Apply for a PhD position in the Archaeogenomics Group

The Archaeogenomics Group of the Institute of Genomics at the University of Tartu, Estonia, is looking for a PhD Student (Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Tartu) in Human Population and Evolutionary Genetics.

Supervisor: Dr Alena Kushniarevich; co-supervisors: Prof Kristiina Tambets, Dr Georgi Hudjašov

Deadline for application: 15 May 2023. 

Salary: 1797 Eur gross (1430 net)/month. The position is funded for four years starting on 1st September 2023.

Starting on: 1 September 2023 at the earliest.

Workload: 1,0

Title: Regional patterns of genetic diversity in East Europe: dynamics of population processes during the past two millennia from the archaeogenetic perspective making use of haplotype-based analyses.

Summary of the Research Project

In this project, we will address two problems. The first one is technical – the amount of genomic information that can be retrieved from ancient human genomes is usually low. Sparse genetic data restricts population genomic analyses to the ones that use allele frequencies, while analyses of longer genomic segments are not possible. To overcome this, we will use genotype imputation (GI) (inferring missing genotypes based on the available information in the genome sequence and a reference panel) to increase the amount of genomic data for downstream analyses. To optimise the GI performance in ancient samples of East European origin we will enrich the reference panel by compiling several high-coverage human genome datasets including those from Estonia and Poland. Second, we will use haplotype and frequency-based approaches to study population relatedness, mobility and social structure of the currently understudied Iron Age-Medieval period in Eastern Baltics. The outcome of the project will contribute to the technical improvement of ancient DNA analyses as well as to our understanding of the role of the Iron Age-Medieval period in the formation of today’s genetic and cultural landscape of Eastern Baltics. 

Who we are

We are an international and highly motivated team fascinated by human evolution. We use information encoded in the genomes of modern and ancient humans and population genomic and evolutionary methods to reconstruct past demographic events and their consequences on today’s genetic and cultural diversity and human health.

More information about our group and research can be found here:

What we expect from the applicant

  • MSc degree in biology, molecular biology, genetics, computer programming, archaeogenetics or related subjects.
  • Strong programming skills: it would be ideal if the applicant is fluent in programming, well familiar with the Unix environment, strong skills in python, and R as the project will be centred on genomic data processing and analysis. 
  • Deep interest in human population genetics.
  • English: written and spoken level B and higher.

What we offer

  • to be part of our international and dynamic team of researchers and students with a great opportunity for personal and professional growth
  • an opportunity to learn new skills in the analysis and interpretation of large genomic data 
  • a possibility to learn skills in ancient DNA generation (this includes wet lab techniques that can be acquired in our aDNA lab facilities)
  • a friendly, supportive and inspiring working environment

Get familiar

– how to apply for doctoral studies:

about Doctoral Study in Tartu University:

about Tartu:

about living in Estonia:

To get more information, please, write to Alena Kushniarevich (, Merilin Raud (

Deadline for application
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