PhD Studentship - Deadline 1 March 2023

PhD Studentship - Deadline 1 March 2023

Fully Sponsored (Home Fee Status) PhD Fellowship
Vernacular Architecture in Indigenous Sami Landscapes

About the Project

The Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen is recruiting a PhD student to research the ethnography and history of the conical tent in Sami societies.  Applications are invited for a 3-year fully funded (home-fee status) studentship commencing 1 October 2023. The position will come with an additional funded research assistant contract of 6 hours per week.   The successful candidate would work within an international Joint Project Initiative on Arctic Cultural Heritage led by the Arctic University of Norway (UiT).  The University of Aberdeen serves as the UK base for the project.  The application deadline is 1 March 2023.

Project Description

This is a project to explore the commodity chains of three iconic heritage artefacts in the Arctic: reindeer antler, the conical tent, and mammoth and walrus ivory. The project will trace the oral histories and new market and social entanglements of these artefacts across several sites in Sápmi, Canada, and Greenland, linking them to historical pastoralist and hunting lifeways and their transformation over time. In recent years, each artefact has taken a new form within the heritage and tourism industries: 1) reindeer antler as Traditional Chinese Medicine; 2) the conical tent as a fixed tourism dwelling; 3) and ivory as souvenir carvings. They thus tell a wider story of Arctic heritage and the relationship between indigenous producers, consumers, and the market. Our objectives are to research the transformation of the artefacts into heritage objects and their movement across national and international commodity chains.

The successful candidate would design their own dissertation research project on the conical tent with their supervisor and with the input of the project team.  In their application, the candidate should describe how their thesis research fits the general theme of the project. The candidate will be expected to conduct ethnographic  fieldwork in Sapmi (the Sami homeland in Northern Scandinavia, Finland or Russia),  and participate in project conferences.  A separate part-time employment contract (6hr/week) would employ the candidate to help the team write-up events, impact summaries, and to contribute to the project’s website and social media. Travel costs for conferences and for fieldwork are also supplied by the project.


The value of the studentship is approximately £64,800 (€76,800). The value of the research assistant contract is approximately £15,000 (€17,000).   Travel expenses for fieldwork and conference attendance will be reimbursed.. Knowledge of Sami or a Scandinavian language would be an asset.

 For further details please contact Prof. David Anderson (UK project lead) at


Candidate Background

Applicants should hold a Masters degree (or first class UK honours degree, or international equivalent) in in a relevant subject (including, but not necessarily limited to, anthropology, archaeology, indigenous studies). Knowledge of Sami or a Scandinavian language is not essential but would be an asset. International applicants are welcome, but they may be responsible to pay the difference between the home fees and international fees themselves.



  • Formal applications can be completed online:
  • You should apply for Anthropology  (PhD) to ensure your application is passed to the correct team for processing.
  • Please clearly note the name of the supervisor and exact project title on the application form. If you do not mention the project title and the supervisor on your application, it will not be considered for the studentship.
  • Your application must include: A personal statement, an up-to-date copy of your academic CV, and clear copies of your educational certificates and transcripts.
  • You should also supply a 400 word research topic statement of how you see your topic fitting within the theme of the project
  • General application enquiries can be made to
  • Interviews will be held on 20th and 22th March 2023.