PhD Palaeogenetics of initial animal husbandry in The Netherlands (1.0 FTE)


Faculty of Arts


University of Groningen

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has established an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative university offering high-quality teaching and research. Its 31,000 students are encouraged to develop their own individual talents through challenging study and career paths. The University of Groningen is an international center of knowledge: it belongs to the best research universities in Europe and is allied with prestigious partner universities and networks worldwide.
The Graduate School for the Humanities is the home for all PhD candidates of the Faculty of Arts (c. 200), and is committed to creating and maintaining excellent conditions for PhD research in all fields of the humanities. In addition to organizing local courses, the GSH works closely with 16 national research schools which offer regular courses and seminars by national and international top researchers.
GIA (Groningen Institute of Archaeology) is a leading international research institute with a strong
inter-disciplinary research tradition in bioarchaeology and post-glacial prehistory. One of its main points of interest is the development of prehistoric cultural landscapes, in which the transition to farming and the nature of early farming are of key interest. Bioarchaeological research in GIA is facilitated through world-class reference collections, technical staff, and the Center for Isotope Research.

Job description

We offer one PhD position (AIO) in the area of ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis of the earliest livestock in the Netherlands. Questions addressed include gene flow between wild and domestic populations, population dynamics and genetic traits. As a PhD candidate, you should be committed to conducting independent and original scientific research, to report on this research in international peer-reviewed publications, presentations, and disseminating knowledge in non-academic contexts. The result should be a cumulative PhD.

The PhD project is part of a Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) project that focuses on the start and development of animal husbandry in the Dutch wetlands – a case study area of continental importance thanks to its high-quality preservation and fine grained stratigraphy. The larger project also encompasses a PhD on the chronological framework and a postdoc on the diet and mobility of these same animals. This PhD project aims to provide more insight into the appearance and character of the cattle and pig populations exploited in the fifth millennium cal. BC.

The PhD will be trained and supervised jointly by GIA researchers C. Çakırlar (zooarchaeology), the Animal Genomics group at Wageningen University (Prof. Martien Groenen and Dr Ole Madsen.). The aDNA analysis will take place through a secondment at the Trinity College Dublin Molecular Population Genetics Lab (Prof. Daniel Bradley).


• a master's degree in archaeology or biology, with an excellent academic record and affinities with the other fields mentioned
• basic molecular laboratory skills (e.g. DNA extraction, PCR and NGS library preparation)
• DNA sequence data analysis
• excellent command of English and good academic writing skills.

Desired qualifications:
• ancient DNA and clean lab experience
• population genetic theory and analysis
• NGS workflow
• strong affinity with the prehistory of Northwest Europe, zooarchaeology and/or animal breeding.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 36 months.

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:
• a salary at € 2,325 (gross) per month during the first year increasing to € 2,835 (gross) per month for the third year (figures are based on full-time [1.0 FTE] employment
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
• minimum of 29 holidays and additional 12 holidays in case of full-time employment
• a temporary 1.0 FTE appointment for 12 months, an extension of the employment with two additional years is contingent upon a satisfactory assessment of the candidate’s performance after nine months.

Start date: 1 January 2020.

Job Application

Do you meet our qualification criteria? If yes, your application should include:
• a letter of motivation
• a full CV demonstrating academic excellence, including publications and presentations (if applicable), and a copy of your passport publication list (including submitted and accepted publications)
• a certified copy or scan of your MA diploma (or equivalent) and academic record
• names and contact details of two academic referees
• a research proposal, focusing on the central research question to be addressed and the proposed method of approaching and answering this question (1500 words, plus tables and references, and a project title). See the guidelines in the following website:[…]/format-for-phd-applications

For questions regarding the submission procedure, please contact Mrs M.R.B. Wubbolts, M.A. by email:

You can submit your application until 13 October 11.59pm / before 14 October 2019 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website). Please send your application in English and upload your application documents in a single pdf-file under ‘Letter of motivation’.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Prof. R.M. Esser (for questions regarding the Graduate School for the Humanities)

Prof. D.C.M. Raemaekers, Prof. of Archaeology of NW Europe (for questions regarding the proposal)

Drs. Flip Kramer, GIA secretary (for questions regarding the procedure)

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 219439

Digital application form