University of Copenhagen

3 PhD Fellowships in Ancient Genomics and Proteomics at the GLOBE Institute (# of pos: 3) (BB-3B3EB)

Found in: Neuvoo Bulk DK


We are accepting applications for three PhD Fellowships in Ancient Genomics and Proteomics at the GLOBE Institute starting 1 September 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The Fellowships are part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network “ChemArch: The Organic Chemistry and Molecular Biology of Archaeological Artefacts”, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 956351.

About ChemArch

Archaeology is typically associated with excavation, studies of structures and dating of finds. However, numerous fields have developed advanced techniques and novel chemical and biological tools that are opening the door to detailed information invaluable to our understanding of ancient peoples and cultures. Multidisciplinary training is required to exploit the tremendous potential. The EU-funded project is developing a global network of labs, manufacturers and suppliers of analytical equipment, museums and archaeologists to support a doctoral program that bridges the gap between analytical scientific approaches and archaeology. Over the course of the project, ChemArch will provide excellent training opportunities for 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) who will be based at different Universities in Denmark, France, Spain, and the UK. Together, the team of ESRs will also develop best practices and tools for this exciting new field that will help us all better understand and preserve Europe's unique prehistoric artefact record. For more information, please visit the ChemArch website.

About the Fellowships

The Fellowships are 36-month fully funded PhD positions that will enable you to study for a double doctorate at the Universities of Copenhagen and York. Although you will be primarily hired at the University of Copenhagen, as part of the role you will be expected to spend a minimum of 12 months at the University of York, as well as a possible additional short period of time on secondment at a further partner organisation where specified, to advance the research objectives. We are offering three Fellowships as part of the ChemArch project and they are:

ESR3 : Ancient DNA analysis of tars and resins associated with artefacts (Copenhagen/York)

ESR5 : Blood from Stone: Utilizing novel extraction techniques for the removal of tightly bound molecules from mineral surfaces (Copenhagen/York)

ESR10 : Genetic evidence for artefacts associated with prehistoric wine (Copenhagen/York)

For more information about each Fellowship project see below or visit the ChemArch website.

Key responsibilities

Your key responsibilities as a PhD Fellow at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (SUND) of the University of Copenhagen will be to:

  • Carry out one or several independent research projects under supervision
  • Write a PhD thesis consisting of several peer-reviewed scientific articles based on the research carried out during the PhD
  • Complete PhD courses or other equivalent education corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS points
  • Gather international research experience, for example through a research visit to another research group in a different country
  • Gather important teaching experience teaching graduate and undergraduate students
  • Disseminate the scientific research results to a broader public through conference presentation and public talks
  • As an ESR within the ChemArch network, you will also be expected to:

  • Attend and actively participate in all the mandatory network wide ChemArch activities
  • Spend a minimum of 12 months at the collaborating institution (University of York)
  • Contribute to overall project aims and deliverables by actively participating and collaborating with other ESR fellows in the network
  • Communicate your scientific activity to a broad audience, for example through outreach activities, public lectures, podcasts, and social media
  • Comply with the highest standards of research integrity, as set out in the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity
  • Eligibility criteria

    Applicants must have qualifications corresponding to a Master’s degree related to the subject area, a MSc degree in archaeology, archaeological science, biochemistry, bioinformatics, molecular biology, genetics or a related discipline.

    Further, applicants must fulfil the MSCA Eligibility and Mobility Requirements:

  • Applicants must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment on 1 September 2021. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account
  • Applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when you obtained the first degree entitling you to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which you are recruited), even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged.
  • Key criteria for the assessment of applicants

  • The grade point average in undergraduate and graduate studies
  • Relevant work experience
  • Previous publications
  • A proven ability to work independently
  • Demonstrated proficiency in both written and spoken English
  • Detailed information about each Fellowship

    Fellowship 1 (ESR3) : Ancient DNA analysis of tars and resins associated with artefacts (Copenhagen/York).

    Project description

    Birch pitch has been used as adhesive as far back as the Middle Pleistocene and recent studies have demonstrated that it is possible to recover human and non-human (microbial and faunal) ancient DNA from chewed pieces of birch pitch found on archaeological sites in Scandinavia, offering a rare snapshot of people's lives and the composition of our ancestral oral microbiome. This project will focus on the scientific analysis of ancient birch pitch from archaeological sites in Scandinavia and beyond. You will primarily be based in Dr Hannes Schroeder's research group at the GLOBE Institute in Copenhagen to carry out ancient DNA analyses of ancient birch pitch samples. Your training will focus on the recovery of ancient DNA as well as the bioinformatics analysis of the DNA sequencing data you generate. For part of the project, you will be based at the University of York to carry out experimental work at the YEAR Centre under the supervision of Dr Aimee Little. To further your understanding of ancient technologies, you will get the opportunity to spend time in the research group of Dr. Geeske Langejans at Delft University of Technology to learn in situ microscopic methods of identifying, recording and sampling hafting adhesives.

    Research group

    For the most part, you will be based in Hannes Schroeder’s research group in the Section for Evolutionary Genomics at the GLOBE Institute, University of Copenhagen. The group in Copenhagen focuses primarily on the use of ancient genomics to tackle unresolved questions relating to the human past and the history of infectious diseases and offers a dynamic and international research environment with access to state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and computing clusters.

    Principal supervisor : Associate Professor Hannes Schroeder, University of Copenhagen (

    Secondment opportunity : Delft University of Technology

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