PhD Studentship in Archaeology - Resilience in a fragile environment: Oases in the northern Sahara since 500 BC

Newcastle University

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK 🇬🇧

Value of award

Full tuition fees at the UK, EU or International rate plus an annual maintenance grant equivalent to the National Minimum Doctoral Stipend (currently for 2021/22 this is £15,609) across 3 years.

Number of awards: 1

Start date and duration: October 2021 or January 2022 for 3 years

Application closing date: 30 August 2021.


The School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Newcastle University invites applications for a doctoral student for the project ‘resilience in a fragile environment: Oases in the northern Sahara since 500 BC’ led by Dr Louise Rayne.

The impact of climate change and pressures on water resources will be significant in the fragile oases of the northern Sahara but there is a lack of knowledge of past water management. Historic water systems are degrading before their potential for future sustainability can be understood. The resilient oases project is identifying criteria which made past oases water-secure. Case studies represent keyhydrological environments: perennial and seasonal channels (e.g. Morocco) and groundwater sources (e.g. Libya).

The PhD student will investigate the long-term development and sustainability of past water management systems. The student will carry out remote sensing and GIS-based analysis of case studies from North Africa and will contribute to fieldwork in Morocco.

The student will be trained in the use of advanced remote sensing and GIS tools, landscape analysis, and field survey methods, providing them with a valuable set of skills. The student will join an academic community with strong expertise in landscape research and digital humanities.


Newcastle University Academic Track Fellowship

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr Louise Rayne (School of History, Classics and Archaeology)

Eligibility Criteria

Qualifications – A postgraduate Master degree (or equivalent) in a relevant field (e.g. geography, archaeology). A good undergraduate degree.

Skills – Basic knowledge of GIS. Good level of proficiency in English language (IELTS 6.5 overall). Arabic and/or French language skills are desirables but not essential.

Attributes – Ability and willingness to work as a member of an interdisciplinary team. Outstanding communication skills. Willingness to travel abroad.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system by creating an account. To do this please select ‘How to Apply’ and choose the ‘Apply now’ button.

All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk must to be completed. The following information will help us to process your application. You will need to:

•             click on programme of study

•             insert 8210F in the programme code section and click search

•             select Programme name ‘PhD School of History, Classic and Archaeology (full time) – Archaeology’

•             insert hca009 in the studentship/partnership reference field (we’ll provide a code)

•             attach a covering letter and  CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code hca009  and state how your interests and experience relate to the project

•             attach degree transcripts* and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualification.

You should also send your covering letter and CV to Louise Rayne by email


For queries and to express interest, please email Dr Louise Rayne.