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Department of Archaeology


Training the next generation of archaeological scientists: Interdisciplinary studies of pre-modern Plasters and Ceramics from the eastern Mediterranean (PlaCe).  

The Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge are delighted to be one of the eight universities and research centres involved in the newly announced PlaCe network.

The PlaCe network is a high-profile partnership dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of pre-modern ceramics and plasters. This Innovative Training Network (ITN) aims at training Early-Stage Researchers (ESR) to conduct state-of-the-art, science-based research on the technology, use, and provenance of the most abundant materials in archaeological sites. This €4m research project is fully funded by Europe’s Horizon2020, the EU Research and Innovation funding programme, as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action running from 2021 to 2025.

The Cyprus Institute (CyI) will coordinate the project’s consortium which, in addition to the University of Cambridge includes the University of Cyprus, the National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos” in Greece, the British School at Athens, University College London, KU Leuven, and the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

The project will employ 15 doctoral researchers across the consortium, offering a wide range of training courses for the analytical study of the first synthetic materials produced by humankind, i.e., plasters and ceramics. It focuses on the technology, know-how, raw materials and tools developed and employed for their production, in different regions of the eastern Mediterranean, in pre-modern societies from prehistory to the post-medieval period.

This is a pre-post announcement to inform the academic and research community of the upcoming opportunities. The individual ESR fellowships will be announced separately by their respective Host Institutions with specific information about additional criteria relevant to the particular requirements of the individual fellowships and hosting universities.

Applicants from all countries are welcome to submit an application, however all applicants are strongly encouraged to ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria (please see below) before they submit an application. Also, the recruited ESRs must demonstrate their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English, for them to derive the full benefit from the network training. 

Additionally, six short-term Early-Stage Research fellowships are designed for researchers who are already doctoral students and seek to receive training and develop their analytical skills in the interdisciplinary study of archaeological plasters and ceramics at the Cyprus Institute. The research topics for these fellowships are expected to directly support and complement the main doctoral studies of the applicants, as well as having a close link to the main topic of the ITN and the analytical and supervisory capabilities of CyI.

​Individual post announcements will be announced soon with more details about how to apply. For general information about PlaCe-ITN and the ESR posts, please contact the project’s manager at the Cyprus Institute, Dr Maria Dikomitou-Eliadou,

Eligibility Criteria

According to the eligibility criteria set by the European Commission and the particular MSCA-ITN2020 call, the recruited Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) will comply with the following conditions: 

  1. be recruited by the beneficiary under a full employment contract, including social security coverage; 
  2. be working exclusively for the action; 
  3. not have resided in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date, and not have carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in that country. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account;
  4. be — at the date of recruitment — an ‘early-stage researcher’ (i.e., in the first four years of his/her research career and not have a doctoral degree).