Fully Funded AHRC PhD Studentship: “Reassessing the Scottish Mesolithic-Neolithic transition: Questions of resource use and chronology”.

Fully Funded AHRC PhD Studentship: “Reassessing the Scottish Mesolithic-Neolithic transition: Questions of resource use and chronology”.

Issued: Thu, 06 Jun 2013 16:00:00 BST

SUERC and Historic Scotland invite applications for a three-year AHRC-funded PhD Studentship (UK/EU rate), commencing 1 October 2013, or as soon as possible thereafter.

AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) PhD studentship: “Reassessing the Scottish Mesolithic-Neolithic transition: Questions of resource use and chronology.”

Supervisors: Dr. Philippa Ascough (University of Glasgow), Dr Iona Murray (Historic Scotland), Professor Gordon Cook (University of Glasgow), Professor Clive Bonsall (University of Edinburgh)

The project: The project has two main aims. Firstly, to re-assess how human diets changed at c.4000 BC in Scotland, when hunting/gathering/fishing was replaced by farming as the dominant way of life (the Mesolithic/Neolithic transition). Secondly, the project will improve the accuracy and precision of radiocarbon dating of archaeological samples from this time period. This will be achieved through a systematic study of human diets in the Mesolithic/Neolithic periods, using stable isotope measurements (δ13C, δ15N, δ34S) on the different possible food sources of these communities, i.e. I.) archived archaeological material (e.g. fish, deer, bird and domestic animal bone collagen) and II.) modern fish/shellfish, nuts, fruits, etc. The project combines cutting-edge scientific techniques in stable isotope analysis and radiocarbon dating with unique and extensive archaeological data resources and expertise to construct a large-scale diet baseline for prehistoric Scotland. This will enable us to truly understand Mesolithic/Neolithic diets, and thus recalibrate radiocarbon dates, providing a more accurate timeline of change in this important transition period in Scotland. This work and outputs will also provide a point of reference for all future radiocarbon dates from this period.

How to apply: In the first instance, please contact Dr. Philippa Ascough to discuss your interest in this studentship, providing a c.v. with academic qualifications together with relevant skills and experience: philippa.ascough@glasgow.ac.uk. Formal applications should be sent to Tracey.Weir@glasgow.ac.uk. The deadline for formal applications is 31st July 2013. The studentship will commence on 1st October 2013.

About you: We are seeking dynamic candidates, able to function across disciplines, but with a sound understanding of archaeology / environmental science. Enthusiasm for independent research and engagement with the archaeological community is essential, along with laboratory experience. Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent.

Your skill-development: In addition to the project specific skills that will leave you well-placed for a career in archaeological/environmental research, you will be expected to take part in transferable skill training through the University of Glasgow and Historic Scotland. This combination will ensure that the doctoral training you receive has balance between subject specific research skills and broader skills that employers seek, and that you are prepared for a diverse range of career options.

About us: The student will be enrolled in the University of Glasgow, College of Science and Engineering, and will be based primarily at the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC), as part of a thriving postgraduate research community. The studentship will involve close collaboration with staff of the Scottish Cultural Heritage Consortium based in Edinburgh, primarily those from Historic Scotland, National Museums Scotland, and the Royal Commission for Ancient and Historic Monuments Scotland (RCAHMS).

The supervisory team is drawn from academic staff in the College of Science and Engineering, University of Glasgow, the Historic Scotland Heritage Management Team, and the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh. Through the combined support offered by supervisors in their areas of expertise, the student will be able to tackle an area of great academic importance within prehistoric archaeology, and of great strategic importance within the development of Scotland’s cultural heritage. 

Funding details: The studentship is funded through an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) and will pay the Research Council minimum stipend per year for a period of up to 3 years. Students must meet the same eligibility criteria as any AHRC doctoral research student. Full details of these criteria can be found in the Guide to Student Funding available on the AHRC website.



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