Afghan Heritage Mapping Partnership

Opportunity Description:

We are looking for an undergraduate researcher(s) to participate in analysis and verification of results from a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) model trained to automatically detect archaeological sites in Afghanistan. Researchers will assist the Afghan Heritage Mapping Partnership by checking and describing results, and helping to assess and improve the performance of the model.   

Primary Responsibilities: 

The undergraduate researcher(s) will be expected to inspect image tiles for various sources and confirm the presence or absence of archaeological features, as well as record observations. The researcher will also be responsible for preparing written and statistical reports for the project manager and senior analyst. 

Minimum Qualifications and/or Eligibility Requirements: 

The student researcher(s) should ideally have some familiarity with GIS software (ArcMap, Pro, or QGIS), archaeology, and/or satellite imagery and remote sensing. Training will be provided for suitable candidates. 

Preferred Skills: 

The ideal candidate will be attentive to detail and enjoy the challenge of identifying a variety of features on satellite imagery. Experience with CNNs, machine learning, computer vision, or other automatic detection technology preferred, although not necessary. 

Knowledge or skills gained from the experience: 

The student researcher(s) will gain skills in GIS, satellite imagery, landscape archaeology, and the cultural heritage of Afghanistan.  

Application Process: 

Eligibility: students must be current, full-time undergraduates in good-standing at the University of Chicago. Students on leave-of-absence are not eligible nor are recent graduates. 

Note: ideally, candidates would be interested in continuing their spring quarter research through the summer, with an increased number of research hours weekly. Additionally, though not necessary, the research team is eager to have undergraduate researchers who start in SPR22 and SU22, continue on into the next academic year (22-23). Funding will be available for all appointments - academic year and summer. 

Application process: complete application should include the following - 

  • 350-word statement of interest in the research opportunity (this is not a cover letter but should detail why you are interested in the research experience, what particular research and work-related skills you may bring, what you hope to learn and how this may impact your future studies, profession, and/or research in the field);
  • Current curriculum vitae or resume with the names and contact details of two references; and, 
  • A copy of your unofficial transcript.

Submission process: please submit a single PDF file with all of the above components saved in that file and named "LAST, First_Afghan Heritage Mapping Partnership_RA Application_DATE of submission". Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the position(s) filled as soon as possible.

Your application file should be emailed directly to: Tony Lauricella at and Andrew Wright at ; Nichole Fazio at, and project PI Gil Stein on copy. 

Application Requirements: 

  • Submit CV
  • 350 Word Statement of Interest
  • Names of Two References
  • Unofficial Transcript
  • For more information on this opportunity, please contact:

    Gil J. Stein
    Faculty Title: 
    Professor, Near Eastern Archeology
    Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
    Faculty CV
    Affiliated Research Institutes (Optional): 

    Franke Institute for the Humanities