Ancient TL

Career Opportunities

PhD position on chronology and geomagnetic mapping of (pre)historical exploitation of natural resources in forested areas in NW Europe

The research groups of Mineralogy and Petrology (Department of Geology) and Historical Archaeology of NW Europe (Department of Archaeology) at Ghent University are jointly offering a PhD position in the frame of the research project "Fuelling the furnace. An interdisciplinary study of forest soils as geoarchaeological archives".

The PhD scholarship is fully funded for four years and preferably starts in October 2018. It frames within a research project that aims at investigating the (pre)historical exploitation of natural resources in forested areas in a comprehensive, interdisciplinary manner. Through a synergy between geochronology (luminescence dating is the main method to be applied), mineralogy, geomagnetism, pedology, geostatistics and archaeology, it seeks to significantly improve our understanding and methodological approach towards the potential of woodland soils as archives of human-landscape interaction, with particular reference to processes of resource procurement (and associated pollution) in the natural environment. The PhD position is focussed on the earth-scientific aspect of the project; a successful applicant, however, will be interconnecting and cross-pollinating with – amongst others – synergetic PhD research into the archaeological significance. The PhD position is part of an interdisciplinary project, and in this context, a second PhD researcher in archaeology will start simultaneously. Close collaboration between both is a prerequisite.

Applicants preferably hold an MSc-degree in Earth Sciences although other relevant disciplines of science can be considered (e.g. soil sciences, physics, chemistry, archaeology, bio-engineering...). The eligibility requirements of Ghent University must be met. Proficiency in English is a requirement; knowledge of Dutch and/or French an asset. A suitable candidate has an interest in broadening her/his horizons across scientific disciplines and will combine laboratory-based analytical investigations with fieldwork. The applicant should be aware of the emphasis on the analytical aspect, involving experimental state-of-the-art laboratory and desk-top analysis. Prior experience in luminescence dating and/or surveying using magnetic prospection methods is advantageous, but not essential. Some background in the use of GIS is recommended.

The PhD candidate will be expected to dissipate the finds in scientific peer-reviewed journal papers, conference presentations, and a PhD dissertation, as well as through communications to the larger non-specialist audience. The candidate will interact, collaborate and actively contribute to the whole of interdisciplinary activities by all agencies, scientists and third parties involved in the research project. She/he will be encouraged to strengthen the academic background and competences.

The scholarship is intended to run over a period of two times two years (48 months in total). A positive evaluation of the first two years leads to a renewal of the fellowship by two years, at most. General information on requirements, modalities and salaries can be found on the UGent website (

Applications should include a CV, a short motivation letter and contact details of at least two referees. The application deadline is 07/09/2018 (16:00, Brussels time).

Applications and/or inquiries can be sent to Prof. Dr. Johan De Grave (

Post doctoral Fellow in the Physics of Trapped Charge Dating 976945

The Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University (AU) invites applications for a 2-year position as a Post doctoral Fellow. This position is funded under an ERC Starting Grant entitled Reducing empiricism in luminescence geochronology: Understanding the origins of luminescence from individual sand grains (639904-RELOS) awarded to Dr Jan-Pieter Buylaert, Associate Professor at this Department. The position is available immediately. For more details, please see the listing at Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University.

PhD position at the University of Innsbruck, Quaternary Research Group: Dating of rock slope failures and rock scarps using novel and classical optical dating techniques (3 years, starting summer 2018)

The University of Innsbruck (Uibk) is a striving research and teaching institution in the heart of the Eastern European Alps with a strong research focus on alpine environments and processes. As part of the Uibk's doctoral program Natural Hazards in Mountain Regions, we seek a PhD candidate to investigate rock fall and gravitational slope deformation processes in alpine contexts using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating techniques. OSL research will be conducted at the Department of Geology, Quaternary Research Group ( via the in‐house luminescence laboratory and in collaboration with the Center for Nuclear Technologies, Technical U. Denmark (DTU), Risø Campus. The PhD candidate will be embedded into the multidisciplinary framework of the doctoral program and the Uibk alpine research focus and thus be exposed to the fields of geochronology, geomorphology, geology, remote sensing and the geotechnical sciences.

Review of the applications will start April 7st and close May 19th 2018. The call is open until the position is filled. Applications include (i) a cover letter outlining experience and expertise relevant to the project, (ii) a complete CV including a list of publications, and (iii) at least one letter of recommendation. Uibk strives to increase the female proportion of employees and thus explicitly invites qualified women to apply. Applications should be uploaded onto the career portal of the Uibk. Further information can be obtained from Univ. Ass. Prof. Dr. Michael Meyer (

Executive Summary of the Project

This PhD project is aiming at further developing and applying a set of classical and novel optical dating (OSL) techniques to rock fall sites and deep‐seated gravitational slope deformations in alpine contexts. The project will exploit the extended and novel methodological capabilities of OSL rock surface exposure and rock surface burial dating in combination with OSL sediment burial dating. This will allow the emplacement history of rock fall boulders and the timing of rock fall events to be accurately constrained and also provides critical new insights into the timing and kinematic behaviour of deep‐seated gravitational slope deformations (e.g., via applying OSL rock surface exposure dating to crystalline head scarps). The data will also fill a gap in the alpine landslide database that is—over geological time‐scales—heavily biased towards high‐magnitude low‐frequency events. Forging these individual dating approaches into a coherent dating strategy and applying it to alpine mass wasting events is a novel endeavour that—in its current format—has never been attempted before. This PhD research is firmly embedded into one of four alpine doctoral programs and will provide directly relevant data for downstream infrastructure and critical input data for modelling cascade natural hazard processes and for mitigating natural hazard impacts.

Required Qualifications