self_word cloud.jpg

Doctoral Research Fellow in Medieval Material Culture

A doctoral research fellowship is available at the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU). The PhD project will be positioned within the research project «The Self in Social Spaces:Conceptualizations and Representations in the Textual and Material Culture of Medieval Scandinavia», 2016­­-2020.

The research project «The Self in Social Spaces» is funded by the Norwegian Research Council and is led by Dr. Stefka G. Eriksen. The main aim of the project is to discuss how the self relates to its world and to history, and consequently how this relationship is represented in textual and material culture of medieval Scandinavia.

Old Norse textual culture contains traditional medieval genres in translation, as well as highly distinct genres, such as the Icelandic family sagas. In a similar fashion, archaeological, architectural, and art-historical material from medieval Scandinavia demonstrates common European stylistic features in combination with unique Scandinavian characteristics, such as the stave churches.

The main research question of this project is: what kinds of selves were responsible for the creation and the long continuous transmission of such a different and unique literary and material culture, and did the medieval Scandinavians’ own self-awareness and self-perception have anything to do with it?

Further, the project will investigatehow such representations of the self were related to the political development of medieval Scandinavia, in the period c. 1200-1500. 

The PhD-project should discuss influences between individual agency and development of socio-cultural spaces. This subjects may be addressed through an archaeological, architectural or art-historical study of material culture.

The PhD project has to commit to the theme and the main research questions of the project as a whole, and thus complement the work of the other project members. The discussion of material culture should be done in connection or juxtaposition to literary and textual culture.  

A detailed project description is available here.

The person appointed will have their work place at NIKU, but will be affiliated to a relevant university, where the doctoral degree will be attained. The academic work is to result in a doctoral thesis. The successful candidate is expected to join and contribute to the existing research milieu. 

The appointment is for duration of three years.


  • A Master's Degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, such as archaeology, art-history, conservation studies. The Master's Degree has to have been achieved by the time of application;
  • Personal suitability, high degree of motivation for the position, ambition to commit to the project, and high degree of self-awareness with regard to own academic career.

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on:

  • The project's scientific merit, research-related relevance and innovation;
  • The applicant's estimated academic and personal ability to complete the project within the time frame;
  • Good collaboration skills and an ability to join interdisciplinary academic communities.

Applicants with the above qualifications may apply for:

  • A three-year full-time PhD position;


  • Partial funding to complete an already started Dr. Philos. project. For example, such funding may be used to write one to two peer-reviewed articles and an overarching synthesis (“kappe”). The maximum budget framework of these applications is 1,5 mill NOK and the projects should last maximum three years. The application is to include a detailed budget proposal and timetable.


Applications must include the following attachments in PDF format:

  • Application letter describing the applicant's qualifications and motivation for the position;
  • Curriculum Vitae (complete list of education, positions, teaching experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activities, including a complete list of publications);
  • Transcript of records of your Master's degree. Applicants with education from a foreign university are advised to attach an explanation of their university's grading system;
  • Project description, including a detailed progress plan for the project (3 - 5 pages, see Template for project descriptions);
  • One to three publications, if available.

Please note that application letter and project description should be in English.

Applications should be sent to NIKU at, with cc: to Project Leader at

Short-listed candidates will be invited for an interview at NIKU.

Depending on the applications that come in, more than one person may be appointed. The organization and formal affiliation of the doctoral project will be agreed upon individually.

Deadline: May, 1st 2017


Project leader and Head of Research NIKU, Stefka G. Eriksen,; 90707539

Research coordinator NIKU Josephine Rasmussen,; 23355203