Postdoctoral position in history in ERC-funded project TIMBER (University of Copenhagen)

RHN 107/2016 | Opportunity

SAXO Institute, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Application deadline: 14 November 2016

Postdoctoral position in history in ERC-funded project TIMBER (University of Copenhagen)

The SAXO Institute, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, invites applications for a 2-year postdoctoral position in history. The successful candidate will be appointed to the newly established ERC project TIMBER, funded by the European Research Commission and based at the SAXO Institute, and will be expected to begin by 1st April 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project

TIMBER is a recently started ERC funded project entitled Northern Europeʼs timber resource – chronology, origin and exploitation. In this project timber in Northern Europe will be studied, to attain a precise chronology for trade of timber over a long time period (c. 1100 to 1700). Using material and textual evidence the aim is to map the trade in this construction material and to show the regional and temporal fluctuations in timber exploitation and availability. Using a multi-disciplinary approach (archaeological analysis, archival research and a range of archaeological sciences) on a variety of specific case studies the team will work together to analyse the sources and destinations of traded timber through time.

Qualification requirements

In order to be considered for the position applicants must have research qualifications at least corresponding to what can be achieved as part of a successfully completed PhD within a relevant field.

The appointee will be part of a cross-disciplinary team with emphasis on researching written non-published evidence for the exploitation of timber in the past.

The postdoc in history (environmental/economic history) will particularly focus on examining merchant and custom records for timber cargos, sales and prices, with a view to quantifying the volume of trade in timber in the region through time with a focus on the Baltic Sea region. The appointee should particularly endeavor to define the source of timber stock, and how this fluctuates over time. Study of specific cases of traded timber from the mid-14th to mid-17th centuries will form the starting point for the archival research. Archives that might be consulted include Archiwum Państwowe w Gdańsku, Geheimes Preußisches Staatsarchiv – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin (Staatsarchiv Königsberg, Hauptabteilung XX), Tallinna Linnaarchiiv, Archiv der Hansestadt Lübeck, Riksarkivet Stockholm. What was the proportion of large construction timber to smaller timber and wood products like planking, clapboards and wainscots, and which wood species dominate? Do these sources tell us in detail exactly where the timber was harvested, and where was its final destination? How did the timber source areas and timber products change over time, during the period under study? Is there any discourse in the records for timber shortage in any of the localities or regions and can a chronology for these eventual shortages be extracted? The postdoc will work closely with the other postdoc appointees in the team and with the PI, so that the information gathered in all the project disciplines will be incorporated into a wider analysis referring to the main project research questions.

Furthermore, emphasis will be placed on the following:

  • Research qualifications, which will be assessed in relation to the period of active research, the degree of originality, and academic output.
  • The applicant’s scientific record, academic breadth and depth, rigour, thoroughness and accuracy, as well as academic relevance in relation to the job description.
  • Documented administrative qualifications, if any
  • Participation in networks – national and international
  • Previous experience with interdisciplinary collaboration and research
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Excellent skills in English, written and spoken; knowledge of medieval Lower German as the main language of the sources, command of other Nordic languages would also be an advantage.

The successful candidate is expected to

  • work in close cooperation with the other team members.
  • present papers at conferences, workshops and public meetings, and represent the research group either with other members of the group or alone.
  • publish in journals or conference proceedings (individual and/or co-authored).
  • participate in workshops organised by the ERC project.
  • be present, part of the team and partake in the activities of the TIMBER team on a daily basis.

The European Research Council (ERC) is a European funding initiative, designed to support the best scientists, engineers and scholars in Europe. Its mandate is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe, selected by peer review evaluation, through competitive funding and to support investigator-initiated frontier research across all fields of research, on the basis of scientific excellence.

For further details about the qualification requirements for postdocs, please refer to the job structure for academic staff:

For further information about the position, please contact the Principle Investigator of the project TIMBER, Associate Professor Aoife Daly (

Read more about the application procedure…

The closing date for applications is 23.59 CET, 14th November 2016.

Applications or supplementary material received thereafter will not be considered.

Carsten Jahnke
SAXO Institut, Karen Blixens Vej 4
DK-2300 København S

Source: H-Soz-Kult