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PhD Fellowship in Biological Anthropology / Bioarchaeology

4 years at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. Expected start: 1st March 2024. Application Deadline: 26. November 2023.

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Organisation/Company: Masaryk University - Faculty of Science
Department: Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
Research Field: Anthropology
Researcher Profile: First Stage Researcher (R1)
Country: Czech Republic
Application Deadline: 26 Nov 2023 - 00:00 (Europe/Brussels)
Type of Contract: Other
Job Status: Other
Offer Starting Date: 1 Mar 2024
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme? Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure? No

Offer Description

Workplace: Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

Thesis Topic: Bi-ritualism and intersectional identities in past human communities of Central Europe: an osteoarchaeological perspective

Supervisor: Dr. Kévin Salesse, Assistant Professor

Type of Cooperation: PhD fellowship (more information on PhD study programmes at the Faculty of Science here)

Expected Start Date: March 1, 2024

Application Deadline: November 26, 2023 (until midnight, Prague time, GMT+1)

About the Workplace

The Department of Anthropology at Masaryk University's Faculty of Science in Brno, Czech Republic, is seeking enthusiastic and dedicated graduates to enrich our academic community.

Masaryk University is a modern, dynamic and the most attractive university in the Czech Republic with ten faculties, more than 6500 staff and 33 000 students, a wide range of research areas and a strong international position. We are the largest academic employer in the South Moravian Region.

Faculty of Science MUNI, a holder of the HR Excellence in Research Award by the European Commission, is a research-oriented faculty, offering university education (Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degree programs) closely linked to both primary and applied research and high school teaching of the following sciences: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Earth sciences. We are the most productive scientific unit of the Masaryk University generating around 40 % of MU research results.

Department of Anthropologyat the Faculty of Science MUNI is an academic, research- and education-oriented institution which focuses on the study of interactions between biological, social and cultural aspects of humankind. We are a modern institution oriented on current trends in education, offering Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. degrees, consistently with more than a hundred of students in the undergraduate programs and currently with eight students in the Ph.D. program. From the very beginning, students are offered intensive training in topics of biological and socio-cultural anthropology. They are encouraged to participate in department’s research projects which contributes crucially to their success in the job market after graduation. The research activities are anchored in the tradition embodying the biological and the behavioral aspect of mankind. Many of our top-tier research projects aim to apply scientific knowledge in practice – emphasis is given on developing methods for the fields of forensic anthropology or on multi-disciplinary collaboration projects which address nutritional status or modelling of human growth and development in childhood and adolescence. The department’s labs are equipped with cutting-edge technologies for 3D data acquisition of human body morphology and advanced biological data processing. In addition, advanced evaluation of nutritional status and other somatic characteristics as well as assessment of prehistorical and historical skeletal remains is conducted in our facilities utilizing state-of-the-art equipment. Currently, the Department of Anthropology includes 17 faculty members and researchers who are involved in teaching, conducting research and promoting science. For more information, please visit its website at


In all societies, when a person dies, the deceased's relatives react to the death in structured, patterned ways. Cultural guidelines determine the treatment and disposal of the dead body. Yet, these rule sets are flexible, and mortuary practices can be manifold. Deathscapes where bi-ritualism takes effect, that is where cremations and inhumations occurred side by side, fitly illustrate this diversity in the face of death. If bi-ritualism is found sporadically throughout history, the reasons for the emergence of such hybridizations are still poorly understood. While some authors have argued for the introduction of new ideas by people on the move, others have advocated for local developments and ideological shifts in response to "global" trends in an interconnected world. The answer is certainly even more complex, but the roots probably lie in cross-cultural interactions and movements of ideas or people. Whether they occurred in mono- or multi-ritual sites, death traditions occupy a prominent place among the various routinized practices that serve to inculcate habitus – this set of socially-ingrained dispositions that instantiate the perceptions of self and others. Mortuary practices are contexts for displaying, constituting or shifting social identities of both the survivors and the deceased. As such, identity-related ritual practices can act as mirror or mirage of social realities, and so must be viewed as an appealing but possibly distorted window on past social identities.

Using osteoarchaeology, the PhD research will seek to determine whether bi-ritual cemeteries are fertile ground for the emergence of multi-cultural identities or for the co-existence of a plurality of identities. This PhD research is part of the MASH-funded transMUtation project led by Dr. Kévin Salesse (

The topic may generate individual projects.

Research tasks:

  • You will complete an article-based (cumulative) PhD thesis in English within four years;
  • You will conduct research on cremated and non-cremated human skeletal assemblages from bi-ritual burial contexts;
  • Your research will involve the application of both traditional and unconventional anthropological methodologies to biologically characterize past human populations. This will encompass approaches including morphological, metric, and histological analyses;
  • You will be afforded the opportunity to broaden the scope of your research by including one or more approaches related to archaeological science, such as proteomic analysis, isotope analysis, vibrational measurements, X-ray microtomography, and the application of machine learning methods;
  • Your research will involve activities not only within the Czech Republic but also potentially in various locations beyond its borders.

Key responsibilities:

  • You will be tasked with publishing articles as the primary author or co-author in peer-reviewed journals, both at the national and international levels;
  • You will be expected to deliver presentations at both national and international conferences;
  • Your involvement will include attending the project's regular meetings and playing a role in coordinating the various events and activities related to the project;
  • While situated in Brno, you will be involved in the PhD community and actively participate in the intellectual activities within the Department of Anthropology;
  • You will have the option to further develop your teaching abilities through a teaching assistantship;
  • You will have the responsibility of developing a data management plan for the data produced throughout the course of your research.


  • Research Field
  • Anthropology
  • Education Level
  • Master Degree or equivalent


Required qualifications:

  • Good communication skills (oral and written) in English;
  • A Master degree in biological, bioarchaeological or forensic anthropology or related fields (required at the time of enrolment to the PhD study program);
  • Experience in working with large archaeological anthropological assemblages;
  • Profound understanding of standard approaches in the field of biological anthropology;
  • High level of commitment to complete the PhD studies.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience in working with burnt human remains;
  • Proficiency in statistical methods as applied to anthropological data.

Languages: ENGLISH
Level: Good

Additional Information


Selected candidates will receive a comprehensive training in biological anthropology and bioarchaeology.

In addition to the standard PhD scholarship at Masaryk University (CZK 15 000 per month), additional funds are provided through departmental resources (assignment in research projects, additional scholarships). The overall monthly income is typically around CZK 30-35 000 (net). Additional support includes performance-based bonuses (scholarships for successfully published papers) as well as support for international mobility or attendance of conferences etc.

Besides, studying at our Faculty is an opportunity to study and live in a modern and dynamic city and one of 10 best student cities.

Selection process

Kindly email the documents listed below to Dr. Kévin Salesse at

  • Your curriculum vitae;
  • A cover letter explaining your interest and research plan with a concise summary of your previous research activities;
  • A letter of recommendation from a person familiar with your academic background;
  • Your copie(s) of Master's degree diploma(s) and diploma supplement/transcript of record(s).

Received applications will be reviewed and carefully considered. Shortlisted applicants meeting the requirements will be invited to an interview.

Please note that your application does not substitute an official admission process to Ph.D. studies at SCI MUNI. Details including discussion about the research topic, required documentation or formalities will be a subject of the interview with successful candidates. Only upon the informal pre-agreement with potential future supervisor, a formal application for PhD studies at Faculty of Science, Masaryk University can be submitted.

Additional comments

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)

Company/Institute: Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
Country: Czech Republic
City: Brno
Postal Code: 61137
Street: Kotlářská 267/2

Apply here: (please copy link into your browser):


  • Anthropology
  • Anthropology, Primatology