Ansøgningsfrist: 01/04/2020

A Postdoc position in stable isotopes is offered in connection with the joint Danish National Museum and Greenland National Museum & Archive’s research initiative “Activating Arctic Heritage” (AAH) supported by the Carlsberg Foundation.

Job description

The postdoc position is a part of a large interdisciplinary project focussing on the World Heritage areas of Southern (Kujataa) and Western (Aasivissuit-Nipisat) Greenland.  The work package Rain or Shine: Local palaeoenvironments and palaeoclimate in the UNESCO areas aims to reconstruct local climatic trends (predominately temperature and precipitation) for the most recent 1500 - 2000 years and provide background conditions for cultural activity in these areas. Analysis of lake sediments dated by both 14C and 210Pb will primarily focus on sedimentary or faunal stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N or δ18O) and pollen spectra along with a range of relevant geochemistry. 

The successful candidate will be primarily responsible for the geochronology and the isotopic analysis of lake sediments with a focus on describing past local trends in precipitation which may impact cultural activity. Modern precipitation patterns and variability impact resource availability in both World Heritage areas affecting for example, reindeer migration patterns in the Aasivissuit-Nipisat area and agricultural productivity in the Kujataa area. 

Stable isotope analysis will be conducted in collaboration with Aarhus AMS Centre (AARAMS), Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University. The successful candidate will work with sedimentary bulk stable isotope analysis and interpretation of organic matter δ13C and δ15N. Further, it will be preferable if the successful candidate has experience with δ13C, δ15N and δ18O analysis on chironomids or cladocerans.

The successful candidate will be required to work closely with a further post-doc in the Rain or Shine work package who will focus on pollen analysis. Collaboration with the other work packages in the Activating Arctic Heritage project is also essential. These include a focus on Norse agriculture and health, the Thule migration to southern Greenland, glocal networks in West Greenland, taphonomy and further potential of middens and the preservation of cultural sites in situ in the context of climate change.

The Postdoc position includes fieldwork in Greenland (Summer 2020) and the candidate must contribute to the practical work and logistics involved in this fieldwork. The fieldwork will also require participation in an excavation associated with a Work Package focussing on Norse agriculture.


We are looking for a candidate with experience in the analysis of lake sediments and the interpretation of multi-proxy palaeoclimatic data sets.  The candidate must hold a PhD in Quaternary geology, geography or similar qualifications and have a thorough knowledge and understanding of sedimentary stable isotopes and geochronology’s in palaeoclimatic research.

The candidate will preferably have experience of Arctic fieldwork.

The candidate is expected to have a strong record of peer-reviewed academic publications and experience of working in collaborative projects with a willingness to share knowledge and expertise with the other members of the research group.

The candidate is expected to contribute to the writing of academic papers and must have good communication skills in English.

Terms of salary and employment

The working hours are 37 hours a week. Salary, pension, and terms of employment will be in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and The Academics Central Organization in Denmark and Circular concerning the job structure for academic staff with research responsibilities in archives, libraries, museums etc. under the Danish Ministry of Culture.

The appointment is for 18 months, starting on 1st May 2020 or shortly thereafter.

The place of work is at the Museum’s Section for Environmental Archaeology and Materials Science in Brede, Kgs. Lyngby, north of Copenhagen. Some analysis will take place at Aarhus University.

The position will involve travel activity in connection with fieldwork in Greenland and some conference travel activities.

Application procedure

The National Museum is actively working to promote equality among employees and encourages all qualified, regardless of personal background, to apply for the position.

The application is to be submitted in English and must include the following:

  • Letter with motivation for the application (max. one page)
  • Curriculum vitae, incl. education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  • List of publications
  • Copies of up to 3 publications to be considered in the assessment
  • Copies of university exams, Master of Science and PhD certificates
  • Transcript of university exams into English, if not written in English, Danish, Norwegian or Swedish.

If a publication has more than one author, or is the result of a collective effort, it must be clearly specified which part of the publication the applicant is responsible for.

Applications must be sent via the electronic recruitment system on our website and must be uploaded by 1st April 2020.

Any publications to be included in the assessment must be received by the National Museum on 1st April 2020. Publications can either be uploaded to the recruitment system or sent to Nationalmuseet, Frederiksholms Kanal 12, 1220 København K, Denmark, marking the envelope ‘Personale’. Publications sent to the Museum must be submitted in 3 copies. Only books or similar will be returned.

The National Museum will set up an (internal) expert Assessment Committee to evaluate the applications. Qualified applicants will be invited for interviews in a panel set up by the National Museum.

For further information regarding the position, please contact senior researcher Catherine Jessen ( Tel. +45 41206177) or research professor Bjarne Grønnow (, Tel: +45 60730656).

Nationalmuseet er Danmarks kulturhistoriske hovedmuseum og et statsmuseum under Kulturministeriet. Nationalmuseet styrker historiebevidsthed og medborgerskab ved at belyse Danmarks og verdens kulturer og deres indbyrdes afhængighed. Ca. 655 medarbejdere er fordelt på 4 afdelinger: Forskning, Samling og Bevaring, Museer og Slotte, Nationalmuseet København samt Drift og Administration. Se mere om Nationalmuseet på

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