Research Assistant in Technical GIS, Remote Sensing, and Data Processing

University of Cambridge McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

United Kingdom

The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research invites applications for 2 x fixed-term Research Assistants in technical GIS, Remote Sensing, and data processing, generously supported by Arcadia - a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin ( The post holders will be employed on the Mapping Archaeological Heritage in South Asia (MAHSA) project. This project aims to identify and document endangered archaeological heritage sites across the Indus River Basin and surrounding regions of Pakistan and northwest India using a combination of remote sensing, machine learning, historical map analysis, records-based research and selective archaeological surveys. It will make records of these sites available in an Open Access ( geospatial relational database, tailored for different interest groups and stakeholders. The funds for these posts are available until 30 September 2023 in the first instance.

The role holders will be employed as part of the Research community at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, which is part of the Department of Archaeology within the Faculty of Human, Social and Political Science.

The main duties of the roles will involve a range of technical and data management tasks that will facilitate the use of historical maps, GIS, remote sensing, machine learning, and data from ground survey to map archaeological and other heritage sites across Pakistan and northwest India. The roles will also involve preparing data for entry into an Open Access database. Additional duties are likely to include engaging in the identification of archaeological sites and monuments through the use of remote sensing and map analyses; desk-based research on existing sites; and assisting with ground-based verification fieldwork. For a detailed description of responsibilities, please see the 'Further Particulars' document.

The posts may involve regular international travel to different parts of Pakistan and India, when such travel is possible.

The successful candidates should be educated to first degree level in a discipline relevant to the MAHSA project, such as Archaeology, Heritage Studies, Geography, or related fields. Excellent knowledge of and skills in the use of GIS and Remote Sensing methods and techniques are essential, along with some practical experience of working with geospatial datasets under supervision. An understanding of the concept and structure of relational databases is desirable. Experience of fieldwork (archaeological or otherwise) is desirable. Candidates are expected to demonstrate excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to MAHSA Project Coordinator, Dr Rebecca Roberts (

Please quote reference JC25576 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

In your application, please refer to


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