Service and separate units, Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory

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 now looking for a

Doctoral Researcher

to join us at the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory.

Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (SGO) is an independent unit of the University of Oulu. Its national task is to make long-term high-level measurements and observations, development of instrumentation and methods, and observations of geohazards and space weather situations for geophysics and space physics. The Observatory provides measurements for local, national, and international research purposes and develops different services based on its own data together with other research institutes and companies. In particular, it operates cosmic-ray stations in Finland and Antarctica, an EISCAT receiver, and other cut-edge instrumentations.

The successful candidate will work in close collaboration with the Space Physics and Astronomy research unit of the Faculty of Sciences which is focused on the forefront research in Space Physics and Astronomy, including solar, heliospheric and ionospheric physics.

About the job

We are looking for a qualified candidate to fill an open full-time position at a Doctoral researcher level for 3.5 years, starting in January 2024 or upon agreement. The place of work is located at Cosmic-ray Group of SGO on the Linnanmaa campus in Oulu. The working language is English.

This position is in the framework of the GERACLIS project (led by Professor Ilya Usoskin) by the Research Council of Finland. The positions will be filled in the field of Space physics, with a strong link to Geophysics. The main task to be fulfilled by the applicant is to model the Earth’s magnetosphere for a nonstandard configuration of the internal geomagnetic field. This should include direct physical modelling of the solar-wind—magnetospheric coupling. Since the standard parameterized models cannot be applied, a full MHD forward modelling needs to be used. The transport of energetic particles in this magnetosphere will be modelled subsequently. We also expect the candidate to actively apply for external funding for research.

What we offer?

  • An interesting and versatile position in a multi-disciplinary field, combining Space Physics, Geophysics and Computational Physics.
  • Development opportunities in a big Nordic university with flexible working hours, excellent work-life balance and occupational healthcare services.
  • The support of an experienced and enthusiastic research group where you can share your expertise and grow as an expert.
  • The wellness benefits of ePassi covering sport, culture and well-being. Read more about other staff benefits.
  • Work that matters and a workplace that promotes flexibility and work-life balance. Read more about working with us.
  • Our Buddy Programme and Spouse Network support you and close ones in settling into Oulu.
  • We have a HR Excellence in Research -quality label which is a recognition awarded by the European Commission for the development of researchers’ working conditions and careers.
  • Finland is one of the most livable countries in the world, with a high quality of life, safety, an excellent education system, and a competitive economy. Read more about living in Oulu.

Who are you?

We expect from you

  • a completed Master's or equivalent degree in Space Physics, Geophysics, Astrophysics or a related discipline with high grades;
  • knowledge of magnetospheric physics, including the solar-wind effects, MHD modelling (with models like BATS-R-US and GAMERA), ideally, with some research publications in the field;
  • at least basic knowledge of scientific analysis methods and computational skills;
  • good command in English;
  • ability to work independently and in a team.

We also appreciate

  • experience in successful applications for personal research grants or fellowships
  • additional experience in one or more of the following subjects (atmospheric physics, magnetospheric physics, computational physics, scientific data analysis, cosmic-ray physics);


The position is fixed-term for 3.5 years starting in January 2024 or upon agreement.

The salary will be based on 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 (up to 50 % of the job-specific component). The starting gross salary will be approx. 2300-2600 € per month (before taxes) plus a holiday bonus. The annual holiday is 4-5 weeks.

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

How to apply?

Interested? If yes, please apply by 15th of November, 2023 (23:59 Finnish local time) through our recruitment system.

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

  1. Cover letter describing the motivation and suitability for the position.
  2. CV following the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity
  3. List of publications with indicated personal contribution.
  4. Certificates/Diplomas (copies) -- if not in English or Finnish, please provide English translations.
  5. Contact information of two reference 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.

We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, such as people of different ages, genders and lingual, cultural or minority groups. The University of Oulu strictly follows the equality and non-discrimination principles in recruitment.

Contact Information

If you have any further questions, please contact Prof. Ilya Usoskin

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Oulu
County Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Country Finland
Reference number 2023/421
  • Ilya Usoskin, 0503441247
Published 12.Oct.2023
Last application date 15.Nov.2023

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