well as conflict resolution. Moreover, the position requires demonstrated experience in working at the intersection of archaeology and material science.

6) Social Inequality – The focus of this post-doctoral position will be the reconstruction of triggers and effects of social inequalities in prehistoric and archaic societies. Looking at a range of aspects (from material culture and architecture to environmental developments and possible linguistic aspects), the economic and cultural triggers and modulators of social inequality will be evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively in a diachronic perspective.

Each of these themes may be addressed by candidates from different disciplines, preferentially/namely in Pre- and Protohistory, Classics, History, Archaeobotany, Archaeozoology, Paleoclimate Research, Paleoenvironmental Research, Molecular Biology, Paleopathology, Geosciences, Linguistics, Philosophy, Resource Economics, Material Sciences.

Candidates must hold an excellent PhD in one of the above listed fields of research.


Successful candidates can gain experience in preparing applications for third-party funded research projects. They will have two balanced main responsibilities:

  1. to carry out an individual post-doc research project
  2. to participate directly in the formulation of novel research projects in conjunction with a currently established JMA working group

All positions are to start on February 1, 2017. Salary scale is TVL13 (100%) and limited for one year.

Positions are endowed with research funds of 9000€.

Kiel University is an equal opportunity employer and aims to increase the number of excellent women in research and teaching. Kiel University is committed to further the compatibility of work and family life. The University supports the employment of disabled persons. Persons with disabilities will, with appropriate qualifications and aptitudes, be employed preferentially. Applications by people with a migration background are particularly welcomed. Please refrain from submitting application photos. Please submit your application documents (including a letter of motivation, a detailed CV and a statement of research no longer than 8 pages which includes the proposed post-doctoral project), specifying the position for which you apply, as a single pdf to the speaker of the Graduate School:

Professor Dr. Johannes Müller

Submission deadline is December 16th, 2016.

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