In accordance with the Human Resources programming of the Fundación Instituto de Hidráulica Ambiental de Cantabria and with the needs of the projects programmed in its Action Plan, it is necessary to fill the position of 1 Predoctoral Researcher.

The PhD will be developed in the PhD program of IHCANTABRIA, under the supervision of Prof. Javier L. Lara and the co-supervision of Dr. Steinar Solheim (University of Oslo), as part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Network: Archaeological Coastal Heritage: Past, present and future of a hidden prehistoric legacy (ArCHe) 2024-2027.

The Doctoral Network ArCHe ( will train 10 PhD fellows for increasing the scientific and public value of Europe’s archaeological coastal heritage, focusing on the legacy of Stone Age hunter-fisher-gatherers (c. 12,000–2000 calBC). Including some of the earliest remains of human activity, this fragile and very heterogeneous legacy is crucial for understanding human engagement with the coast. Today, it is embedded in a variety of geographic settings across Europe, differing in environmental development, which face massive environmental and human threats, and is approached in various ways in cultural heritage management. ArCHe addresses the challenges of this fractured field with an innovative past–present–future approach focused on connecting the legacy from the past, its present status as archaeological heritage and prospects for its future protection and integration into lived landscapes. With six beneficiaries and nine associated partners, ArCHe unites academic research centres and non-academic organizations (cultural heritage sector, specialist organisations, museums and media). Within this joint platform for research and training, customized PhD projects will allow for cross-fertilization of knowledge among researchers and partners through scientific courses, workshops, conferences, applied secondments and transferable skills tuition. Training in archaeology, anthropology, critical heritage studies, heritage management, bioarchaeology, geology, oceanography, coastal engineering/preservation and communication relevant to coastal heritage and environment will equip the ArCHe PhDs with advanced interdisciplinary and cross-regional knowledge and skills applicable to various academic and non-academic fields across Europe. Through best practices, the PhD projects will contribute to the visibility, preservation and sustainable integration of the vulnerable cultural heritage in coastal areas facing global environmental and development challenges.

Title of the PhD:Vulnerable Coastal Stone Age: Current environmental threats, challenges and prospects for the preservation of archaeological locations”. (ArCHe-Doctoral candidate no. 1)

The objective of the PhD is to identify and analyze the diverse threats of Stone Age (STA) hunter-fisher-gatherer (HFG) locations due to climate change in different environments, and to discuss and propose potential adaptation measures for their preservation. The analysis will include a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective across Europe. In addition, to explore the environmental threats caused by climate change (sea-level rise, coastal flooding, increased seawater temperatures, modified chemical composition of oceans, geohazards) on STA sites in the coastal zone of Atlantic Europe and Norway. Finally, to promote the initial set-off of a network specifically addressing the impact of climate change on coastal cultural locations, liaising with other disciplines, selected academic and non-academic institutions to maximize the knowledge available, identify gaps and mobilize EU and non-EU relevant actors.

The expected results will be the following: 1. New knowledge on environmental threats due to climate change and their consequences specific to STA sites in Atlantic Europe. 2. Highly increased basis for decision making in cultural resource management of coastal STA sites in Atlantic Europe based on innovative comparative case studies (e.g Spain, Norway). 3. Increase awareness on safeguarding endangered maritime and coastal cultural heritage. 4. Alignment /synergies with coastal cultural heritage under threat projects, to reinforce the EU’s socio-cultural identity. 5. Acknowledge the need to involve other disciplines (archaeology, cultural heritage studies, social anthropology) in order to broaden the scope and achieve a more integral approach.

It is planned a one 3-month academic secondment at UNIVERSITY OF OSLO and one 1-month non-academic secondment at GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF NORWAY, covered by the ArCHe project.


The recruitment process for all Doctoral candidates in the HORIZON-MSCA-2022-DN ArCHe follows a common recruitment strategy, which is based on the European Commission’s Code of Conduct of Recruitment.

MSCA Mobility Rule: researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before their date of recruitment All researchers recruited in a DN must be doctoral candidates (i.e. not already in possession of a doctoral degree at the date of the recruitment) The possession of an official Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, and a Master’s degree, or equivalent. For more information, see Artículo 6. «Requisitos de acceso al doctorado» from RR99/2011, de 28 de enero, Royal Decree regulating official doctoral studies and Título II. Preinscripción y Admisión, punto 2. «Requisitos de acceso» from Normativa de Doctorado de la Universidad de Cantabria. Enrolment in local PhD-programme: IH2O – PhD Program in Coastal Engineering, Hydrobiology and Management of Aquatic Systems  Escuela de Doctorado de la Universidad de Cantabria (EDUC)

Appropriate academic knowledge and skills:

Background-disciplines which are relevant for the PhD-project: Civil engineering, architecture, environmental engineering, geography, marine science, landscape engineering, geology. Skills: Critical thinking, communication & public speaking, group work, research & writing skills, computing and data management, planning. Basic knowledge/Interest in archaeology and/or anthropology is an advantage.

Documentation to be sent in by the applicants:

  • Letter of motivation
  • Project proposal (approximately 14,000 characters including spaces, references in addition) describing how the candidate would approach the given PhD-topic, including substantial reflections (not more than 4,200 characters including spaces) on how the specific PhD-project topic will contribute to achieving the general aims of the Doctoral network ArCHe as described on the ArCHe homepage ( A progress plan should be included.
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work)
  • Complete list of publications and academic works
  • Proof of language proficiencies
  • Two reference persons to be contacted by the selection committee (name, relation to candidate, e-mail address and phone number)
  • Copy of MA degree diploma(s) and academic transcripts
  • Applicants may be asked to submit the documentation of Master’s theses later

Following FIHAC’s internal procedures, first the PhD candidates will be ranked using a point system, which counts merits in numbers according to their academic, professional and scientific backgrounds. The highest-ranked candidates will be invited to an interview, where all the documentation collected from the candidate will be assessed. In this interview, the skills necessary for being part of ArCHe (motivation for participating in this DN and understanding of how the project would fit into the overall network as described on the ArCHe homepage ( will be put to the test.

Assessment criteria:

  • Scientific excellence to fit the PhD project including the comparative ArCHe-perspective: international, interdisciplinary, intersectoral and with a past-present-future perspective
  • Fluent (oral and written) English skills as the project operates in English language. Knowledge of the language of the host country may be considered a merit.
  • Interdisciplinary knowledge
  • Regarding the project proposal:
  • Originality, independent thinking
  • Knowledge of the state of the art and how the applicant goes beyond this
  • Theoretical and methodological foundation
  • Scientific ambition and innovativeness
  • Feasibility and progress plan
  • Suitability of the proposal not least in terms of the Doctoral network thought, and specifically regarding to ArCHe
  • Ethics implications

All of the above are assessed based on submitted documentation and the interview. In addition, the following soft skills are assessed during the interview:

  • High motivation for doing their PhD in a MSCA-Doctoral network, and specifically ArCHe
  • Flexibility
  • Team-mindedness


Contact person:

Prof Javier López Lara

Head of Climate Risks, Adaptation and Resilience Group at IHCantabria

The deadline for submissions is 4 February, 2.024, at 23:45 h