Kristian Kristiansen
Gothenburg University

Initiator and first President of the EAA

Interviews of recently-tenured academics in Northern Europe

In this first batch of interviews dedicated to Northern Europe – including Britain, Scandinavia and Northern Germany – we asked archaeology researchers who have recently obtained a permanent position (or who are in the process of obtaining one) to tell us about their personal experience undertaking postdocs.

We asked if retrospectively they would do anything differently and what advice they would give to new PhD graduates who intend to stay in academia.

One interesting take away from these interviews is that there appears to be no established or guaranteed route to gaining a permanent position. Despite the emphasis placed on international collaboration and mobility in research, there is no standard European career path. We also notice that the length of time spent in ‘postdocs’ or other activities, i.e. the time between a PhD and gaining first permanent employment, is highly variable, and is less a function of the quality of the candidate (all our interviewees are international scholars with highly-successful research and publication tracks) than of chance opportunities, when a specific job tailored to a particular research profile becomes available.

Despite the highly unpredictable path of ‘making it’ in academic archaeology, we nonetheless hope that these interviews provide some insight and guidance to young scholars wishing to stay in academia long-term.

Penny Bickle
University of York

Martin Furholt
University of Oslo

Daniela Hofmann
University of Bergen

Oliver Harris
University of Leicester

Suzie Thomas
University of Helsinki

Kristian Kristiansen
Gothenburg University

Initiator and first President of the EAA

ECA is a grassroots initiative of the European Association of Archaeologists, designed to listen to, and communicate the issues that particularly affect early career archaeologists

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