Researcher (post-doctoral level) for project: Adaptation & Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC) in Eastern Africa Uppsala University, Department of Archeology and Antiquity Sweden

Researcher (post-doctoral level) for project: Adaptation & Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC) in Eastern Africa


Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has 42,000 students, 7,000 employees and a turnover of SEK 6.7 billion.


The Department of Archeology and Antiquity is a multidisciplinary research and teaching environment that works for greater cooperation between the disciplines involved. The department undertakes teaching and research in the subjects of Archaeology, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, Osteology, Egyptology and Global Environmental History. The Department is located both in Uppsala and in Visby (Campus Gotland).


Uppsala University hereby announces as vacant the following 18 months, part-time (50%) position as Researcher (post-doctoral level) for the project:  Adaptation & Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC) in Eastern Africa.


The position is part of a three-year project around the themes of sustainability and resilience – tackling climate and environmental changes, co-funded by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), Forma and Sida.


The project is coordinated by Professor Paul Lane, Professor of Global Archaeology at the Department, and Oppenheimer Professor of the Deep History and Archaeology of Africa, University of Cambridge.


ARCC Project Description
In this 3-year project, we aim understand how societies, landscapes, ecosystems and Protected Areas have responded to climate change and societal use, to better understand how they may respond in the future. To do this, we will focus on the temporality, spatiality & complexity of interactions and interdependencies of social-ecological systems in north-western Tanzania over the last 300 years. Local livelihoods range from intensive agriculture to livestock herding & hunting-and-gathering, coupled with employment in tourism, conservation, or mineral extraction. Pressures from global climate change, rapid population growth, competing land use (including wildlife conservation), and new 'governmental' regimes pose major threats to livelihoods, their sustainability & resilience to future socio-ecological shocks. We will use a cross-disciplinary approach integrating archaeological, environmental, archival, modern land use & remote sensing data, with collaborative modelling of future land use & land cover change scenarios, to identify past and possible future drivers of change & sources of resilience; generate guidelines for land use planning; build research capacities in Sweden (post-doctoral position) & Tanzania (collaborating researcher) in sustainability studies; strengthen community awareness of and engagement in these issues. Hosted by Uppsala University, the team will involve experienced & junior researchers from Sweden, Tanzania & the UK.


Post-Doctoral Project: Evolution of Social-Ecological Systems c. AD 1700-2000, N. Tanzania
This project will reconstruct the changing ecological footprint of settlement systems over time the in the wider Serengeti area and how these relate to local biocultural heritage. The project is expected to answer the following questions: What have been the characteristics of the socioecological systems in the study area over the past 300 years, and how have these been shaped by landscape and climate change? How have fire regimes impacted ecological processes including vegetation dynamics around the Protected Area ecosystems, and, how might fire be managed as an adaptive response to climate change?


Specific Methods: To better understand the long-term settlement and land use history we aim to reconstruct the distribution of human settlement and the changing nature of land use over the past ca. 300 years using a combination of archaeological, palaeoecological, archival and oral historical datasets generated by new field and archival research, literature reviews and GIS and paleoecological analyses.  


Work duties 

  • To conduct individual and collaborative archaeological and archival research, that documents settlement patterns and fire history of the wider Serengeti (northern Tanzania) area over the last 300 years, the actors involved and the socio-ecological consequences of different fire management regimes.

  • Analyse and interpret research data within a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) platform.

  • Develop and implement appropriate strategies for disseminating the results and insights generated by the ARCC project researchers to diverse audiences and stakeholder groups, employing different methods including social media.

  • Develop and coordinate a programme of public talks and dissemination events about the project.

  • Assist with the organisation and delivery of summer school activities in East Africa.

  • Other duties as specified by the Project Coordinator


Eligibility requirements 
Minimally, applicants will hold a PhD in archaeology, historical geography or environmental history or another appropriate and relevant discipline,


Preference will be given to candidates who can bring a depth of experience and range of contacts to the role.


Required Experience and Skills

  • PhD in an appropriate relevant discipline

  • Experience of undertaking publicly evidenced high quality research in archaeology, historical geography or environmental history in and on Africa

  • Ability to work as part of a team and to work independently using own initiative

  • Relevant peer reviewed publications

  • Willingness to undertake field and archive based research in Tanzania


Desirable Skills/Knowledge/Experience

  • Experience of using a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) platform in landscape research

  • Good track record of work in a sector relevant to the position

  • Knowledge of East African archaeology and environmental history, sustainable development, heritage and landscape planning.

  • Knowledge of development organisations working on rural development and sustainability.

  • Good communication skills in both written and spoken English

  • Knowledge of KiSwahili


Application procedure
The application should be marked with the reference number: UFV-PA 2018/4074

A complete application must include:

  • A letter, of no more than two pages outlining why you are interested in this post and why you consider yourself well suited to undertake outlined duties.

  • A detailed CV listing previous education and other relevant research background, a list of publications, other papers and previous work experience.

  • A 2-3 page (including graphics if desired) research plan (in English) for the next 18 months aimed at answering the specific post-doctoral research question (NB the archaeological component will be coordinated by Professor Lane in collaboration with Tanzanian colleagues).

  • Two letters for reference from academic or work-related referees – to be sent independently by the referees.


Short-listed candidates will be called for interview over Skype or a similar web-based system in early January 2019.


Uppsala University aims for gender balance and diversity in all activities in order to achieve a higher quality at all levels of the organization. We therefore welcome applicants of any gender and with different birth background, functionality and life experience.


In the event of divergent interpretations of the English and Swedish versions of this announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.


For more information about the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, please contact Head of Department, dr Susanne Carlsson,, phone +46-(0) 018-471 2086. For more information, please contact the ARCC Project Coordinator, Professor Paul Lane,, phone +46-(0) 018-471 2897. HR, Sofi Pahlin, phone +46-(0) 018-4711552


We decline offers of recruitment and advertising help. We only accept the application the way described in the advertisement.


Placement: Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

Type of employment: Part-time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Månadslön

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 50 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: Ellena Papaioannou, Seko 018-471 3315
Suzanne Borén Andersson, TCO/ST 018-471 6251
Per Sundman, Saco-rådet 018-471 1485
Number of reference: UFV-PA 2018/4074

Last application date: 2018-12-18

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