Doctoral Positions in Software Engineering

University of Oulu Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Five Doctoral Student Positions in Software Engineering

The North changes the world – more sustainable, more intelligent, more humane. We, at the University of Oulu, work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. We are committed to educate future pioneers to build a more sustainable, intelligent and humane world. Creating new, taking responsibility and succeeding together are values that build a strong foundation for all our actions. We offer a working environment where individuals can cultivate their skills, do meaningful work, and develop professionally. Our university's several specialized research and service units enable extensive and diverse development and career opportunities for experts in various fields.

The M3S (Empirical Software Engineering in Software, Systems and Services) research unit ( in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE, at the University of Oulu, is now hiring highly motivated candidates for doctoral student positions. The candidates are expected to complete a doctoral degree in four years in the Doctoral Programme of Information Processing Science, at the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS).

The M3S research unit has a long tradition in industrial and international collaboration. There are hundreds of ICT companies in the Oulu Region, including numerous university spin-offs. Over 40% of the research unit’s personnel are outside of Finland. Members of the research unit have published their research in leading software engineering journals and conferences, including IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, IEEE Software, Empirical Software Engineering, Information and Software Technology, Journal of Systems and Software, and the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE).

Eligibility and Requirements

Eligible candidates should have a Master’s degree or equivalent preferably in software engineering. Related fields such as information systems, computer science, data science, information technology and informatics with software engineering studies will also be considered. The major subject of the doctoral researcher is expected to be in software engineering. Examples of the relevant research fields include:

- Empirical software engineering

- AI and ML in software engineering

- Behavioral and human factors in software engineering

- Software and systems development methods, processes and tools

- Agile and Lean software development

- Requirements engineering

- Software and systems architectures

- Software and systems testing, quality, safety, security, privacy and trust

- Software evolution and maintenance

- Novel software-based solutions in AI, IoT, 6G and data analytics

- Automotive software engineering

- e-Health systems and services

- Enterprise systems

The applicant’s master’s degree must have been completed before the selection with at least good grades. Applicants are expected to be at the early stage of research. Selected candidates must meet all the requirements for doctoral study rights as defined in:

The candidate must establish a contact with a prospective supervisor associated with the M3S research unit prior to submitting an application. The supervisor, who is a professor or a docent-level researcher, must be clearly identified in the application form (full name, title, position, research unit).

Unless explicitly stated otherwise, the contact with a supervisor or potential commitment letter does not bind the proposed supervisor to any commitment if the applicant is not selected for the doctoral student position.

Salary and key terms

The salary of the selected doctoral student will be initially set on level 2, and later on levels 2 – 4 of the national salary scale for the teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a supplementary remuneration is given for personal achievement and performance (max. 50 %). In practice, the salary is roughly 2500 € per month for an early stage researcher, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and progress of the doctoral thesis.

The four-year position can start at earliest on May 1st 2021. A six-month trial period is applied. The candidates may be expected to participate in relevant project work and teaching related to their research theme and doctoral studies.

How to apply

Please submit your application through the electronic application form at latest on March 31st, 2021. Please include the following attachments as five separate pdf files (please note that the online system has a maximum size limit for attachments):

  • CV (max 2 pages): Including a list of all peer-reviewed scientific publications (if any) and theses with full reference details. The CV should link to the master’s thesis (or an attached copy of the master’s thesis in pdf)
  • Motivation letter (max 1 page): Describing prior knowledge, research interests and career plan.
  • Certificates/Diplomas: Scanned electronic copies of diplomas and transcripts of the records of relevant previous degrees. If the original documents are not in Finnish, Swedish or English, each document must be accompanied by an official certified translation into Finnish or English.
  • Research plan: Please follow the structure given in the guidelines of the ICSE doctoral symposium ( The maximum length of the body of text must not exceed 2+1 pages. Exceeding the page limit will result in either disqualification or removal of the extra pages from the document.
  • Letter from the supervisor: In this document, the eligible supervisor (either a professor or a docent-level researcher who is employed by M3S research unit ) states his/her willingness to act as the supervisor for the applicant and her/his research theme.
  • Applications received after the deadline, incomplete applications, and/or applications with attachments that exceed the specified page limits, will not be considered.

Application and evaluation process

Applications will be evaluated by the faculty of the M3S research unit. Applicants will be informed of their selection by e-mail.

Further information

About eligibility and degree requirements, see the Graduate School website:

For more information, you can contact Professor Markku Oivo, the head of the M3S research unit (

Apply for the job