Doctoral Researcher in Biology of Physical Activity

University of Jyväskylä Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences

Doctoral Researcher, Biology of Physical Activity

The Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences is currently seeking to recruit a

DOCTORAL RESEARCHER, Biology of Physical Activity

We are seeking a PhD student who will focus on research in neuro-motor control of upright standing/balance. The position will begin on November 1st 2022, or as agreed, for a fixed term of 4 years.

This position is embedded into the Academy of Finland-funded BRAIN-BALANCE (Postural control in the aging brain: Effects of balance training) project headed by Dr. Simon Walker (Docent in Exercise Physiology). The position is housed within the NeuroMuscular Research Center of the Faculty of Sports and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

As part of the research team, you will investigate neural control of upright stance and regain of balance during stable and dynamic conditions in young and older adults. Your experiments will include use of cortical (TMS; transcranial magnetic stimulation) and peripheral stimulation along with cortical imaging (EEG; electroencephalography) methods, and their integration. These methods will track potential changes in a large cohort.


As a Doctoral Researcher you will:

  • Work as part of a team conducting research that advances our understanding of neuro-motor control of upright stance
  • Build experimental TMS-EEG designs, conduct experimental research (both independently and as part of a team) using EEG, navigated TMS and electromyography (EMG) together with our custom-designed sliding force-platform system to perturb standing balance
  • Perform TMS-EEG data analyses and interpretation
  • Publish peer-review articles and complete a thesis, examined by external experts in the field
  • Pursue doctoral studies at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland


Applicants for this Doctoral Researcher position should have completed a master’s degree in neuroscience-related field (engineering or physics background is beneficial) and to be able to demonstrate evidence of experience in experimental research (e.g. thesis). We require high proficiency in spoken and written English and value a good knowledge of coding, such as matlab or python. Priority will be given to applicants with experience in EEG, TMS, MEG and/or fMRI methodologies.

A Doctoral Researcher needs to have a doctoral study right, which can be applied from the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences after selection for the position. Find more information in the following webpage:

The duties, qualification requirements and language skills of a Doctoral Researchers are stipulated by the University of Jyväskylä Regulations and language skills guidelines.

What do we offer?

At the University of Jyväskylä, you are a recognized member of our community with a unique opportunity to influence international research. You get to participate in our international and multidisciplinary community where the welfare of each individual is important. At the University of Jyväskylä, we offer a great and lively campus area with opportunities to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

In this position you will have a great opportunity to become qualified as PhD having trained in an international, multi-disciplinary and supportive scientific environment. Your doctoral thesis will be supervised by Dr. Simon Walker along with secondary supervision by Dr. Jarmo Piirainen and Associate Professor Harri Piitulainen, with whom you will work closely.

Your annual salary will be approximately 28,000 EUR (gross income, including a holiday bonus). With progress of the thesis work, the salary will be revised in accordance with the Collective Agreement of Finnish Universities. A trial period of six months will be used at the beginning of the employment.

Finland has a high standard of living, with free schooling (also in English), affordable childcare, good family benefits, and healthcare. Jyväskylä is located in central Finland in the Finnish Lake District having excellent opportunities for different nature, outdoor, and sports activities. The City of Jyväskylä is a major educational center with a large student population and a vibrant cultural atmosphere. For more information regarding the University of Jyväskylä, the City of Jyväskylä, and living in Finland, see the University's International Staff Guide.

How to apply?

Please attach the following documents as PDF files in English to the online application form:

Kindly submit your application using the online application form by midnight of the 2nd of October 2022.

For further details, please contact Dr. Simon Walker,

At the University of Jyväskylä, everyone can find their place in the human-centered environment of 2,600 experts and 14,700 students. Our goal is to create wisdom and wellbeing for us all. It is essential that each member of the community thrives and has opportunities to develop and grow. We cherish openness of thinking as well as the balance between research and education. Our naturally beautiful campus is located at the heart of the city of Jyväskylä. JYU is the third largest employer in Central Finland.

Education and research in sport sciences in Finland are concentrated at the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences of the University of Jyväskylä. There are two main lines of study at the Faculty: Sport Sciences and Health Sciences. Links between physical activity and health as well as promotion of exercise and health are viewed from a multidisciplinary perspective with the improvement of health, functional ability, and wellbeing across the human lifespan as the key aim. An important national responsibility of the Faculty is teacher education in sport and health sciences. 

Research at the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences is a central part of the University’s denoted core research field of exercise, health and well-being.