University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Associate (Fixed Term)

The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research is seeking to appoint a fixed-term Research Associate to work on a Wellcome Trust funded project "After the plague: health and history in medieval Cambridge" led by Professor John Robb.

The project is aimed at exploring the historical effects of major health events by combining multiple methods (archaeology, history, osteoarchaeology, isotopic and genetic studies of both human and pathogen aDNA) on the people of medieval Cambridge. It will draw heavily on a recently excavated large sample of human remains from the Hospital of St. John, Cambridge (AD 1200-1500). The aims are to build a nuanced picture of health, lifestyle and activity in medieval England and understand the biosocial effects of the Black Death epidemic which decimated Europe from 1348-1350.

The Research Associate will be focussed on the bioinformatic analyses of genome-scale aDNA data generated from human skeletal material from archaeological contexts and helping to write up the results, under the supervision of Dr. Toomas Kivisild. Working with collaborators on the analysis of pathogen aDNA will also be involved. The successful candidate should have a PhD in a relevant field in hand or to be awarded soon, good writing abilities, and the ability to work as part of a team. aDNA experience and the bioinformatic skills to analyse next generation sequencing data are essential. Knowledge of medieval history/ archaeology and a strong record of academic publication are additional desirable qualifications.

The postdoctoral position will be for the duration of 24 months from 1 October 2018 until 30 September 2020.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

The closing date for applications will be 15 June 2018.

Interviews will take place in late June or early July. The successful candidates would be expected to start work on 1 October 2018. Prospective applicants are welcome to contact Professor John Robb ( or Dr. Toomas Kivisild ( to discuss the position informally.

Please quote reference JC15628 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

Apply online