Universiteit Leiden

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Postdoctoral Researcher  in the field of archaeology (specialization: bioarchaeology)

Vacancy number
Function type
Academic staff
Hours (in fte)
1.0 FTE
External/ internal
Placed on
20 February 2018
Closing date
01 April 2018

13 more days to apply

Faculty of  Humanities, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL) has a vacancy for a Postdoctoral Researcher  in the field of archaeology (specialization: bioarchaeology) (1.0 FTE).

Project description

LUCL is hosting the ERC Starting Grant project entitled The Linguistic Roots of Europe’s Agricultural Transition (principal investigator Dr. G.J. Kroonen). The EUROLITHIC project will be carried out in cooperation with the Leiden University Faculty of Archaeology, the Towards a New European Prehistory project at the University of Gothenburg and the Copenhagen University Center for Geogenetics.

The aim of the EUROLITHIC project is to approximate the exact timing, routes and cultural encounters by which various Indo-European linguistic groups established themselves in prehistoric Europe. This will be done by working towards a maximally complete reconstruction of the palaeoenvironment, palaeoeconomy and dietary habits of their speakers, and comparing the result to the agricultural, pastoralist, etc.  practices that reconstructed for these groups with the help of historical linguistics.

Key responsibilities

The postdoc is required to

  • Write 3 to 5 state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed papers on the impact of the Indo-European expansions on the palaeoenvironment, palaeoeconomy and dietary habits in Europe with the following duties:
    • Collecting evidence for (differences in) subsistence strategies (but also metallurgical practices) between the advent of agriculture and 3rd-2nd millennium BCE Europe;
    • Performing analyses on a) DNA of human, faunal and botanical remains; b) isotope analysis of human, botanical and faunal remains to study diet;
    • Comparing the result to the linguistic reconstructions of the subsistence strategies of speakers of Proto-Germanic, Proto-Balto-Slavic, Proto-Italic, Proto-Celtic, Proto-Greek and Proto-Armenian, as provided by 4 linguistic team members;
    • Assisting in developing an archaeological interface to the project’s database.
  • Disseminating results:
    • Submitting research results for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals;
    • Presenting papers at (international) conferences;
    • Organizing and participating in reading and discussions groups, seminars, workshops within LUCL.

Selection Criteria

  • Completed  a PhD dissertation in bioarchaeology, archaeolinguistics or any other relevant field;
  • Affinity with historical (Indo-European) linguistics, the study of ancient DNA, and European prehistory in general;
  • A curious, enterprising and creative mind and excellent analytical skills, evidence of which should emerge from the PhD thesis;
  • Good writing skills;
  • Proficiency in English;
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

Research at our Faculty/Institute

The Faculty of Humanities is rich in expertise in fields such as philosophy, religious studies, history, art history, literature, linguistics and area studies covering nearly every region of the world. With its staff of 995, the faculty provides 27 master’s and 25 bachelor’s programmes for over 7,000 students based at locations in Leiden’s historic city centre and in modern buildings in The Hague.

Leiden University has a longstanding tradition in research in the world’s languages and features unique linguistic expertise. LUCL  combines current theoretical insights and modern experimental methods in its research profile area “Language Diversity in the World”.

Terms and conditions

The employment of the postdoc will be for a period of two or three years starting September 2018 at the earliest (first a contract of 12 months with an extension of 12 or 24 months after positive evaluation of capabilities and compatibility) and must lead to the successful submission of 3-5 peer-reviewed articles. Appointment will be under the terms of the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities. Salary range, depending on education and work experience, from €2,588 to €4,757 gross per month (pay scale 10 or 11), based on a full-time appointment.

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. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.


Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.


For further information on these projects please contact Dr. Guus Kroonen, or on practical matters Maarit van Gammeren.

See also “Further information”.
More vacancies via https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/vacancies.


Applicants are kindly requested to submit the following documents electronically (in Dutch or English):

  1. A letter stating your motivation for the position (max. 700 words);
  2. CV (max. 2 pages);
  3. A short research proposal (max. 700 words) for one of the projects mentioned above, in which you describe how you would plan the project, the start date and duration of the project, which research questions you would formulate, which sources you would use, which matters you find in need of special attention, how you would tackle any existing deficiencies in your knowledge, etc.;
  4. References: the names and contact details (email addresses) of two persons whom we may contact for further information. One of these should be your PhD thesis supervisor;
  5. A copy of your PhD dissertation, and any other publication in English that is representative for your research qualities.

Please submit these documents in two files:

  1. containing documents 1 to 4 (PDF or Word file), using your last name underscore 1 as document name (e.g. BROWN_1.pdf);
  2. containing document 5 (PDF or Word file), using your last name underscore 2 as document name (e.g. BROWN_2.pdf).

Applications should be sent by email by using the apply button, clearly indicating the application number. The selection procedure will take place in April 2018, and selected candidates may be invited for an interview in the same month. You are kindly requested to be available in this period.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.