Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geology

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has around 44 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Introduction text: 

The Earth’s magnetic field is generated through convection in the liquid outer core and varies on a wide range of time scales (e.g. years, decades, millennia). By studying geomagnetic field variations at the Earth’s surface, we can learn more about the deep Earth where the field is generated. The principal objective of this project is to test hypotheses about geomagnetic field characteristics and underlying core processes. The focus of the PhD project will be to reconstruct the ancient geomagnetic field in Southern Africa, as preserved in fired archaeomagnetic artefacts. The data produced in this project will improve current geomagnetic field models and could also be used to magnetically date other archaeological artefacts in the region.

Work description:

Palaeomagnetic analyses of fired archaeological artefacts from Southern Africa to (i) test hypotheses about geomagnetic field characteristics over millennial time scales and underlying core processes and to (ii) develop a first regional archaeomagnetic secular variation master curve to date archaeological artefacts.

The PhD project will mainly focus on palaeointensity experiments on independently dated fired archaeological artefacts such as ceramic sherds and kiln fragments. Samples are available through collaboration between Prof. Anders Lindahl (head of the laboratory for Ceramic Research in Lund) and numerous archaeologists working in Africa. The PhD student will also join archaeologists on site to take oriented samples of larger in-situ structures, such as furnaces for iron production and burnt clay floor. In addition to palaeomagnetic analyses, the project will also investigate how different production techniques and source materials affect the suitability of ceramic samples for palaeointensity experiments.

The project will involve statistical analyses and hypothesis testing based on palaeomagnetic data and geomagnetic field models. Towards the end of the project there will also be a possibility to incorporate the data produced in the project into new geomagnetic field models.

The PhD student will work in Lund but the project relies on a broad national and international collaboration. Part of the palaeointensity experiments will be conducted at the University of Liverpool taking advantage of their unique microwave equipment.


The applicant must hold a relevant university degree (preferably MSc. or equivalent) in subjects like Earth Sciences, Physics, Archaeology or related areas.

Documented experience of mathematics, statistics, data analysis and programming is an advantage.

Experience of palaeomagnetic analyses and/or scientific publication in English is an asset.

Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who- have completed a second-cycle degree- have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or- have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

Type of employment
Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employment October/november 2016, duration 4 years
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2016/2684
  • Andreas Nilsson, Lecturer, +46-222 39 52,
  • Natalie Nyman, HR-administrator, +46-222 78 30,
Union representative
  • OFR/S:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, +46-222 93 62,
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds , +46-222 93 64,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, +46-222 93 66,
Published 05.Jul.2016
Last application date 31.Aug.2016 11:59 PM CEST

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