PhD Fellowship in Medieval Stone Adhesives

The University of Stavanger hereby invites applications for a PhD Fellowship in medieval stone adhesives at the Museum of Archaeology, Department of Conservation.
Erstellt vor 2 Monaten

Job description

The University of Stavanger hereby invites applications for a PhD Fellowship in medieval stone adhesives at the Museum of Archaeology, Department of Conservation. The position is available from 01.08.2024.

This is a research training position that will give promising researchers the opportunity for academic development through a PhD programme, leading to a doctoral degree. The appointment is for three years with research duties exclusively. The successful candidate will be admitted to the PhD programme in Social Sciences. The PhD programme includes relevant courses amounting to about six months of study. The PhD fellow will participate in national and international research environments, produce relevant academic dissemination, and complete a doctoral dissertation based on independent research, culminating in a trial lecture and public PhD defence. Read more about the PhD education at UiS on our website.

Research topic

The PhD research fellow will be affiliated with the project “Sticking stones: rediscovering medieval wood tar adhesives for stone conservation”, funded by the Research Council of Norway (project no. 344868) and led by Dr. Bettina Ebert.

About the Sticking Stones project:

What can we learn from medieval craftspeople to help preserve our cultural heritage in an uncertain future? Sticking Stones aims to explore the extent of the use of wood tar adhesives in medieval stone construction and repair across northern Europe. We will rediscover the lost medieval art of traditional stone repair using wood tar adhesives, reconstructing and repurposing this sustainable material for modern heritage conservation practice. Medieval northern European stone churches are at increased risk of damage due to climate change, and a forgotten craft may provide the key to saving our architectural stone heritage. The Sticking Stones project aims to have a green impact on conservation by reducing dependence on synthetic adhesives, and instead demonstrating how lasting repairs may be carried out using traditional natural renewable materials employed in the past.

About the position:

The PhD research fellow affiliated with the project will investigate the broader medieval northern European context of adhesive use in the built environment. The successful applicant will examine the role of craft theories, intangible heritage, tacit knowledge and technological complexity in relation to medieval architectural adhesive use, contextualising wood tar adhesives and situating them within broader theoretical and methodological perspectives.

Subject to individual research interests and skills, the doctoral candidate will mainly contribute to understanding medieval craft skills through a systematic study of historic architectural stone adhesives, with potential focus areas including conservation theory and the intangible heritage of craft skills. The candidate will clarify the geographic and chronological scope of the incidence of medieval architectural adhesives, compiling databases of historic stone adhesives as well as medieval recipes for such adhesives. Possible approaches could include archival research into historic adhesive technology, undertaken through the examination of historical instruction manuals and medieval primary source material.

As there is currently no in-depth study of traditional medieval adhesives used in stone repair and construction, this research will be crucial to the success of the project as a whole. The successful applicant will join an international and multidisciplinary team including specialists from conservation, archaeology, history, materials science and geology, to work towards these goals. The PhD candidate will be an active member of the core research project group, and will participate in meetings and workshops, as well as contributing to research dissemination. The candidate will be supervised by Dr. Bettina Ebert (UiS) and Dr. Geeske Langejans (TU Delft, Netherlands).


Project proposal

The applicant must prepare a preliminary project proposal for a doctoral research project within the outlined research topic. The project proposal outlines the research question, state of the art, theoretical and methodological approaches, and a tentative progress plan. A project proposal template can be found here. This preliminary project proposal will be included in the application assessment, applications without attached preliminary project proposal will not be considered.

The successful applicant’s preliminary project proposal and progress plan will be further developed in collaboration with the supervisors, leading to the final plan for the PhD project.


Qualification requirements


We are looking for applicants with a strong academic background who have completed a five-year Master’s degree (3+2) within Conservation, Archaeology, History, Architecture or other relevant disciplines, or possess corresponding qualifications that could provide the basis for successfully completing a doctorate. Competent oral and written communication skills in English are required.

To be eligible for admission to the doctoral programme at the University of Stavanger, both the final grade for your Master’s thesis and the weighted average grade of your Master’s degree must be equivalent to or better than a B grade. Applicants with an education from an institution with a grade scale other than A-F, and/or with other types of credits than sp/ECTS, must attach a conversion scale or similar transcript that shows how the grades can be compared with the Norwegian A-F scale and a Diploma Supplement or similar that explains the scope of the subjects that are included in the education. You can use these conversion scales to calculate your points for admission.

The following attributes are desirable:

demonstrated interest in theoretical approaches to craft and heritage conservation

personal motivation and potential for undertaking research within the research topic

ability to work in a structured manner, with strong organisational and time-management skills

professional and personal skills necessary for completing the doctoral degree within the allocated 3-year timeframe

ability to work both independently and as part of a team

a curious, innovative and creative approach to research

Reading competency in German, Scandinavian and other European languages will be considered an advantage, though not a prerequisite.


Salary in accordance with the State Salary Scale, 17.515, code 1017, NOK 532 200 gross per year with salary development according to seniority in the position.


For the full advertisement, see here:


Anbieter Museum of Archaeology, University of Stavanger

Ansprechpartner Dr. Bettina Ebert

E-Mail bettina.ebert(at)

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