Postdoc in Rock Surface Luminescence Dating

tirsdag 14 jun 22

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Frist 1. juli 2022
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DTU Physics, Radiation Physics Section, is seeking a candidate for a Post Doc position for our international and cross-disciplinary MEGALITH project. The main aim of the project is to derive a direct chronology based on Rock Surface Luminescence Daring (RSLD) for the construction of ancient megalithic structures in North Western Europe.

Responsibilities and qualifications
Megalithic structures are widespread in Europe and believed to have been built between 5000 BC and 2000 BC. The time of construction of long-lasting megalithic structures is usually inferred from the archaeological context and by radiocarbon (14C ) dating of associated organic material. However, such 14C ages are often more likely to be associated with the last use of the structure rather than the construction. In this project, we will directly date the time of construction of four ancient megalithic structures in North Western Europe by targeting buried part of the structures and using the RSLD technique, which is an absolute chronological method that determines the time of last exposure to daylight. RSLD usually involves relatively larger uncertainties compared to standard Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating. We will further develop a novel Bayesian approach to analyse our RSLD data taking into account the luminescence-depth relationship inside rocks; this will involve an extension of the existing Bayesian approach to improve the precision and accuracy of RSLD ages.

Your research tasks will include:

  • Sampling and testing of the DTU Physics newly developed portable filed-screening instrument
  • RSLD and OSL sediment dating
  • Methodological development and testing of the infrared photoluminescence (IRPL) technique for use in RSLD
  • Development of a Bayesian approach to RSLD to improve accuracy and precision

The successful candidate is well-motivated, independent, hardworking and a team player. As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent) in physics, chemistry, geoscience, archaeological science or similar. Candidates with previous experience in Rock Surface Luminescence Dating using OSL, and in quantitative modelling of luminescence-depth profiles will be preferred.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility. The successful candidate will work in an environment with activities and expertise in a wide range of fields related to ionizing radiation, including radiation physics and dosimetry.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employment is 3 years. Starting date is the 1 August 2022 (or according to mutual agreement). The position is a full-time position.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Senior Researcher Kristina Jørkov Thomsen,, +45 4677 4925. 

You can read more about DTU Physics at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.   

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 1 July 2022 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Academic Diplomas (MSc/PhD – in English)
  • List of publications

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

Our research areas
At DTU Physics, we perform research in fundamental and applied physics areas, and we use and develop state-of-the-art experimental and theoretical approaches. We have a broad effort in materials physics and design, catalysis, quantum optics, sensing and communication, biophysics, plasma physics, continuum physics, and radiation physics. Our research impacts society with new sustainable energy technologies, secure digital communication, medical technology, and new analytical methods. We use and develop basic theory, next-generation instrumentation, and software, and aim to make our data publicly accessible and usable.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.