University Assistant in Evolutionary Anthropology

University of Vienna Department of Evolutionary Anthropology

The University of Vienna (20 faculties and centres, 184 fields of study, approx. 10.400 members of staff, about 90.000 students) seeks to fill the position as soon as possible of a

University Assistant (post doc)
at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology

Reference number: 13493

The Department of Evolutionary Anthropology seeks to appoint a University Assistant post-doc with expertise in palaeoproteomics analyses or relevant fields (biochemistry, biology, archaeological science). They will be part of a leading international group of researchers working across the fields of Human Evolution, Archaeological Science and Ancient DNA reporting to, and working with, Assistant Professor Katerina Douka.

The candidate will work at a new palaeoproteomics laboratory at the University of Vienna, aiming at developing and applying improved new methodologies for the extraction and analyses of ancient proteins from skeletal remains. Specifically, this relates to the use of ancient proteins for evolutionary research, using both ZooMS (Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry) and other proteomic methodologies (LC-MS/MS) for the taxonomic determination and evolutionary/phylogenetic analyses of ancient proteomes. The work will mostly focus on ancient bones of Pleistocene age from Eurasia and Africa although several other projects are envisaged. The candidate is expected to assist in the day-to-day running of the laboratory, be responsible for its smooth operation and advice and train other members of the group, especially students, on scientific protocols, safe lab procedures and data analyses. If required, training will be provided by current members of the group.
The successful candidate will also be supported in undertaking their own research, apply for own funding upon mutual agreement with the line manager (A/Prof Katerina Douka), attend conferences and promote the Lab’s and own academic interests.

The position would suit someone who has a background in (bio)chemistry or archaeological science and direct experience in the field of palaeoproteomics (or modern proteomics with a clear understanding of the limitations of ancient material) and with strong laboratory-based skills.

This position is limited to three years. After this period, based on performance assessment, an extension is possible by mutual agreement.

Duration of employment: 3 year/s

Extent of Employment: 40 hours/week
Job grading in accordance with collective bargaining agreement: 48 VwGr. B1 lit. b (postdoc) with relevant work experience determining the assignment to a particular salary grade.

Job Description:
Active participation in research, teaching and administration. This involves:

• Assisting in the day-to-day running of the palaeoproteomics laboratory in the brand new Biologiezentrum of the University of Vienna, led by A/Prof Douka;
• Adapting existing and developing new scientific techniques and experimental protocols in palaeoprotemics and other archaeological science methods;
• Using specialist scientific equipment such as MALDI-ToF-MS and LC-MS/MS, liaising with manufacturers for any new purchases and equipment maintenance;
• Acting as a source of information, advising and training other members of the group on scientific protocols, health and safety, data management and experimental techniques;
• Liaising with collaborators over sample acquisition and data reporting;
• Contributing ideas for new research projects and leading third-party funding applications;
• Collaborating with colleagues in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology and other University Departments, national and international Museums and the Austrian Academy of Sciences on a range of applied projects incorporating aspects of archaeological science, proteomics, genetics and dating;
• Independent teaching of courses as defined by the collective agreement;
• Writing and preparing scientific reports and journal articles and occasionally presenting conference papers and posters.

Desirable qualifications are:

• Relevant PhD/DPhil in archaeological science, archaeology, biology or biochemistry;
• Direct laboratory- based experience;
• Experience in the application of ZooMS or shotgun proteomics on ancient material;
• Experience in the extraction and analysis of palaeoproteomics data;
• Sufficient specialist knowledge in palaeoproteomics to work within established research programmes, establish and run the day-to-day operation of the laboratory;
• Ability to manage their own academic research and associated activities;
• Strong record of producing scientific publications and presentations;
• Ability to obtain research income and generate novel and interesting ideas;
• Strong interest in training new team members;
• Teaching experience / experience of working with e-learning;
• Experience of working on research projects;
• Publications in renowned, subject-relevant media (peer-reviewed, depending on the professional standards);
• International presentation experience;
• Excellent communication skills, including the ability to write for publications, present research proposals and results, and represent results to research group meetings;
• Excellent written and verbal skills in English. Knowledge of German would be an advantage.

Application documents:

• Letter of motivation;
• Academic curriculum vitae (including a list of publications, a list of courses and a list of talks given);
• Description of research interests and research agenda / of the intended habilitation project (if applicable);
• Contact details of people who could provide a letter of reference.

Research fields:
Main research field
Special research fields Importance
Biological anthropology SHOULD
History, Archaeology
Archaeology SHOULD

Language level Importance
Excellent knowledge MUST

Applications including a letter of motivation (German or English) should be submitted via the Job Center to the University of Vienna ( no later than 16.12.2022, mentioning reference number 13493.

For further information please contact Douka, Aikaterini +43-1-4277-54750.
The University pursues a non-discriminatory employment policy and values equal opportunities, as well as diversity ( The University lays special emphasis on increasing the number of women in senior and in academic positions. Given equal qualifications, preference will be given to female applicants.

Human Resources and Gender Equality of the University of Vienna Reference number: 13493 E-Mail: Privacy Policy of the University of Vienna