Researcher: Digital repatriation of cultural heritage

Ref PAR 2022/1522

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

This advertisement concerns a Researcher position in the project:

Digital repatriation of cultural heritage in the Global South: A model for open access to museum collections empowering indigenous communities in the Brazilian Amazon

The Department of Historical Studies is part of the Faculty of Humanities. At the department, education and research are conducted within three disciplines: history, archaeology and classical archaeology and ancient history. Courses are offered at all levels, from the undergraduate to the doctorate level. Research takes place both within the individual disciplines and in larger inter- and transdisciplinary projects, where national and international collaboration is an important element. The department currently has about 100 employees, including researchers, teachers, doctoral students, and administrators. The department is centrally located in Gothenburg, Sweden.

More information about the department and the discipline of archaeology can be found on our website

Subject area

Digital repatriation of material today held by museums far away from the areas where the originally were manufactured and used. About the project Digital repatriation of cultural heritage in the Global South A model for open access to museum collections empowering indigenous communities in the Brazilian Amazon:

A starting grant (1.4 Mio Euros) was received from the Swedish Research Council for the Digital Repatriation Project led by Lilian Rebellato. The five-year research project will focus on digital repatriation of the extensive collections of ethnographic and archaeological artifacts and documentation collected during the first half of the 20th century among the Indigenous villages in the Brazilian Amazon, which is now held by the Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg (VKM). The Amazon collections at VKM are among the largest and most important ethnographic and archaeological collections from the region outside Brazil.

The position is funded by The Swedish Research Council as a part of the Digital Repatriation project. The person appointed will be a member of an international team developing interdisciplinary approaches to achieve the project’s aims and will be employed by the Department of Historical studies in Gothenburg.



  • During this time, the research will involve collecting information from Curt Nimuendajú's correspondence with the Ethnographic Department at the Gothenburg Museum (today the Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg)
  • The focus will be on digitalizing and systematizing data, such as the names of places and rivers that he visited or travelled along, local people he had contact with, ethnic groups that he met or learned about. This work will result in the creation of a comprehensive Geodatabase, with thematical layers.
  • Using the ArcGIS software, the content of the Geodatabase will be analysed and maps illustrating the spatial and temporal distribution of the geodatabase's content will be created.
  • To the extent possible, remote data, such as satellite imagery and LiDAR, will also be used in the GIS analyses.
  • Creation of 3D models of some artifacts collected by Curt Nimuendajú that form part of the collections addressed in the correspondence between Nimuendajú and the museum.



  • Eligible for a research position are those with a PhD or other foreign degree that is deemed equivalent to PhD. The subject of the doctoral thesis and/or other research publications should be in a research area relevant to the subject description above.
  • Experience in 3D modelling of archaeological or ethnographic artifacts.
  • IT skills, particularly geodatabase management, ArcGIS or similar software.
  • Good knowledge of English is required. Knowledge in Spanish, German and/or Swedish is desirable.



Type of employment: Employment as researcher in the project during 24 months at 20% of full time. Location: Gothenburg. First day of employment: January/February 2023 or as soon as possible.


Selection process 


Scientific proficiency will be given priority in the evaluation of the qualifications of the applicants, and it is assessed primarily based on the applicant’s publications. A substantial publication record demonstrating close links to the research group's core activities will be considered an important qualification. Great emphasis will be placed on personal suitability.

The recruitment process may include interviews by video link and contacting references.


Contact information for the post 

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Lilian Rebellato, supervisor, +46 76 249 80 01,

If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Johanna Hagbranth, Human Resources Officer,



Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here: 



To apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to create an account in our recruitment system. Submit your application via the University of Gothenburg’s recruitment portal by clicking the “Apply” button. It is your responsibility to ensure that the application is complete as per the vacancy notice, and that the University receives it by the final application deadline. 

The following documents should be attached to the application (in pdf):

  1. A personal statement specifying how the candidate is qualified for the research that the position involves. The statement should contain relevant details of the candidate’s experience with ArcGIS software.
  2. A PhD certificate.
  3. A CV listing academic degrees, employments, publications, and other relevant merits.
  4. At most five scientific publications, plus the applicant’s PhD thesis.
  5. Contact information for two academics familiar with the research work of the applicant for further contact/reference. 

We welcome applications written in English.

Applications must be received by: 2022-12-19

The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations.

Salaries are set individually at the University.

In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden’s regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.