Fully Funded PhD position at UCD, Dublin


Funding amount: Approximately €25,000 per annum (this includes a full fee waiver and an annual non-taxed stipend of €18,000 per annum)

Applications are invited for a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) funded scholarship for EU and international students with outstanding academic records. This fully funded 4-year PhD position is part of the ERC project The Fall of 1200BC: The role of migration and conflict in social crises at end of the Bronze Age in south-eastern Europe (The Fall).

The Fall project explores changes in migration and conflict at the end of the Bronze Age (ca.1300-1000 BC) and their relevance for understanding the collapse of Europe's first urban civilisation in the Aegean and proto-urban groups of the Balkans. The objective is to uncover the human face of this turning point in European prehistory by directly tracing the movement of people and the spread of new social practices across cultural boundaries. Hotly debated ancient tales of migrations are tested for the first time using recent advances in genetic and isotopic methods that can measure human mobility. Combined with mortuary research, material culture studies, and landscape / settlement archaeological research, the project seeks to better understand the social context of personal and cultural mobility, including the social networks through which traditions moved within and between distinct societies. As personal and cultural mobility took place in social landscapes, the changing strategies for controlling access and mobility in settlement organisation are to be explored through this PhD research project.

Gradiste Idjos from the air

Aerial view of the later Bronze Age fortified site of Gradište Idjoš, Banat

The focus of the anticipated doctoral research project should fall within the following broadly defined research areas:

1) The development of fortified sites in the Balkan peninsula (including Greece) and Aegean islands

2) The emergence and spread of channel-decorated ceramics in the later Bronze Age Balkans

3) Settlement evidence for changes in social organisation including identifying periods of crisis

The PhD project should combine a selection of quantitative and qualitative research methods, candidates are also encouraged to develop their own theories and methodologies to extend the proposed framework of The Fall. The successful applicant will be working directly with The Fall's principal investigator, Assoc. Prof. Barry Molloy and a team of researchers in Ireland as well as a number of international collaborators. Opportunities to undertake short-term visits to partner institutes and research organisations in order to carry out collaborative and in situ data gathering will be available. The position will primarily be based at the UCD School of Archaeology as a part of Assoc. Prof. Molloy's research group, who will also act as lead supervisor.

Applicants with a background in Balkan and / or Aegean archaeology, Geographic Information Systems, settlement archaeology, archaeological fieldwork, network analysis, or Bronze Age ceramic studies are encouraged to apply.

A specific requirement of this position will be the compilation of a database of published fortified settlement sites in the Balkan and Aegean regions. This may be integrated into the project design, but this is not compulsory.

Channeled ware urn ca. 1200 BC

Channelled pottery urn of the later Bronze Age Balkans


Applications are invited from enthusiastic and talented candidates with a Master's degree in a field of archaeology or related disciplines with skillsets as outlined above. We are looking for applicants who have:

  • Prior knowledge of and interest in the archaeology of the Balkans and / or the Aegean during the later Bronze Age (ca. 1500-1000 BC).
  • A strong background in quantitative methodologies and analysis techniques in settlement archaeology and / or ceramics studies.
  • Experience with spatial analysis methods and the application of these to changes in settlement patterns.
  • Excellent scientific writing and planning skills.
  • Good communication skills and an excellent command of spoken and written English are essential.
  • Experience working with statistical, spatial (GIS), and / or Network Analysis software is desirable.
  • Archaeological fieldwork experience is desirable.
  • Experience in working with ceramic assemblages is desirable.
  • Language skills in BHS / BCS, Bulgarian, Greek or German is desirable.
  • How to Apply:

    To apply, please use the PhD proposal template provided and send this together with the names of two referees, your masters thesis abstract and/or any publications you have authored (a URL or a PDF). Please send these (and address all correspondence) to Assoc. Prof. Barry Molloy at barry.molloy@ucd.ie. Please e-mail your application by May 18th 2018 for a strict closing time of 13:00 GMT, at the very latest. The Scholarship is subject to provision of all appropriate documentation as part of the formal UCD Graduate Application, including university transcripts (BA, MSc, etc.). The anticipated start date is September, 2018.

    Full details can be found here and an application form here

    If you would like to learn more about the methods we use, the structure of the project, and how we seek realise our objectives, please look at work packages page or email Barry for further details.

    Find out more about the methods we use

    Work Packages