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Research Fellowships at York

Posted on 20 June 2018

Call for expressions of interest for applicants wishing to submit a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship in heritage conservation research

The Department of Archaeology at York has an exemplary track record supporting successful Fellowship applications, including British Academy, Wellcome Trust and Marie Skłodowska-Curie. Since the introduction of Horizon 2020 in 2014 we have been awarded 16 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship grants, supporting innovative research projects across a range of themes. A number of our former Fellows are now lecturers in this Department, others have gone on to secure additional Fellowships or been awarded permanent academic positions in other institutions.

Inviting expressions of interest for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships in heritage conservation research

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships ​are an excellent opportunity to develop your career. The award ​provides​ a generous​ allowance to cover your living​ costs as well as associated research costs​ for travel, books, conference attendance etc.

​Successful Fellows will spend up to two years at the University of York working with Dr Gill Chitty and Dr Louise Cooke on research into public engagement and citizen participation in heritage conservation practice. During the fellowship you may choose to spend up to 6 months working with a non-academic partner. We have excellent research networks with English Heritage, Historic England, the National Trust and the Council for British Archaeology, for example, or you may choose to work with a partner organisation elsewhere in Europe.

Who can apply?

Only experienced researchers can apply. This means you will have your doctoral degree or at least four years’ full-time research experience by the time of the call deadline. For European Fellowships you must not have been resident in the UK for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to 12 September 2018.

There are no restrictions on age or length of time since your PhD was awarded and the scheme welcomes applications from individuals outside academia.​

You can read more about Marie Skłodowska-Curie individual fellowships here:

The next deadline for applications will be 12 September 2018 and we are inviting expressions of interest before the end of July. If you are interested in applying please contact Dr Gill Chitty (  with an outline of your research interest and a cv outlining relevant experience so that we can discuss the opportunity and, if appropriate, collaborate further on developing a proposal. Please check the eligibility criteria.

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships

The British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships are three-year Fellowship awards made to an annual cohort of outstanding Early Career Scholars. The scheme provides a salary for three years and associated research expenses.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be within three years of the award of a doctorate or have an expectation that they will receive their doctorate before the Fellowship commences. Applicants must be a UK or EEA national or have completed a doctorate at a UK university. 

You can read more about British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships here:

The next deadline for applications is expected to be October 2018 and the Department is now inviting expressions of interest from potential applicants. If you are interested in applying please contact the relevant academic member of staff to discuss your proposal. Applications are invited in all areas of archaeology. 

Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellowships in Humanities and Social Science

This scheme supports postdoctoral researchers in health-related humanities and social sciences who do not hold established academic posts. The scheme provides a salary for three years and associated research expenses.

Who can apply?

You can apply for a Research Fellowship if you’re a postdoctoral researcher who wants to carry out an extended period of research on your own project. You must not have a permanent contract, or a contract that will last longer than this fellowship. In most cases, applicants should have been awarded a PhD before they apply.

You can read more about Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellowships in Humanities and Social Science here:

The next deadline for applications is 6 July 2018and the Department is now inviting experessions of interest from potential applicants. If you are interested in applying please contact the relevant academic member of staff to discuss your proposal. Applications are invited in health-related aspects of Archaeology. 

See what some of our past and current Fellows have to say about their time at York


Dr Harry K. Robson (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of York) 

My research interests focus primarily on freshwater and marine resource exploitation during the Mesolithic and Early-Middle Neolithic, for instance fishing and shellfish procurement. Moreover, I am a specialist in bone collagen stable isotope analyses (C, N and S), fish bone analysis, organic residue analysis of pottery and sclerochronology. I am currently undertaking postdoctoral research funded by the British Academy in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. The project, ‘Exploring pottery use across the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Northern Europe’, uses a range of molecular and isotopic techniques in order to determine to what degree culinary practices changed with the introduction of domesticated plants and animals. 

I chose the department as the host institution since it is a world leader in terms of organic residue analysis, regularly applying this technique to pottery from throughout the world and from a range of time periods. In particular, the BioArCh research centre has an exemplary track record in terms of training and research and its continuing growing number of fellowships. Moreover, BioArCh has all of the resources in place and the Department of Archaeology was recently awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in recognition of its excellence in teaching and research.


Dr Robyn Inglis (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow)

I am a geoarchaeologist researching the spread of hominin populations out of Africa during the late Pleistocene. My research focuses on developing methods of recording and interpretating of the Palaeolithic surface record in Saudi Arabia, particularly in regards to the ways in which past populations used their landscapes. I am also interested coastal resource use in prehistory, and its implications for dispersing hominin populations. My Global Fellowship has allowed me to spend the outgoing phase at Macquarie University, Sydney, where I am currently working with Dr Patricia Fanning, a pioneer of integrated geoarchaeological approaches to the surface record in Holocene Australia, developing skills and approaches which I will bring back to York in my return phase in July 2017. 

Sitting at the interface between archaeology and the physical sciences, my research benefits greatly from increasing interdisciplinary links with the world-class physical geographers in the Environment Department at York, providing an excellent environment in which to further develop my geoarchaeological approaches to the archaeological record, and access to facilities for sedimentological analyses. The Mary Cudworth thin section lab and York's expertise in GIS and archaeological data management, coupled with department specialisms in coastal and early prehistory and the archaeology of the Arabian peninsula through Prof. Geoff Bailey, means that York is well suited to my range of research interests.


Dr Jamie Hampson (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow, now Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter)

My primary research interests are heritage studies, rock art, symbolism and identity, and indigenous studies. Other interests include historiography, archaeological regionalism, and community archaeology. I work primarily in the USA, Canada, South Africa, and Australia. I chose York quite simply because it is the most welcoming department I've worked in. The span of interests and the quality of both teaching and research are exemplary. 



Dr Miriam Cubas (Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Fellow)

My research looks at one of the key traits traditionally associated with the transition to farming in Europe, the introduction of pottery technology. For centuries, archaeologists have documented the appearance and dispersal of ceramic vessels across the European continent, using them as a proxy for the shift to farming, domestication and sedentism, collectively known as the Neolithic transition. However, the role of pottery in the transition to farming is unclear. By applying the latest chemical and molecular analysis, CERAM aims to reconstruct the use of pottery during this key transition focusing on the sequence of Atlantic Southern Europe.

I chose York to host my fellowship because of its research reputation in the analysis of organic residues in archaeological pottery. Dr Oliver Craig’s Early Pottery Research Group aims to investigate the origins, use, dating and social context of some of the earliest pottery in different regions around the world. As well as the facilities and opportunities offered within BioArCh, the Early Pottery Research Group enabled me to develop my research and build new collaborations within a multidisciplinary network of archaeologists and scientists based at York and Bradford universities in the UK and in the wider European sphere.  I am delighted to be at York and enjoying everything the city and the department have to offer.


Dr Fabrizio Galeazzi (Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Fellow)

My research focuses on developing 3D documentation and visualisation methods for onsite data recording, to understand how they impact archaeological practice and theory. Recent developments in web technology have allowed us to develop a web-based resource for the management and analysis of high resolution 3D reproductions of archaeological sites, the ADS 3D Viewer. This web-based environment enables 3D exploration of archaeological stratigraphic sequences, allowing those unable to participate directly in the fieldwork to access and conduct post-excavation analysis remotely. This resource contributes to an ongoing commitment of the European Research Council to support cyber-infrastructures which enhance and promote access to and preservation of European Cultural Heritage.

The broad scope of archaeological research at York is a major asset to develop projects which cut across disciplinary and sub-disciplinary boundaries. As member of the Archaeology Data Service and the new inter-disciplinary Centre for Digital Heritage, I was able to extend my research network. The possibility to collaborate with researchers from other research centres and universities was crucial for the success of my current work. The Archaeology Data Service at York was the perfect place to reinforce my previous experience with relational database design, and has given me new skills in data mining, archiving and interoperability.


Dr Sarah Fiddyment (former Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Fellow, now British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of York)

My research interests focus on the possibility of using parchment documents (made from animal skins) as a biomolecular record providing information about history, craft, livestock economics and material conservation. Recent technological advances have made it possible to interrogate parchment using non invasive sampling, allowing us access on an unprecedented scale. By analysing minute quantities of collagen, the major protein component of parchment, using mass spectrometry we are able to identify the animal used to create the parchment as well as obtain information about its manufacture. We are also able to sequence the skins genome to trace the origins of intensive breed improvement in addition to exploring the microbial palimpsest that lies on the surface of these documents. The history of the object’s use and storage have left an invisible print on these documents which we are only just starting to be able to read.York was the ideal institution in which to pursue my research interests.

Working in BioArCh, a multi-disciplinary association of Archaeology, Chemistry and Biology, as well as having access to the documents and expertise from the Borthwick Archive made York the perfect place in which to develop my current project. Being at York has given me the opportunity to establish a large and varied collaborative network which has greatly influenced the success of my current work. Working in York has given me access to the latest developments in bioarchaeological techniques as well as unprecedented access to unique collections of parchment documents, conservation expertise and a collaborative network from manuscript scholars and historians. I could not think of a better place to develop my research. After completing my Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral research I was awarded a prestigious British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, staying at York where I am continuing my research on the proteomic analysis of parchments throughout history.


Dr André Colonese (former Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Fellow, now Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of York)

I am a specialist in archaeozoology (malacology), light stable isotopes (C, N, O, S) and molecular analysis (lipids) of human, faunal (shell, bulk collagen, fatty acid) and artefact (pottery) remains. I am broadly interested in past human-environment interaction. Recently my research interest has also turned toward the holistic analysis of pre-colonial small-scale coastal fisheries in the Atlantic rainforest coast of Brazil and their impact on modern artisanal fisheries.

I moved to York in order to complement and expand my research experience in stable isotopes and, particularly, ancient organic molecules. Here I have received high quality training in molecular and stable isotopic analysis (C, N, S) of bone collagen, single amino acids and lipids. After completing my Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral research I stayed at York where I am now a Postdoctoral Research Associate on the AHRC-funded project: Changing Cultural and Scientific Perspectives of Human-Chicken Interactions. 


Dr Camilla Speller (former Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Fellow, now Lecturer in Bioarchaeology at the University of York)

My research interests focus on the application of biomolecular analyses (ancient DNA and proteins) to archaeological questions, with a particular interest in ancient human and animal microbiomes, animal domestication, marine resource exploitation and human-environmental interactions. Ancient DNA analysis has an unprecedented ability to identify the genotype and phenotype of biological remains from archaeological sites, making it a vital component in reconstructing past ecosystems, and revealing the extent and intensity of human impacts on their environment through time. Most recently, my research explores the microbial ecology of the human body, investigating the evolution and ecology of ancient human microbiomes through the biomolecular analysis of dental calculus and coprolites.  

I chose York to host my Marie Curie postdoctoral research because of the outstanding opportunity offered by its BioArCh facility, a collaboration between the departments of Archaeology, Biology and Chemistry. BioArCh provided me with the ideal base to develop new skills in collagen-based methods for species identification (ZooMS), as well as shotgun protein mass spectrometry. In the state-of-the-art ancient DNA laboratory, I was able to develop new expertise in whole-genome and capture-based ancient DNA techniques, as well as experience in bioinformatics analysis of high-throughput sequencing data. BioArCh’s unique combination of biomolecular expertise in a highly collaborative and supportive atmosphere opened up several new research areas, including my new focus on ancient microbiomes. After completing my Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral research I stayed at York where I am now Lecturer in Bioarchaeology.


Dr Francesco Carrer (former Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Fellow, now Research Associate at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne)

My research interests are the investigation of upland landscapes, the analysis of human-environment interactions in mountainous contexts and the study of settlement strategies in mobile groups (mainly pastoralists). My research focuses mainly in the alpine arc, where I lead and collaborate in several archaeological and ethnoarchaeological projects in France, Italy, and Switzerland. I have a specific interest in the use of GIS and the application of statistical methods for analysing spatial patterns both at inter-site and intra-site levels.

I chose York to host my Marie Skłodowska-Curie research to work with Dr Kevin Walsh, one of the foremost European researchers investigating  prehistoric landscape archaeology and human-environment interaction in the Alps. Working at York where there is a strong emphasis on the interaction between humanities and sciences in archaeology enabled me to expand my knowledge in historical ecology and environmental archaeology whilst also drawing on expertise in organic residue analysis in both soil samples and pottery. This interdisciplinary approach undoubtedly benefited my research and helped me get where I am today. After completing my Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral research in York I stayed in the UK where I am now a Research Associate at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.