PhD candidate: Paleolithic Archaeology

PhD candidate: Paleolithic Archaeology

Published Deadline Location
28 May 28 Jun Leiden

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Job description

The Department of World Archaeology, Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, is looking for a PhD Candidate in the field of Archaeological Science to join a project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and carried out at the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University.

Project Description
The Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, seeks to appoint a full-time PhD candidate to carry out research at the thematic intersection of Paleolithic Archaeology and Anthropology. The successful candidate will join the Department of World Archaeology of our Faculty. The research should lead you to obtain a PhD within a four-year timeframe (1.0 FTE). The PhD candidate will be supervised by Dr Wei Chu (PI), Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University. The PhD candidate’s research is part of the ERC-funded Consolidator grant: HOME: Palaeolithic shelters in East-Central Europe.

The HOME project is divided into four interconnected Work Packages (WP):
  1. WP1: To investigate the diversity of forager shelters and establish the main factors that dictate their location and design
  2. WP2: to locate remnants of Palaeolithic shelters and their associated furniture through a systematic open-air geomagnetic survey
  3. WP3: to ascertain if and how one of the mammoth bone structures at the site was used as a shelter in the Late Pleistocene
  4. WP4: will collect primary data on shelter use from karstic deposits

The successful candidate will be expected to lead WP1, under the supervision of the PI and in collaboration with other team members and make substantive contributions to Work Packages 2 and 3.

Key tasks
  • Investigate the main factors that influence the location, design, and function of forager shelters.
  • Build predictive models to identify Paleolithic areas of interest.
  • Conduct collaborative and novel research in the field of Paleolithic Archaeology.
  • Managing, analyzing and integrating various types of archaeological and spatial datasets;
  • Contribute to the overall aims of the HOME Project;
  • Publish and present the work in international peer-reviewed journals and to academic and professional audiences, both independently and with team members;
  • Actively participate in discussions at the faculty, department, and research group level on research innovation;
  • Follow PhD courses based on an individual training and supervision plan, including through the Graduate School;
  • Obtain a PhD by publishing several articles in peer-reviewed academic journals on a topic related to the research topics outlined above within a four-year timeframe.

Selection criteria
  • Master’s degree completed by the time of the appointment in Archaeology, Anthropology, Computer Science, or related field;
  • Demonstrable ability and enthusiasm for innovative and inter-disciplinary research at the intersection of conceptual and policy-oriented research in one or more of the above fields;
  • Experience with quantitative research methods and GIS;
  • Availability to travel and conduct fieldwork outside the Netherlands;
  • Demonstrable good time-management, organizational, and communication skills;
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team in an organized and results-oriented fashion;
  • The PhD thesis will be written in English and therefore excellent command of English is required.

Our faculty
The future of the past begins at Leiden University. The Faculty of Archaeology is internationally leading for its research, home to a broad array of specializations and notable for its strong connection between teaching and research. Home to over 500 students in the multidisciplinary world of Archaeology, the Faculty, and its researchers from all areas of the archaeological field, determine the future of archaeological research. More information about our university and our faculty can be found at:

We offer
  • The selected candidate will be appointed for 4 years in total: initially for a 1-year trial period, followed by an extension of 3 more years, in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • The salary is the standard offered to PhD researchers in the Netherlands in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities (P scale: P0 to P3 = €2770 - €3539 gross per month).
  • Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at
  • All our PhD students are embedded in the Graduate School of Archaeology. Our graduate school and Leiden University offer several PhD training courses at various levels.

Leiden University attaches great importance to diversity and therefore welcomes applications from people who are currently under-represented at Leiden.
Applications are particularly welcome from minority ethnic candidates.

For more information about the content of this vacancy, please contact Dr Wei Chu
For other matters, please contact Human Resources
More information about Leiden University can be found at

You can apply via the 'Apply' button. The deadline for applications is June 28, 2024.
Applications must be submitted via SuccessFactors. The position is envisaged to start in September 2024, but a slightly later start date is possible.

Please attach the following additional documents as one PDF file, stating the job number above:
  • Motivation letter, including your relevant interest and experience in the subject matter and in doing advanced research (max 1 page)
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of publications
  • A writing sample (postgraduate thesis or publication)
  • The names and addresses of two potential referees (no actual recommendation letters required at this stage).

The first round of interviews should be scheduled in July. Selected candidates will initially be invited for an online interview. We kindly request that you be available (online) during this period.


Leiden University


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 14898



Rapenburg 70, 2311EZ, Leiden

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