PhD position in Social Anthropology
University of Bergen Department of Cultural History

PhD position – Social Anthropology 




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PhD position – Social Anthropology


The Department of Cultural History at the University Museum, University of Bergen announces a full-time PhD Research Fellowship in Social Anthropology. The position is for a fixed-term period of 4 years. The PHD project will concern cultural heritage and conflict, focusing on a specific cultural heritage site in Scandinavia, The Middle East, Asia or Oceania. The PHD student will be expected to carry out anthropological fieldwork, with participant observation of social processes and conflict concerning social identity, religion and/or economy.

About the project/work tasks:


Cultural heritage and conflict is a thriving research field in anthropology and archaeology, especially through ‘Critical Heritage Studies’ and ‘World Heritage Studies’. 


In the globalised world cultural heritage stands at the centre of questions concerning the commons and use of public space, participant democracy, and the identity of minorities or local groups and their belonging. Simultaneously cultural heritage sites also figure as motors for commercial tourism, elitist appropriation and alienation of local populations.  


Today cultural heritage management is a vibrant field with much debate and many issues at different levels: What is the future of the UNESCO and international agreements? What will former colonial powers do with ever stronger claims of repatriation? How can local groups maintain the meanings and functions of their most significant cultural heritage sites when facing mass tourism? How strongly does nationalist or regionalist discourses colour the presentation of history and pre-history? These questions are of a larger global political agenda, but they also have a corresponding effect on local circumstances and grassroots, and we propose for the PhD student to carry out a case-study of such local circumstances. They call for qualitatively oriented long term scrutiny, through ethnographic participation methods, of a specific cultural heritage site. We are asking the student to do research on conflicts concerning for example policy and reform, law, regulations, access, repatriation, tourism, belonging, scientific interpretations or religion and ritual. We encourage the applicant to indicate one site of interest in Scandinavia, the Middle East, Asia or Oceania.  


The PhD student will take part in a research group at the University of Bergen, which with its international network is developing comparison around contested cultural heritage sites and objects. 


Qualifications and personal qualities the applicant should possess


    The candidate should hold a Norwegian master’s degree in social anthropology or the equivalent. It is a condition of employment that the master’s degree has been awarded before the deadline of this application.

    Ability to work independently and in a well-structured manner, and good cooperative skills.

    Written and oral proficiency in a Scandinavian language or English.


About the PhD position:


About the position


The duration of the PhD position is 4 years, of which 25 per cent of the time comprises obligatory duties associated with the University museum, e.g collection management, work on databases, administration and outreach. Some of the duties will be connected to the research group at the University Museum. The employment period may be reduced if the applicant has previously been employed in a recruitment position.


Research training:


It is a condition that you meet the enrolment requirements for the PhD program at the University of Bergen. PhD candidates must participate in an approved educational program for a PhD degree at the Faculty of Social Sciences (administered by the Department of social anthropology), UIB, during a period of 3 years. The Faculty of Social Sciences must approve a final plan for implementation of the research training within three months after you have commenced in the position. The main supervisor will be Professor Knut Rio at the University Museum of Bergen.



We can offer:


    A stimulating and challenging working environment

    Salary at pay grade 51 (NOK 449.400 gross, code 1017/Pay range 20, alternative 9) in the state salary scale. Further promotions are made according to qualifications and length of service in the position. For particularly qualified applicants higher salary may be considered

    Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

    A position in an inclusive workplace (IA enterprise)

    Attractive welfare benefits



Your application must include:


    A brief account of your research interests and motivation for applying for this position (maximum 1 page)

    Proposal for research project (project description) in accordance with the job description below, and a sketch of how to accomplish the project and disseminate the results (max 5 pages)


    A PDF of the master’s thesis and other scientific publications (max 5)

    Transcripts of marks at BA and MA degree certificates

    Any other relevant certificates/references

    A list of scientific and popular science publications and presentations

    The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of these must be the main advisor for the master’s thesis (or equivalent)


At the Department of Cultural History there are 28 permanent employees (13 scientific positions, 10 technical positions and 5 executive positions. In addition there are a fluctuate number of temporary employees, including 3 PhD positions.


 The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge.

General information:


Detailed information about the position can be obtained by contacting: Professor Knut Rio, University Museum of Bergen, P.O.Box 7800, NO-5007 Bergen, tel.: +4755583112/e-mail:


The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. It is also a goal to recruit persons with immigrant backgrounds. Persons with immigrant backgrounds and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.


The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.


Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.


The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at all times.


Applications sent by email to individuals at the department will not be considered


For further information about the recruitment process, click here.


Life as a PhD candidate at UiB


Marion Claireaux tells about life and work as a PhD candidate at UiB.

About The University of Bergen


The University of Bergen is a renowned educational and research institution, organised into seven faculties and approximately 54 institutes and academic centres. Campus is located in the centre of Bergen with university areas at Nygårdshøyden, Haukeland, Marineholmen, Møllendalsveien and Årstad.


University Museum of Bergen - read more here

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Socioloxy


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