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PhD Studentship in Archaeology: Animal Deposits in Bronze Age Europe


Research Field
Funding Type
Career Stage
European Research Programme


Applications are invited for a 4-year doctoral scholarship in the School of Archaeology, University College Dublin. The successful candidate will join the European Research Council-funded project Animals and Society in Bronze Age Europe under the supervision of Professor Joanna Brück. The award includes a stipend of €20,000 per annum (for a maximum of four years, renewable each year subject to satisfactory progress), and the full cost of EU fees. A budget for research visits and conference travel is also available. Follow the links for further information on the School of Archaeology and Prof. Brück’s research.

Project Description

Animals and Society in Bronze Age Europe will explore the role of animals as active participants in Bronze Age social worlds. The project will bring together a team of scholars in UCD and elsewhere to undertake contextual, zooarchaeological, isotope, iconographic, organic residue and aDNA analysis to investigate human-animal sociality, examining herd management; patterns of human-animal interaction; animal mobility and exchange; the role of animals in feasting and ritual; and their location in cultural taxonomies.

The doctoral scholar will undertake contextual analysis of animal deposits in the project’s three main study areas: southern Britain, northern Netherlands and southeast Poland. The depositional contexts from which animal bone has been recovered (including graves and settlements) will be investigated in order to understand the cultural meanings and values ascribed to animals in this period, including analysis of species composition, body part representation, spatial location, etc. The scholar will collate and analyse data from published and unpublished excavations, which will require periods of primary research outside of Ireland.

UCD’s School of Archaeology is the largest archaeology department in Ireland, and the successful candidate will join a vibrant interdisciplinary research community. As part of the project team, they will disseminate their research at international conferences and workshops and will contribute to project publications. They will work closely with the project zooarchaeologist and will liaise with project collaborators in UCD and other institutions.

Selection Criteria


  • Masters in Archaeology (with a 2:1 or 1st class result or GPA above 3.3)
  • Evidence of a strong interest in prehistoric archaeology and/or the archaeology of animals and/or depositional practice
  • Experience in undertaking independent research
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a team-orientated approach
  • Ability to build and maintain productive working relationships with colleagues
  • IELTS score of 8, if English is not your first language


  • Experience of accessing and analysing unpublished archaeological reports.



In order to apply, please send the following by 28 October 2022 to Prof. Brück (

  • CV;
  • Personal statement outlining why you are interested in this field of research (max. 500 words);
  • proof of English-language proficiency if English is not your first language (minimum of 8 IELTS);
  • writing sample (e.g. an essay or section of MA/MSc dissertation, max. 5,000 words);
  • the names and contact details (including emails) of two academic referees. If a candidate is shortlisted, referees will be requested to submit references by the date of interview. Shortlisted candidates will also be asked to provide academic transcripts.

A shortlist of candidates will be invited for interview by Zoom in the week beginning 14 November 2022. The selected candidate will be required to submit a formal application to UCD School of Archaeology subsequent to the interview. The PhD degree will ideally commence in January 2023 but a start date in May 2023 is also feasible. For further information, contact



Organisation name
University College Dublin
Organisation Country

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