Faculty of Humanities, History, Culture and Communication Studies

The University of Oulu is a multidisciplinary, international research university, with about 3,600 employees who produce new knowledge based on high-standards research and provide research based education to build a more sustainable, smarter, and more humane world. The University of Oulu community has about 17,000 people in total. Our northern scientific community operates globally and creates conditions for the emergence of innovations.  

We are looking to hire a highly motivated

Doctoral Researcher

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

The full-time three-year Doctoral Researcher position will be based in a transdisciplinary project focusing on integrative biodiversity research, citizen science and society, and more broadly integrative species conservation involving also different actor groups who interact with, work with, and seek to manage biodiversity (such as conservation, forestry, gardening, urban planning, scientific research, policy and governance, and others). The project will be situated within the interdisciplinary arena of environmental social sciences, and will be led by Dr. Thora Herrmann, Professor in socio-environmental sustainability at the University of Oulu.

The faculty and the research group

This doctoral researcher position is based within both the research focus area of Biodiverse Anthropocenes and the Archeology programme, which combines cutting-edge expertise of human-environment interactions, transdisciplinary environmental social sciences, cultural and environmental anthropology, political ecology, conservation, and contemporary archeology.

As a full-time doctoral researcher at the University of Oulu, you will work towards writing a doctoral thesis (article-based thesis) in the discipline of archeology. While the degree will be awarded in archeology, the overall approach of the project and research will be interdisciplinary and will draw on and contribute to debates in sister fields of environmental humanities, human geography, and environmental sociology.

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

We are looking for a talented and highly motivated research-oriented candidate interested in in topics relevant to this project. Potential research areas might include (but are not limited to) the following directions:

  • Human and other-than-humans relationality, Nature's Contributions to People (NCP) and biodiversity values
  • Community-based environmental monitoring and Citizen Science
  • Integrative biodiversity conservation
  • Global change effects on biodiversity
  • Impacts of land-use change on plants, insects, birds and mammals
  • Habitat protection and land-use change
  • Biodiversity, health and well-being
  • Polar and temperate regions

You are very welcome to propose any research topic of relevance to the intersection of biodiversity and citizen science with other issues related to sustainability, climate and environmental changes, and the Anthropocene.

The hired doctoral students’ primary tasks will be to carry out research work, attend doctoral courses, and complete your doctoral thesis within three years. You will be supervised by the international project team of senior scholars. You will benefit from the project team’s extensive network of researcher and practitioner contacts, as well as from the intellectual richness of the Biodiverse Anthropocenes programme, and you will have a unique opportunity to produce original work within a new and dynamically growing research area. You will be trained across various methodologies of biodiversity, ecology, ethnology and cultural geography field research, arts-based methods and will be able to collaborate with several research groups. You will disseminate research results in high-ranking publications, at international conferences, in the media.

Other duties, if of interest and appropriate, may include teaching on undergraduate courses (approximately 5% of the total 1612 working hours per year), supervising Master’s theses and participating in student-related administrative tasks of the university and/or unit.

What we offer?

  • A world-class research environment in a multinational, high ranking research group working to solve globally significant scientific and environmental challenges.
  • Wellness benefit ePassi covering sport, culture and well-being. Read more about other staff benefits.
  • 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:

  • A Master’s degree (or other applicable Master's degree) completed with very good/excellent grades in geography, biology, ecology, anthropology, environmental humanities, or related field in humanities and social sciences.

In addition, we appreciate

  • Strong knowledge in quantitative and qualitative methodologies,
  • Experience with ethnographic and participatory research;
  • Experience in spatial data analysis: cartography and GIS, practical work with ArcGIS or comparable programs is desirable.
  • Very good oral and written English language skills;
  • High motivation and ability to work efficiently;
  • Good communication skills and the ability to work both independently and in a group with people from various academic and cultural backgrounds.

See also the requirements for Doctoral degree studies set out by the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS)


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 2-4 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. 2300-2600 € per month (before taxes). A trial period of 6 months is applied in the position.

How to apply?

Interested? If yes, please apply by 07.07.2023 (23:59 Finnish local time) through our recruitment system.

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

  1. Cover letter
  2. CV following the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity
  3. A tentative research proposal (max. 3 pages) presenting your proposed research idea, estimated timescale, relevant methodologies and theories, and how this is related to the core ideas of the above described project.
  4. A writing sample (max. 10 pages) in English of your academic work (e.g. published or draft article, excerpt from your M.A. thesis, etc.)
  5. Certificates/Diplomas
  6. Contact information of two persons available for recommendation

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).

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 2-4 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. 2300-2600 € per month (before taxes).  A trial period of 6 months is applied in the position.
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Oulu
County Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Country Finland
Reference number 2023/276
  • Thora Herrmann, +358503084117
Published 06.Jun.2023
Last application date 07.Jul.2023

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