Faculty of Science, Geography

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 or Postdoctoral Researcher

to join the Geography Research Unit at the Faculty of Science and the Research Council of Finland-funded project 'Militarised Indigenous Borderscapes: Reconfiguring geographies of war and borders.' The unit is a highly acclaimed international academic community and has a strong track record of research in border studies and geopolitics. It has 40+ researchers and 300+ bachelor’s and master’s students and is one of the leading research units at the University of Oulu. 

About the job

You will be working on the Research Council of Finland-funded project ‘Militarised Indigenous Borderscapes: Reconfiguring geographies of war and borders’ (the public project description can be found here). Led by Dr Hidefumi Nishiyama (PI), the project will study the impacts of militarisation on Indigenous lands and peoples through the case studies of Sápmi and Okinawa. This position will focus on research on Sápmi and you will be conducting desk research and fieldwork with PI.

As a researcher in the project, you will:

  • Conduct textual and political analysis of relevant statements and other representations with PI.
  • Conduct fieldwork (including interviews and participant observation) with PI.
  • Be responsible for transcribing interviews.
  • Analyse interview data.
  • Contribute to the project’s data management.
  • Be actively engaged in publications and conference presentations.

What we offer?

  • A dynamic and international working environment with 40+ experienced and emerging researchers from across the world where you can share your expertise and grow as an expert.
  • English as a working language.
  • Regular salary is paid 12 months per year, including paid leave and an additional holiday bonus in the summer.
  • Monthly meetings with fellow human geographers where you can discuss a wide range of topics including research, career development, well-being, and beyond.
  • Wellness benefit ePassi covering sport, culture and well-being. Read more about other staff benefits here.
  • Our Buddy Programme and Spouse Network support you and close-ones in settling into Oulu.
  • Development and career options of the big organization.
  • 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. 
  • 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.

Who are you?

We expect from you:

  • A Master’s degree (for the doctoral position) or a doctoral degree (for the postdoctoral position) in a relevant discipline, including but not limited to human geography, international studies, and indigenous studies, obtained before the beginning of employment and within the past ten years.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and/or experience of carrying out ethnographic research.
  • Knowledge of Sámi culture and livelihood.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
  • Interest in seeking external funding to support research.
  • Spoken and written fluency in English.
  • For the doctoral researcher position, see also the requirements of the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS).

We also appreciate:

  • Experience of carrying out research in studies related to Sámi and Sápmi, preferably using in-depth interview.
  • Language proficiency in a Sámi language and/or Swedish.
  • Understanding theories, concepts, and methodologies in decolonial and indigenous geographies and in border studies.
  • Research interest in issues concerning militarism and militarisation in Indigenous contexts.
  • Familiarity with research ethics and data management concerning research in Indigenous contexts.


The full-time position is fixed-term for 3 years (for the doctoral position) or 2 years (for the postdoctoral position and will start from April 2024, or as agreed. The salary will be based on the levels 2-4 (for the doctoral position) and the levels 5-6 (for the postdoctoral position) 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 approximately 2300-2600 € (for the doctoral position) or 3600-4200 € (for the postdoctoral position) per month (before taxes).  

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

How to apply?

Interested? If yes, please apply by 16.02.2024 (23:59 Finnish local time) through our recruitment system.

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

  1. Motivation letter (max. 3 pages), indicating which position you would like to be considered for. The letter should summarise your experience, expertise, and skills relevant to the position. It should describe why you are fit for and interested in the position. Your own ideas pertinent to the project as well as information on career plans can also be included in the letter.
  2. CV (max. 4 pages), following the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity 
  3. List of publications, following the guidelines of the Academy of Finland 
  4. Certificates/Diplomas
  5. Contact information of 2 persons available for recommendation (title, name, contact details, and a sentence or two describing the context of your professional relationship).

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, different genders and members of different language, cultural or minority groups. 

Contact Information

If you have any further questions, please contact Dr Hidefumi Nishiyama, Geography Research Unit, hidefumi.nishiyama@oulu.fi. 



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 2024/2
Published 10.Jan.2024
Last application date 16.Feb.2024

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