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Doctoral student in Archaeology with a focus on Arctic & Sub-Arctic Wetlands

Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies




  • Type of employment Temporary position
  • Extent 100%
  • Place Umeå

The Faculty of Arts at Umeå University develops the Humanities and invests in future Areas of Excellence.  

The Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies invites applications for the doctoral training program in Archaeology with a focus on Arctic & Sub-Arctic Wetlands. 

The Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies  conducts teaching and research in Archaeology, Environmental Archaeology, Philosophy, History, History and Education, History of Science and Ideas, Religious Studies and Theology.

Third-cycle (doctoral) level studies in archaeology at Umeå are undertaken under two broad themes: (a) archaeology and (b) archaeology specialising in environmental archaeology. Applications are welcome under either of these themes, as long as there is a clear and demonstrable connection to Arctic and/or Sub-Arctic Wetlands and some aspect of sustainable development. Applications including one or more of the following topics are especially encouraged:

  • Palaeoentomology, archaeobotany, palynology or other archaeological research methods (including methods development)
  • Long-term climate change (past, present, future) and threats to cultural heritage and landscapes (e.g. preservation of organic remains in wetlands, palaeoenvironmental reconstructions)
  • Sustainable development, sustainability and/or human-landscape interactions over long timescales

Projects using the laboratory (e.g. MAL) or digital (e.g. databases, GIS) resources available at Umeå University are encouraged, as is international or local collaboration and interdisciplinary collaboration.

At Umeå we have a well-resourced archaeology research group that is continuing to develop and expand its research activities in the study of the human past, and whilst we place an emphasis on human-landscape interactions in the past. We are also interested in developing research into areas linked to among other things, cultural heritage conversation and sustainability, but also in directions that expand the subject´s range of areas of interest in general. 

The department hosts The Environmental Archaeology Lab (MAL) - an established research unit with excellent laboratory facilities. MAL engages in national and international projects in environmental archaeology research and consultancy and leads the Archaeological research module of the Swedish National Infrastructure for Digital Archaeology (www.swedigarch.se). We are also involved in research and development connected to the Swedish Biodiversity Data Infrastructure (https://biodiversitydata.se/) and work closely with Humlab at Umeå university (https://www.umu.se/en/humlab/).

See the general syllabus at https://www.umu.se/en/faculty-of-arts/education/doctoral-studies/general-syllabi/ for more information on the structure, including its composition and content, of the doctoral program.

To be a doctoral student at the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Doctoral students write their research plan and conduct their thesis project independently in consultation with their supervisors, who are assigned given the project’s scientific direction. Supervision and guidance occur continuously with both the supervisors and the director of doctoral studies. Doctoral students are central to the department’s research environment and are expected to engage in it through participation in activities such as seminars, research networks and scientific conferences, as well as in subject meetings, workplace meetings and staff days at the department. 

The Arctic graduate school

As a doctoral student, you will be part of an interdisciplinary context with affiliation both to your own department and the Arctic Graduate School with a focus on sustainable development at Umeå University. The Arctic Graduate School is part of the Arctic Centre's activities. You will participate in the research school's course activities, seminars, workshops, and international collaborations, among other things. 
The Arctic Centre at Umeå University: https://www.umu.se/en/arctic-centre 
The Arctic Graduate School: https://www.umu.se/en/arctic-centre/education/arctic-graduate-school 


General requirements
To be admitted to studies at the third-cycle level, the applicant must meet both general and specific eligibility requirements. General requirements: a Master’s or equivalent degree in a relevant field, having completed course requirements worth at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits must be at second-cycle level, or in some other way – either in Sweden or abroad – having acquired equivalent knowledge. 

Specific requirements 
In order to meet the specific eligibility requirements for admission to studies in archaeology at third-cycle level, the applicant must have completed at least 30 credits in archaeology at second-cycle level, with an independent project worth at least 15 credits. Students who have acquired equivalent knowledge in some other way, either within Sweden or abroad, may be admitted for third-cycle studies after assessment.

Interdisciplinary experience relevant for the proposed project and in relation to the Arctic Graduate School is welcome.

See general syllabus for more information on requirements: https://www.umu.se/en/faculty-of-arts/education/doctoral-studies/general-syllabi/

Assessment criteria

Applicants are ranked with reference to their capacity to benefit from and complete the program. The assessment is based primarily on prior study results, with particular consideration given to essays, and the quality of the research plan and its relevance for the subject area. The assessment is also based on references and interviews, and possibly additional evaluations of the main candidates. The ability to work independently, to perform tasks on time and other personal characteristics relevant to the ability to undertake research at doctoral level and successfully complete a PhD education will be assessed. 

To be considered for eligibility, existing degrees must have been completed at the latest by the application deadline. 

Terms of employment

Doctoral students will mainly devote themselves to their own education at third-cycle level. Employment as a doctoral student will be for the time deemed necessary for the completion of research studies at a normal rate of study, which corresponds to a full-time position for four years. An initial contract of 12 months will be extended with up to two years at a time provided that the individual study plan is followed. A doctoral student may to a limited extent also work with teaching, administration or other relevant activities up to a maximum of 20 percent of full-time. The period of employment may thus be extended up to a maximum of five years. The entry level salary is 30 900 SEK and rises in three steps to 35 600 SEK. 

Additional information

The doctoral studies begin at the start of the autumn semester, 2 September 2024. The place of work is Umeå and a high level of attendance at the department is required; doctoral students are expected to actively contribute to the research environment. According to The Higher Education Ordinance, chapter 12 §2, a decision of appointment for a doctoral student position may not be appealed. 


Please submit your application through the application platform, and include:

  • A degree certificate, transcript from the Ladok student registry, and/or equivalent attested copies of your academic transcripts proving that general and specific requirements are met
  • Curriculum vitae, including name and contact information of two reference persons.
    A Bachelor's or Masters' theses (or equivalent degree project) relevant to the main field, along with any other research qualifications
  • A cover letter that states the motivation for undertaking research training leading to a PhD, and that specifies what expertise at the Department is needed for carrying out your research project (max one page).
    Research plan – max. 8 pages, single line spacing at 12 pts (diagrams are welcome) – containing a description of the proposed project’s:  
    - purpose and research problem 
    - previous research 
    - implementation, that is, method, material and theory 
    - relevance 
    - time plan 

Your application must be submitted in Umeå University’s e-recruitment system no later than 10   Mars 2024.

Please note: the Swedish version is the official version of this advertisement. In the case of any differences in information between this and the official version, it is the official version that is the legally correct version of the advertisement for these PhD positions. 

We look forward to receiving your application! 

Information box


2 September 2024


Monthly salary

Application deadline


Registration number

AN 2.2.1-32-24


Philip Buckland, universitetslektor


Jonas Nilsson, prefekt


Union representative







Umeå University wants to offer an equal environment where open dialogue between people with different backgrounds and perspectives lay the foundation for learning, creativity and development. We welcome people with different backgrounds and experiences to apply for the current employment. We kindly decline offers of recruitment and advertising help.