Postdoc position in physical sciences (isotope geochemistry), Netherlands (2015)

Post-Doctoral position in Forensic and Archaeological Isotopic Provenancing at VU University, Amsterdam: The Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences (FALW) offers a range of Bachelor and Master programmes. Research and focuses on the fields of the life-, health-, environmental- and Earth sciences. World-class teaching and cutting-edge research activities go hand in hand.

FALW works together collaboratively with other faculties like medicine, exact sciences, economics, psychology and social sciences. The faculty’s research facilities are excellent foster cross-border collaboration, leading to substantially improved quality and greater impact of our research results.

The Department of Earth Sciences is one of the eight departments in FALW. It operates with two research clusters: ‘Earth and Climate’ and ‘Geology and Geochemistry’. The Department hosts a number of excellent, state-of-the-art analytical and experimental labs, and teaches parts of Earth Science BSc and MSc programmes. The Geology and Geochemistry (G&G) Cluster of the Department of Earth Sciences is offering a Post Doc position to develop and apply innovative new isotopic techniques (both stable and radiogenic) to provide more quantitative methodologies for human provenancing in a forensic and archaeological context.

General Information:

  • The position is available from February 1st 2016.
  • The successful candidate will work partly within the European Research Council Synergy Grant (~ Euro15M) “NEXUS1492: New World Encounters in a Globalising World”.
  • The project investigates the impacts of colonial encounters in the Caribbean, the nexus of the first interactions between the New and the Old World. NEXUS1492 will address intercultural Amerindian-European-African dynamics at multiple temporal and spatial scales across the historical divide of 1492. The trans-disciplinary team of three PIs (Hofmann, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Leiden; Brandes, Network Science, Konstanz; Davies, isotopic provenance, VU) and their research groups of archaeologists, social, natural and computer scientists, and heritage experts (>40) will pioneer new analytical tools, and apply multi-disciplinary cutting-edge techniques, theoretical frameworks and skill sets to provide a novel perspective on New World encounters in a globalising world.
  • The project will offer a stimulating work environment and unique opportunity to integrate in a large international team of experts to develop on-the-job academic skills.
  • A second aspect of the position is to continue to develop the strong collaboration with the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) and Dutch Police forces. Over the last 5 years G&G has been validating isotopic techniques that are now being applied to open forensic cases.
  • The candidate will be trained in these forensic methods so that they can participate in on-going police investigations.

Tasks involved –

Explore the application of novel geochemical-isotopic forensic and provenancing techniques in an archaeological and/or forensic science context. This will require the application of both stable and radiogenic isotope methods to a variety of tissue material. We expect a willingness to participate in archaeological and provenancing fieldwork in the Caribbean and to collaborate with the NFI and Dutch police forces.

Key Requirements / Qualifications: 

A completed PhD in the physical sciences;
• Proven analytical skills with extensive experience in isotope geochemistry;
• A background in geochemistry/ bio-geochemistry/archaeology;
• Excellent research and writing skills,
• Good communication skills and ability to work in an interdisciplinary team;
• An interest in the public dissemination of scientific results.
• Knowledge of Spanish and/or French will be beneficial for possible field work in the Caribbean;

Further particulars
The position is initially for a three year period but prolongation is possible. The starting date is negotiable, preferably no later than May 2016. You can find information about our excellent fringe benefits of employment at , including:
• remuneration of 8.3% end-of-year bonus and 8% holiday allowance;
• generous contribution (70%) to commuting allowance based on public transport;
• discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance);
• a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge.

The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, range from a minimum of € 3173 ,-gross per month (salary scale 10.5) up to a maximum of € 4608 (salary scale 11.11), based on full-time employment.

For additional information please contact:
Prof. dr. Gareth R. Davies

Application Procedure:

You are invited to send a letter of motivation accompanied by your Curriculum Vitae and contact information for at least two referees by email to: Mrs. Fenny Bosse: Please mention vacancy number in the email header. Deadline for applications is January 29th, 2016.

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