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Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher (ChemArch) (2 posts)

Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
41,570 or 45,470 a year (depending on family)
Interview Date
March 2021
Posted Date
Apply by
Job Reference

Role Description


Chemistry is part of an Innovative Training Network and European Joint Doctorate awarded to the Department of Archaeology at York with the universities of Copenhagen, Barcelona and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and funded by the European Commission through the Marie Sklowdoska-Curie Action, entitled  “ChemArch: The organic chemistry and molecular biology of archaeological artefacts”.

Two 3 year, fully-funded double PhD awards supervised by Kirsty Penkman are offered:

  • ESR1: Examining the representation of wooden artefacts in prehistoric archaeological assemblages
  • ESR7: Tracking cereal processing in Neolithic pottery. 

The consortium provides 15 funded PhD positions, 5 of which are at York and 2 hosted within Chemistry

Chemistry is one of the largest and most successful departments at York, renowned internationally for our research. As a department, we strive to provide a working environment that allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel. We are proud of our Athena SWAN Gold Award.

These are 36-month fully funded PhD opportunities enabling you to study for a double doctorate at the universities of York, Copenhagen or CNRS as specified by the project. As part of the role you will be expected to spend a minimum of 12 months at the partner University, as well as a short period of time on secondment at a partner organisation, as specified to advance the research objectives

A description of all 15 projects can be located at the ChemArch website.

Important eligibility criteria:

  • Mobility rule: on 1 September 2021 you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the UK for more than 12 months in the preceding 3 years. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not considered.
  • Further eligibility criteria: To be eligible for this role you must, on 1 September 2021 be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career and have not been awarded a doctoral
  • Qualifications: Please note that in order to register for a doctorate at the second university you must fulfil their eligibility requirements for a Master’s level qualification as specified in the job description.


Main duties:

  • undertaking research and training within the overall ChemArch programme, and the day to day operation of the projects, working closely with project supervisors
  • prepare work for dissemination, presenting preliminary findings at meetings within the research groups
  • assist in writing articles, papers or reports
  • participate in the dissemination of research findings internally and externally at seminars, workshops and conferences. 
  • undertake a programme of learning and development, in the form of a PhD, as an integral part of the role
  • pass the formal progression points of the PhD, submit the thesis by an agreed deadline compliant with regulations at both universities

Skills, Experience & Qualifications needed

  • Undergraduate degree in Chemistry (or related relevant subject such as heritage conservation science, archaeological, biological or environmental sciences); minimum 2:1 or equivalent grade
  • Masters level qualification compatible with the second degree awarding University
  • Applicants who do not have English as their first language will need to meet or exceed the requirements for PhD entry: 
  • Knowledge of chemistry and its application to complex, ancient samples and a range of relevant research techniques and methodologies and understanding of relevant health & safety practices
  • Ability to undertake academic research, organise own research activities to agreed deadlines and quality standards 
  • Excellent IT and oral and written communication skills 
  • Ability to provide support to staff and students and work as part of a team and independently using own initiative
  • Commitment to and enthusiasm for travel and studying overseas for long periods of time and in a variety of organisations 
  • Interest in and enthusiasm for the development and application of analytical chemistry to the study of the past

Interview date: March 2021

For general enquiries: please contact Kirsty Penkman

Please apply by submitting a cv and covering letter. In the covering letter you should briefly outline why you are suitable for this project, how you would develop it and how you would benefit from the wider training offered across the network. Please limit your covering letter and cv to 2 pages maximum each. 

Please also upload all available academic transcripts so we can check your suitability for the joint doctorate programme.

The University is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community  – a place where we can all be ourselves and succeed on merit. We offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements, staff engagement forums, campus facilities and services to support staff from different backgrounds.

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 A place where we can ALL be ourselves #EqualityatYork



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