PhD and MSc research programs

The MSc and PhD research programs in Archaeological Science at the Weizmann Institute, established in 1997 and 2015 respectively, are an intimate blend of field and laboratory research. Both aspects of this endeavor rely on common scientific methodologies related to the quantification control, and reproducibility of data, as well as the focus on hypothesis driven investigation.

In the five-year PhD program, students with a master degree in the natural sciences spend the first year devoted entirely to studying archaeology, spending at least one summer in the field. Doctoral candidates who already have a degree in archaeology study pertinent disciplines within the natural sciences, especially chemistry. These studies continue throughout the PhD, with students taking the required number of graduate level courses, but progressively focusing on their chosen field of research.

Applicants for the MSc program can have training in either archaeology or natural sciences, but preference will be given to students who have training in both disciplines. MSc students receive a fellowship from the Feinberg Graduate School. They devote their first year to taking graduate courses, and also pursue a series of supervised research projects, each for a period of two to three months, in three different laboratories. In their second year of studies, MSc students carry out full time research on one topic, and also write a thesis. There is also an option to continue directly to a PhD without writing a thesis. For more details, see the Feinberg Graduate School web site.

PhD students receive a fellowship from the Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science, made possible by a generous gift to the Weizmann Institute from Helen and Martin Kimmel, New York. The fellowship allows PhD candidates to devote all their time to studies and research. Students may have two advisors with expertise in archaeology and the scientific discipline most closely related to their research interests. Research is carried out primarily at the Weizmann Institute, although the archaeological sites under investigation can be anywhere in the world. The Kimmel Center also provides students with instrumentation and start-up funds. Research is generally carried out in the laboratories of one or both advisors, as well as in the field. Wherever possible, analyses are carried out at the excavation site.