Faculty of Humanities, History, Culture and Communication Studies

The University of Oulu is one of the biggest and most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. We create new knowledge and innovations that help to solve global challenges. We offer you an international and inspiring working environment where you are given responsibility and can use your skills, develop yourself and do work that matters. Our flexible and family-friendly workplace makes it easy for you to balance work and leisure. The University of Oulu is ranked in the top 3% of the world´s universities. 

We are looking to hire a highly motivated

Postdoctoral Researcher

to join the University of Oulu’s Faculty of Humanities, Unit of History, Culture and Communications.

The postdoctoral researcher will have experience and/or a demonstrated interest in climate and environmental changes, biodiversity and socio-environmental relations.The researcher will work with Prof. Thora Herrmann on relations between biodiversity and humans as part of the transdisciplinary programme, Biodiverse Anthropocenes.

The faculty and the research group

This postdoctoral researcher position is based within the multi-faculty strategic research programme, “Biodiverse Anthropocenes”. Biodiverse Anthropocenes focuses on human-environment relations and biodiversity dynamics, with a particular orientation towards the Arctic. This programme aims to advance research and discussion concerning the multiple cultural, societal and environmental contributors to biodiversity loss, including interaction between humans and more-than-humans, and to strengthen the collaborative role of sciences and the humanities in current political and scholarly debates about the environment. The programme’s point of departure is that in order to serve some of today’s pressing environmental challenges, researchers across the natural, social and human sciences need to collaborate and engage in impactful and creative scholarship, and to include non-scientific community members as part of their transdisciplinary research endeavours. By bringing together international scholars from across disciplines, and encouraging engaged research, Biodiverse Anthropocenes will promote transdisciplinary and community-minded studies of the environment addressing the challenges of ecological change and biodiversity.

We invite applications from candidates across social science and humanities fields and disciplines. We are looking for strong research skills in environment and society relations, or biodiversity research specifically. We invite candidates interested in pursuing work across and beyond disciplinary boundaries. We are looking for a scholar with an interest in integrative species conservation, biodiversity and citizen science, human and other-than-humans relationality, Nature's Contributions to People (NCP) and biodiversity values, community-based environmental monitoring, impacts of land-use change on biodiversity, habitat protection and land-use change, biodiversity, health and well-being, and conversant in issues and frameworks linked to global and regional environmental change, its social impacts and interpretations and biodiversity loss.

Located on the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia in Northern Finland with over 13,000 students and over 3,000 employees, the University of Oulu is one of the Nordic countries’ largest universities and a global leader in studies of Arctic environments and peoples. The research unit of History, Culture and Communications combines cutting-edge expertise of cultural anthropology, archaeology, history, information studies, and the history of science and ideas.

Biodiverse Anthropocenes Research Programme

Biodiverse Anthropocenes is a Research Programme of the University of Oulu supported by the Academy of Finland PROFI6 funding (2021‒2026). This innovative and transdisciplinary research initiative brings together scholars from across the social and natural sciences to collaboratively investigate the biodiversity loss currently threatening multi-species well-being and planetary sustainability, and to generate future-oriented solutions both in the Arctic and around the planet. The Biodiverse Anthropocenes Research Programme is framed around four core themes:

  • Transformations and adaptations
  • Multispecies worlds
  • Innovating approaches and methodologies
  • and Envisioning sustainability

Together, these themes address the critical topics of: multiple pressures creating biodiversity loss; the responses of species, communities and ecosystems to ecological challenges; creative development and use of research methods for examining human-environmental systems; and, speaking with and listening to the public to use scientific knowledge to enhance sustainable and ethical practices. You will be invited to join as a member of Biodiverse Anthropocenes and take part in the programme’s various activities and events.

Job description

Primary duties attached to the position will include:

  • Carrying out both self-initiated and collaborative research and writing activities that lead to high- quality academic publications;
  • Collaborating with programme leaders to further the aims of Biodiverse Anthropocenes, such as organizing thematic conferences or workshops;
  • Engaging in writing and submitting applications for research funding;
  • Participating in outreach initiatives that engage both academic and non-academic publics; Taking part in teaching activities, subject to faculty needs and your own teaching/research capabilities and interests.

What we offer?

  • We offer you a world-class research environment in a multinational, high ranking research group working to solve globally significant scientific and environmental challenges.
  • We offer you a lively community of committed scholars in an innovative and internationally focused programme keen on generating new research ideas.
  • We provide you with multiple opportunities to advance your career via different routes. Read more about other staff benefits here.
  • Development and career options of the big organization.
  • Work that matters and a workplace that promotes flexibility and work-life balance. Read more about working with us.
  • Finland is one of the most livable countries in the world, with a high quality of life, safety, excellent education system, and competitive economy. Read more about living in Oulu.

Qualification requirements

We expect from you:

  • An applicable Doctoral degree in a relevant field (environmental sciences, geography, anthropology, environmental humanities, or a related field) that has been awarded not more than ten years ago.

In addition, we appreciate:

  1. A transdisciplinary research orientation, with work anchored in approaches from across the social, natural sciences and/or humanities that investigate aspects of environmental change and biodiversity crisis;
  2. An interest in (and ideally experience with) issues related to soils and land, particularly in the Artic;
  3. Capacity to collaborate in research and research dissemination activities;
  4. Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills, especially in English (the working language of the Biodiverse Anthropocenes programme is English)


The position is fixed-term for 3 years as of 01.09.2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The salary will be based on the levels 5-6 of the demand level chart for teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50 % of the job-specific component). Starting gross salary will be approx. 3600-4200 € per month (before taxes).

A trial period of 6 months is applied in the position.

How to apply?

Interested? If yes, applications should be submitted using the electronic application form by Friday 7th July at 23:59 (EET).

The application should be written in English and include the following:

  1. CV, following the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity: http://www.tenk.fi/en/template-researchers-curriculum-vitae
  2. Cover letter
  3. Brief research plan (max. 3 pages, excluding references) outlining the research you plan to carry out during the three years of the position.
  4. List of publications, following the guidelines of the Academy of Finland: https://www.aka.fi/en/research-funding/apply-for-funding/how-to-apply-for-funding/az-index-of-application-guidelines2/list-of-publications/
  5. Certificates/Diplomas
  6. Contact details of 2 persons available for recommendation
  7. Other attachments

The eligible applicants fitting best in the profile expected for the position will be invited to an on-site or remote interview. All applicants will be notified during the selection process.

Contact Information

If you have any further questions, please contact Biodiverse Anthropocenes coordinator Dr Emma Vatka (emma.vatka@oulu.fi).

You can also contact the Principal Investigator Prof. Thora Herrmann (thora.herrmann@oulu.fi).

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 01.09.2023
Salary The salary will be based on the levels 5-6 of the demand level chart for teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50 % of the job-specific component). Starting gross salary will be approx. 3600-4200 € per month (before taxes).  
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 38
City Oulu
County Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Country Finland
Reference number 2023/275
  • Thora Herrmann, +491731985042
Published 04.Jun.2023
Last application date 07.Jul.2023

Return to job vacancies