Faculty of Technology, Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering

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.

University of Oulu is inviting applications with various academic backgrounds for fixed-term

Doctoral Researcher

positions in the Digital Waters (DIWA) Doctoral Education Pilot.

Doctoral Researcher Position research themes are linked to DIWA Flagship, a large scale research ecosystem funded by Research Council of Finland. The flagship is a leading research and innovation ecosystem, developing research excellence to support decision-making and pave the way for the next re-evolution in the water sector – digitally. DIWA enables a transition towards the digital representation of real-world water systems (Digital Twin) to reproduce hydrological storages, their states, fluxes and processes, as well as ecosystem responses with novel options for improved scenario analyses, planning and governance.

The doctoral pilot will focus on the Flagship research area of complex interactions and responses in the hydro-, atmo- and cryosphere and train experts in methodological, data/digital and management skills needed to become game changers and leaders in the field of water research, governance, and innovation. We will address the methodological challenges of dealing with growing amount of (big) data and large datasets across different climatic zones (boreal – arctic), the use of new observational systems in field campaigns, and integrated analysis and modelling of environmental processes under climate and land-use change pressures.

The doctoral pilot offers systematic training, access to excellent research infrastructure, professional career development with diverse contacts for future working life. Doctoral researchers work closely with the researchers, supervisors, and partner organisations in Finland and abroad of the DIWA ecosystem including numerous companies, research organisations and NGOs, totally more than 300 organisations. Doctoral researchers will have secondment periods also outside academia.

DIWA is coordinated by the University of Oulu. In total, 60 doctoral researchers will be employed within the DIWA doctoral training pilot project. Of these, 22 doctoral researchers will be employed by University of Oulu, of which 13 topics open in this call (first call) with deadline in April. See the specific list of the doctoral projects digitalwaters.fi

Job description

At University of Oulu, we are looking for 13 highly motivated and talented Doctoral Researchers in different areas of water research to join research teams at the University of Oulu. The thematic focus of the work cover different disciplines ranging from hydrology, water resources engineering, water supply, ICT, and ecosystem research. The individual PhD topics and their requirements are found on digitalwaters.fi.

Qualification requirements

We are looking for excellent candidates that meet the following criteria:

  1. Must hold a recent master's degree or equivalent degree (e.g. licentiate) in a relevant field of study for the respective PhD topic that must be completed before entering the PhD programme and no later than 1.1.2025. We encourage applicants from a variety of relevant fields to apply: see possible topic-related requirements (digitalwaters.fi PhD pilot).
  2. Must have achieved good grades in the MSc degree (i.e. at least 60 % of the maximum grade in both taught courses and the master's thesis).
  3. Must be able to demonstrate English language skills that are sufficient to follow doctoral studies. For this, the applicant must provide official documents demonstrating one of the following options:
  • TOEFL iBT or TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition 92 (with a minimum of 20 in the Writing section)
  • IELTS Academic or IELTS Indicator 6.5 (with a minimum of 5.5 per each section)
  • Pearson Test of English, PTE Academic 62 (with a minimum of 52 in the Writing section)
  • C2 Proficiency (former Cambridge English: Proficiency, CPE) Pass Level A, B, C or level C1 certificate or C1 Advanced (former Cambridge English: Advanced, CAE) Pass Level A, B or C
  • National Certificate of Language Proficiency Skill level 5 in the following subtests; reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Bachelor's or master's degree in English in a university or university of applied sciences in an EU/EEA country, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United States, excluding online degrees and offshore campuses.
  • 20 ECTS credits of studies conducted in English at a Finnish university or a university of applied sciences.
  • Statements of skills from the proposed principal supervisor and one independent scientist (anglophone or equivalent language skills) at the Oulu University, based on an interview.

Evaluation of the eligible applications

The applications will be evaluated by the by three main criteria:

  • Quality of the applicant,
  • Applicant’s motivation, and
  • Quality of the research statement.

Applications are reviewed by the DIWA team and University of Oulu staff. Applications may also be sent for an external evaluation to national and/or international reviewers. Shortlisted applicants may be interviewed.

What we offer in DIWA Doctoral education pilot

  • An inspiring international and interdisciplinary research atmosphere, cutting-edge infrastructures and networks with academic and non-academic partners.
  • Structured doctoral training, world-class guidance in well-established research units, involvement in a programme with 60+ PhD candidates, working in collaboration with early career postdoctoral, experienced researchers and professors.
  • Interdisciplinary research training and transferable skills that help you to develop skills and competences and multiple opportunities to advance career via different routes.
  • Systematic career development for different public and private sectors.

In this position, you will participate in the national 1000 doctorates pilot programme funded by Finnish ministry of education and culture. As a participant in the programme, we will ensure that you have a carefully planned and guided doctoral research experience which will be tailored to support your career plans, enabling you to continue into demanding expert positions in the changing job markets in industry, the public sector and academia.

The University of Oulu offers

  • Possibilities for flexible work via well-established practices and agreements for flexible working hours, part-time working and teleworking.
  • A wide variety of support services allowing you to focus on your studies and research.
  • A competitive salary paid monthly, which includes paid leave and an additional holiday bonus in the summer.
  • Wellness benefit ePassi covering sport, culture and well-being. Read more about other staff benefits. 
  • Work that matters and a workplace that promotes flexibility, equality 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, excellent education system, and competitive economy. Read more about living in Oulu.

Position and salary

Doctoral researchers selected in the pilot programme will by default be offered a three-year (36 month) fixed-term full-time employment contract by University of Oulu. These positions are available for highly motivated and talented researchers wishing to undertake and complete training for a research-focused doctoral degree. The selected applicants are expected to start their project no later than 1.1.2025. A six-month trial period is applied in the position.

The salary of the selected doctoral researchers will be paid monthly. 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).The starting gross salary (before taxes) will be roughly 2500-2800 € / month for the full time employment. Later the salary follows the YPJ salary system of Finnish Universities.

How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by 20th April 2024 (23:59 Finnish local time). The application should be written in English and include the following:

  1. A motivation letter (about 1 page) summarizing applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why applicant is interested in this position. Also, information on personal research interests, experience and career plans are valuable to provide here. The letter should also include information on which of the PhD positions the applicant applies for, and in case you of apply for several of the open positions, list and rank clearly the preference.
  2. Curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages) Curriculum Vitae of the applicant, including a list of any peer-reviewed scientific publications (with full reference details). A recommended CV template can be found on the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity 
  3. Certificates/Diplomas Scanned copy of the original relevant master’s degree certificates and transcript of records and, when necessary, official translations to Finnish or English.
  4. A valid certificate of language proficiency
  5. Research plan (max. 2 pages) The research plan should contain information about the background and significance of the research (you can use Impact Helper tool), a description of the intended objectives and methods, and a preliminary schedule.

Only applications containing all relevant appendices and submitted through the online recruitment system will be considered. Applications received after the call deadline will not be considered.

Further information

For further information, please contact:

Professor Björn Klöve, bjorn.klove@oulu.fi


Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 13
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Oulu
County Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Country Finland
Reference number 2024/126
Published 19.Mar.2024
Last application date 20.Apr.2024

Return to job vacancies