Faculty of Humanities, History, Culture and Communication Studies

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 Postdoctoral Researcher

to join us in the project “Rethinking Co-existence from the Margins (Co-Imagine)” at the University of Oulu’s Faculty of Humanities, for about 2,5-year fixed-term position starting from 01.08.2024 or as soon as possible after that .

The Co-Imagine project, funded by the Research Council of Finland (2023-2027), is based within the Research Unit of History, Culture and Communications, and more precisely in Cultural anthropology, which combines cutting-edge expertise of human-environment interactions, transdisciplinary environmental social sciences, cultural and environmental anthropology, political ecology and conservation.

Co-Imagine engages with a fundamental question at the heart of social sciences: How do people live together? Between growing diversity and rising inequalities, this simple question has turned into a challenge for many European societies. Aiming to move beyond debates about integration and the alleged incompatibility between cultures, Co-Imagine looks into coexistence in Finland and France. In each country, it zooms in on people’s everyday relationships unfolding in a cosmopolitan metropolis, a provincial town, and a rural area. Focusing the convergences between migration and locality, the project moves away from seeing them as distinct. Instead, it seeks to understand how the places people inhabit together, the bonds they form with others (or the lack thereof), and the ways they envision and make sense of their own lives illuminate how the social fabric is being maintained and transformed. Doing so, the project promotes constructive debates on coexistence with the objective to contribute to the advent of more inclusive and sustainable societies.

About the job

As a postdoctoral researcher in the Co-Imagine project, you will play an active, pivotal role in the implementation and the development of the project. You will work in close dialogue with Dr Bruno Lefort, the principal investigator (PI) of the project. You will benefit from the international network of researchers activated by the project, and you will have a unique opportunity to engage with key components of the project. More specifically:

- You will be responsible for planning and conducting ethnographic fieldwork in two locations in Finland: a cosmopolitan neighborhood and a provincial town (site selection to be discussed with the PI).

- Your ethnographic fieldwork will include (1) participant observations to document how people live together (in manifest as well as elusive ways) and the polyphony of temporalities in everyday activities; (2) collaborative interviewing (drifting/walk-along interviews and narrative mapping) to probe into people’s experiences of place and their life trajectories.

- You will also contribute to the elaboration of the theoretical and conceptual reflections that Co-Imagine intends to advance, in dialogue with the PI of the project.

- You will be part of multidisciplinary, cohesive research project with a clearly defined direction and a network of international collaborators.

What we offer?

  • The support of an experienced and enthusiastic researcher in an ambitious project where you can share your expertise and grow your research profile.
  • Development and career options of the big organization.
  • Wellness benefit 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, excellent education system, and competitive economy. Read more about living in Oulu.

Who are you?

In order to succeed and enjoy the position, we expect from you: 

- Doctoral degree in social sciences/humanities, in fields relevant to the Co-Imagine project, such as Social and Cultural anthropology, Ethnology, Migration and diaspora studies, Human geography, Urban studies, Racial and ethnic studies, or equivalent.

NB: The degree must be obtained no more than 5 years ago. Applicants who are currently finalizing their doctoral degree and will have defended their dissertation by the starting time of employment can be considered.

- Ability to engage in independent, meticulous scientific work.

- Robust experience in conducting ethnographic fieldwork and ethnographic data collection methods, including, among others, participant observations, qualitative interviewing, and/or other collaborative methods.

- Ability to work fluently in written and spoken English.

We also strongly appreciate:

- Experience/knowledge of research fields related to the project, such as coexistence, migration, community relations, inclusion and diversity. This can be demonstrated by, for example, the topic of your doctoral dissertation or your publication record.

- Language skills relevant for conducting the ethnographic fieldwork, including Finnish language as well as in at least one minority language such as, among others, Russian, Arabic, Kurdish, Somali, Dari, Spanish, etc.

- Prior experience in conducting ethnographic research in potential locations relevant for the project.

- Ability and willingness to contribute to teaching within the discipline of Cultural anthropology and the Research Unit of History, Culture and Communications, as demonstrated for example in your teaching experience (to be included in your CV).

- Good communication skills and ability to work in a collaborative, multidisciplinary research environment.


The position is fixed term for about 2,5 years as of 01.08.2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The salary will be based on level 5 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. 3600-3700 € per month (before taxes).  

A trial period of 6 months is applied in the position. The doctoral degree must be completed prior to beginning the employment.

How to apply?

Interested? If yes, please apply by 05.04.2024 (23:59 Finnish local time) through our recruitment system.

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

(1) CV, following the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity. See: Template for researcher's curriculum vitae

(2) Cover letter (max. 2 pages), including a description of your interest for the position, an overview of your merits and in particular of your experience in ethnographic fieldwork and, as well as a brief outline of how you envision your fieldwork on the theme of coexistence.

(3) List of publications, following the guidelines of the Research Council of Finland. See: List of publications - Research Council of Finland

(4) Certificates/Diplomas.

(5) Contact information of 2 persons available for recommendation.

(6) The full text of one of your publications (of your choice, e.g., journal article, book chapter, or chapter of your dissertation), accompanied with a brief explanation why you chose this particular text.

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. Bruno Lefort (bruno.lefort@oulu.fi), PI of the Co-Imagine project. Please do not send any documents or attachments by email.

Type of employment Temporary position (shorter than 10 days)
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 01.08.2024
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Oulu
County Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Country Finland
Reference number 2024/97
Published 08.Mar.2024
Last application date 05.Apr.2024

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