Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Empirical Software Engineering in Software, Systems and Services

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 9 highly motivated and talented

Doctoral Researchers in Software Engineering

(Start dates: 1st of August 2024 or 1st of January 2025)

to join us in the Empirical Software Engineering in Software, Systems, and Services (M3S) research unit at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering as part of the Doctoral Pilot in Software Engineering at the University of Oulu.

Job description

In this position, you will participate in the national 1000 Doctorates pilot program. As a partner in the program, the University of Oulu is dedicated to ensuring you have a carefully planned and guided doctoral research experience that will be tailored to support your career plans, enabling you to continue into demanding expert positions in the changing job markets in the industry, the public sector and academia.

The Doctoral Pilot in Software Engineering offers 49 positions across nine universities in Finland, with 9 positions available at the M3S Research Unit, University of Oulu. The pilot will use a novel way of doctoral supervision termed Finnish Acceleration of Scientific Talent (FAST), leaning on the agile and iterative methods of working. 

Software engineering is a discipline and research field that entails designing, developing, maintaining, and managing software systems. Within this field, doctoral dissertation topics will be based on the interests of doctoral researchers, supervisors, and practical problems in collaborating companies.

A large number of companies are involved in this doctoral training program as partners to provide industrial relevance; they offer internships or other opportunities to participate in the companies’ activities as part of studies, giving a view to industry-scale software development operations. Our partner companies also play a pivotal role in providing real-world data about software engineering in practice.

We invite applications in the following broad research areas in software engineering:

  • Software Quality, Software Testing, Software Maintenance and Evolution
  • Quantum Software Engineering, Automotive Software, Medical Software, Digital Twins
  • Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering Synergies, Mining Software Repositories, Applied Machine Learning and Data Analytics, Recommendation Systems, Soft Computing
  • Software Architecture, Microservices, Distributed Computing and Edge-Cloud Continuum, Pervasive and Mobile Computing
  • Software Processes and Improvement, DevOps, MLOps, Human Factors in Software Engineering, Health and Well-being Aspects of Software Engineering
  • Software Engineering Research Methodology

We strongly encourage you to check the research interests of the potential supervisors below and contact them early enough to discuss specific doctoral research topics they may already have in mind before preparing and submitting your application documents.

Potential Supervisors: (Emails: firstname.lastname@oulu.fi)

If accepted for one of the positions, we expect you to apply for study rights during May 2024 and complete your doctoral studies within three years of your starting date, or at least have your article-based dissertation ready to be sent for external examination. These positions are 100% research-focused and do not include any teaching responsibility. Persons with existing doctoral study rights granted before 1 November 2023 are not eligible to apply due to the rules of the funding instrument.

Qualification requirements

The chosen doctoral researchers will also be expected to apply for doctoral study rights at the University of Oulu Graduate School. Eligibility for study rights will be evaluated during the job application process. We are looking for excellent candidates who must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Must hold a master's degree or equivalent degree (e.g. licentiate) in software engineering, computer science/ engineering, or in a relevant field. Undergraduate students are eligible to apply, provided their Master’s or equivalent degree is completed early enough to apply for doctoral study rights.
  • Must have achieved a good grade in their degree (i.e. at least 60 % of the maximum grade in both taught courses and the master's thesis)
  • Must be able to demonstrate excellent written and spoken English language skills to follow doctoral studies.
  • Must fulfil the requirements, the University of Oulu Graduate School sets out to successfully apply for doctoral study rights.
  • Must have demonstrated research skills in knowledge-oriented or solution-oriented research.

We also highly appreciate (but not necessarily require):

  • Previous experience in research projects or company collaboration.
  • Professional experience in a software engineering-related position.
  • Familiarity with and publications in top-quality software engineering journals or conferences.

Who we are

Empirical Software Engineering in Software, Systems, and Services (M3S) is the largest Software Engineering (SE) research unit in Finland, ranked 2nd in Europe and 7th in the world based on top-quality journal publications. In the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2020) of the University of Oulu conducted by an independent panel of scholars, M3S is ranked as an 'Outstanding' (6/6) research unit. M3S is a founding member of the International Software Engineering Research Network (ISERN). M3S has hosted two Finland Distinguished Professors (FiDiPro) funded by TEKES and has a diverse portfolio of externally funded projects, including Horizon, ITEA, Academy of Finland, Business Finland, and the 6G Flagship program.

In M3S, we conduct fundamental and applied software engineering research with innovative applications in various domains including Automotive, Health and Wellness, and Cyber-Physical Systems. We utilize enabling technologies and platforms such as Artificial Intelligence, Edge/Cloud, IoT, Digital Twins, and 5G/6G Networks to achieve our research goals. Our unit has very strong industry collaboration and a proven track record in making a high impact in the industry.

What we offer

  • An inspiring international research atmosphere in a well-established research unit. A well-structured doctoral training as part of the Doctoral Pilot in Software Engineering.
  • Sufficient grants for traveling and attending Doctoral Pilot events and international conferences.
  • Possibility to see your research results in action via industry collaboration.
  • The support of an experienced and enthusiastic academic environment where you can share your expertise and grow as an expert.
  • Excellent connections to the international academic research community and industrial partnerships with the leading ICT companies in Finland and internationally.
  • The interdisciplinary research training and transferable skills that help you to develop competencies and networking opportunities as well as career planning support to advance your career via different routes.
  • A competitive salary is paid monthly, which includes paid leave and an additional holiday bonus in the summer.
  • University occupational health insurance. The Finnish government also provides benefits to residents and their families, for example access to the national healthcare system and high-quality, affordable childcare and school services. Read more about living in Oulu.
  • Our Buddy Programme and Spouse Network support you and close ones in settling into Oulu.
  • Well-established practices and agreements for flexible working hours, part-time working, and teleworking.
  • A wide variety of support services allow you to focus on your studies and research.
  • Wellness benefit ePassi covering sport, culture and well-being. See the full list of staff benefits.

Position and salary

Doctoral researchers selected in the pilot program will, by default, be offered a three-year (36-month) fixed-term full-time employment contract by the 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, starting 1st of August 2024 at the earliest. The selected applicants are expected to start their project no later than the 1st of January 2025.

Among the available 9 positions, 5 are reserved for the August 2024 start, and 4 are reserved for the January 2025 start. A six-month trial period is applied for the positions. Applicants who need a visa should take the time required for visa application processes into account when indicating their preferred start dates.

The salary of the selected doctoral researchers will be paid monthly. The salary will be based on levels 2-4 of the demand level chart for university-level 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).  Depending on the qualifications, the starting gross salary (before taxes) is 2500-2800€ / month for full-time employment.

The employment contracts are based on a total working time of 1612 hours per year, which gives doctoral researchers the freedom to plan their working hours.

How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by 22 April 2024 (23:59 Finnish local time). The application should be written in English and include the following:

  1. 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.
  2. Cover letter (max. 2 pages) summarizing the applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why the applicant is interested in this position. Also, information on personal research interests, experience, and career plans is valuable to provide here. The letter should also clearly identify potential supervisors listed above (you can choose more than one), any specific research topics discussed with potential supervisors, and the preferred start date.
  3. Curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages) Curriculum Vitae of the applicant, including a list of any peer-reviewed scientific publications (with full reference details) and contact information for two persons available to give their recommendation within two working days upon request (reference letters are not required at this stage). A recommended CV template can be found on the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity 
  4. Research plan (max. 4 pages) A preliminary research plan following the structure (You do not need to prepare a Cover sheet).
  5. A valid certificate of language proficiency.

Note: 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.


M3S Research Unit will review and prioritize the applications internally based on the information available in the application documents to assess the applicants’ research merits, potential to complete a doctoral degree in three years, alignment of the proposed research topic and the quality of the research plan with the expectations.

Further information

For further information, please contact Professor Burak Turhan (Director, M3S) burak.turhan@oulu.fi  

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 1st of August 2024 or 1st of January 2025
Salary 2500-2800e per month
Number of positions 9
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Oulu
County Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Country Finland
Reference number 2024/154
  • Burak Turhan
Published 26.Mar.2024
Last application date 22.Apr.2024

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