Postdoctoral Researcher in Geography

University of Oulu Faculty of Science

Postdoctoral Researcher/ Senior Research Fellow in Geography - Regional Policy and Regional Development

Research Environment

The University of Oulu is an international science university which creates innovation for the future, well-being, and knowledge through research and education. Founded in 1958, our community is 15 000 students and 3000 employees strong, and one of the biggest and the most multidisciplinary universities in Finland.

The strengths of the University are wide multidisciplinary research and modern research and study environment as well as good cooperation with international educational and research institutes. More information

The Faculty of Science of the University of Oulu announces Postdoctoral Researcher/ Senior Research Fellow position. The position is located at the Geography Research Unit. Currently the Geography Research Unit has five key focus areas in education: Regional Development and Regional Policy, Geoinformatics, Physical Geography, Regional and Political Geography, and Tourism Geographies ( The Unit has six professorships, five post-doctoral positions and four doctoral student positions based on the Geography Research Unit funding. Further, several PhD students and post docs with external research money work at the Geography Research Unit. Totally, the Geography Research Unit has approximately 35 faculty members and 150 BSc, 200 MSc and 25 PhD students.

The Geography Research Unit offers a progressive, stimulating, and international working environment. According to Oulu University’s Research Assessment Exercise and international rankings (e.g., QS-ranking), the Geography Research Unit has been consistently one of the strongest units at Oulu University. Researchers working at the Unit have contributed substantially to international research and debates in several sub-fields of Geography. This high quality is demonstrated by the fact that the Unit held the first Center of Excellence (2014-2019) in geography nominated by the Academy of Finland.

Job description and requirements

The Geography Research Unit at the University of Oulu, Finland, is offering a five-year position for a Postdoctoral Researcher /Senior Research Fellow (including a trial period of up to 6 months). The position is based on the University of Oulu’s four-stage research career model.

We are looking for a highly motivated research-oriented person who is interested in social scientific research on regional change, regional politics and regional development. The processes of regional transformation touch upon multiple social and cultural processes that are closely related to transformations in political economy, the state, transnationalism, and political decision-making. Hence, the regional transformation can be studied from a variety of angles of human geography and by utilizing diverse qualitative and quantitative methods. The research profile of the candidate should complement the focus of the Regional Policy and Regional Development Research Group (REGPOL) at the Department of Geography. The REGPOL research group focuses on the transformation of regional policies and regional development in different contexts (Finland, EU, Nordic and Arctic). The current research themes include the transformation of regional political ideas and concepts, regional differentiation, regional resilience, rural urban transitions, interregional cooperation, regional push/pull factors, and the political economy of mobility.


The Postdoctoral Research or Senior Research Fellow will be responsible for developing high-quality scientific research that supports and focuses on the research activities in the Unit, specializing in Regional Development and Regional Policy. S/he is expected to take care of the teaching responsibilities, to supervise bachelor’s and master’s theses and perform the administrative duties that are included in the annual 1,624 working hours. S/he is expected to be competitive in attracting external research funding, to publish in leading scientific journals, to supervise doctoral students, to be an active member of the international scientific community, and to exhibit academic leadership.


PhD in Geography (or a related discipline) is required. The candidate must be proficient in Finnish and have excellent spoken and written skills in English.

Grounds of assessment

Special emphasis will be given to research expertise in human geography, political geography and regional planning, demonstrated by an international publication record. Pedagogical expertise, including teaching experience, pedagogical training and the skill to create teaching material, is considered as an additional merit. It is considered an advantage to the candidates to have work experience from international research environments. The ability to establish and maintain research collaboration and evidence of securing external research funding are appreciated. Moreover, the applicant's motivation in developing and leading academic activities is considered important, including knowledge about matters of diversity and equal treatment.


The salary of a Postdoctoral Researcher will be based on levels 5 – 6, and that of Senior Research Fellow on levels 6 – 7 (the requirement level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities). In addition to the basic salary, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal work performance with a maximum of 50 % of the basic salary. The full salary is approximately 3,500 – 4,500 euros per month for a Postdoctoral Researcher, and 4,000 – 5,200 euros per month for a Senior Research Fellow.

Reviewer Assessment

A recruitment committee will take care of the evaluation process. Top candidates will be interviewed by the recruitment committee.

The selection criteria for each career level are detailed as follows:

Postdoctoral Researcher (Tutkijatohtori):

The position of a Postdoctoral Researcher is initially a fixed-term position for five years. The position is available for applicants who have finished their doctoral dissertation less than ten years ago and are advancing towards a professional research career. The selection criteria for a postdoctoral researcher are the following:

  • Research potential and merit applicable to the position to date (publications, especially refereed publications; participating in acquiring external funding; connections with the international community in the field)
  • Demonstrable development of skills is the prerequisite for a continuation period

Senior Research Fellow (Yliopistotutkija):

The position of a Senior Research Fellow is initially a fixed-term position for five years with potential for extension/permanent position after an evaluation. The selection criteria for a Senior Researcher are the following:

  • Publications on an international level: quality of the publication forums
  • Active role in supervision and research training
  • International research work and research visits abroad
  • Acquisition of external funding
  • Demonstrated active role in the international scientific community


The application should be written in English. The following appendixes and information should be attached:

1) An application/ motivation letter with contact information, stating the career level on which you would like to be evaluated at

2) A curriculum vitae, compiled in accordance with the instructions of the Finnish Board on Research Integrity (

3) List of publications classified according to the guidelines of the Academy of Finland (

Applicants should highlight 5 publications of their choice in the list of publications. When requested, the publications should be submitted as PDF files.

4) Teaching merits of relevance to the post concerned are requested to be presented in the form of a teaching portfolio, or a comparable document. A teaching portfolio should include the following sections: I Teaching philosophy and characterization of yourself as a teacher; II teaching experience (including supervision, course material and course development); III. pedagogical studies and maintenance of teaching skills; IV educational leadership and curriculum development; V Feedback received on your teaching

5) A research and teaching action plan (max. four pages) with a special emphasis on how the plan benefits the research in the field. A plan for acquiring external funding.

Applications should be addressed to the Faculty of Science, and submitted, together with the required enclosures, using the electronic application form.

The deadline for applications is 31.5.2020.

The position will be filled in January 2021, or upon agreement with the appointee. A trial period of 6 months is applied in the position. The applications will not be returned.

Contact information

Professor Eeva-Kaisa Prokkola, tel. +358 50 556 8241, email.

Professor Jarkko Saarinen, Head of the Geography Research Unit, email.

Geography Research Unit

Faculty of Science