Professor of Special Education

University of Oulu Faculty of Education

Professor of Special Education

The University of Oulu is a world-renowned research-led university. One of the largest and most multidisciplinary universities in Finland, we are a future-orientated science community working in close collaboration with research institutes, as well as the corporate and public sectors. Together our globally significant research hub relentlessly pushes the boundaries of knowledge for a more sustainable and intelligent future.  

Keen to be part of our innovative and lively community aimed at creating, developing and designing programmes and research here in Oulu? 

We are now looking for a Professor of Special Education in the Faculty of Education. The position will be filled from 1 August 2021 or as soon as possible.

As a Faculty of Education, we offer a nationally and internationally respected education and research environment, which embraces societal impact. We develop teacher training, multidisciplinary and international master’s programmes, as well as continuous learning. Our research community members are supported by highly skilled administrators, excellent library facilities and research services as well as a teaching lab.

Professor is responsible for developing research and teaching in this area in the faculty and at the University of Oulu. Together with the other professors in the faculty, the professor is expected to participate in the design and development of new creative research and learning environments and the infrastructures at the University of Oulu (

The successful candidate is required to have a doctoral degree in a relevant field and a strong track record of conducting outstanding international scientific research in the area of the open position, publishing in leading international journals, attracting external funding, and to have an ability to conduct and lead independent high-profile research in the area of the open position. Candidate is expected to take responsibility for developing and coordinating special teacher education and administrative tasks at the research group, unit and faculty level.

When assessing the applicants’ merits, issues taken into consideration include scientific publications and other research results with scientific value, leadership and teaching experience, pedagogical training, skills to produce learning materials, other merits achieved in the teaching profession, a demonstration lecture and doctoral theses supervised by the applicant. We expect the successful candidate to have experience of leading research work and planning and implementation of research projects, as well as proof of efficient acquisition of research funding. In addition to this, the following issues will also be taken into account: experiences and related research interests in the areas of various teacher education contexts, educational and learning needs as well environments in digital era and quantitative methodological approaches.

What we offer

Oulu is a combination of beautiful, northern nature, vivid cultural life and modern technology. The city is also known for its highly educated people and friendly, easy-going atmosphere. Oulu enjoys the high standard of living Finland is known for, while living is very affordable compared to many of its other university cities. The Oulu region is home to over 200,000 people making it the largest urban centre in northern Nordics and one of the fastest growing regions in Finland.  

Check all the possibilities we can offer:

Finland enjoys a superior and free education system with well qualified teachers (also in English), advanced social equality, good public health care, readily available quality housing, affordable childcare, excellent public transport, safe cycling, a lively cultural life – altogether a most pleasant environment in which to live and work. Most Finnish people speak good English. Nonetheless, our language proficiency requirements for university teaching and research positions necessitates a reasonable proficiency in the language of instruction, which is mainly Finnish. Some teaching is in English. The successful applicant who is not proficient in Finnish is expected to acquire moderate proficiency within two years, as this is highly desirable for the candidate’s duties as well as for integration into the workplace and Finnish society. Free language courses are available at the university.

  • We offer support for international candidates in terms of integration, such as permits, housing, schooling, healthcare and other local services in Oulu.
  • In addition to modern research facilities (e.g., LEAF research infrastructure:, we provide benefits such as affordable sport services and salary payments for 12 months/year.
  • A salary in accordance with the Finnish universities salary system (for teaching and research personnel): level 8 - 10. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50% of the job-specific component). Starting salary approx. 5600 € - 7000 € per month (before taxes). For more information on the salary system at Finnish universities, please see
  • Holidays and free occupational health care services.
  • Benefits provided by the Finnish government to residents, for example, access to the national healthcare system, tax breaks for employees with children and high-quality affordable childcare services.
  • We will contribute to the potential migration costs in accordance with the guidelines of the University of Oulu


Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by 21st of February, 2021 (23:59 Finnish local time).

The application should be written in English and the following information needs to be included:

1) A letter of motivation with contact information

2) Curriculum vitae following the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity: 

3) A complete list of publications, ten most important ones marked. The complete list of publications is compiled in accordance with the guidelines of the Academy of Finland (

4) Brief account of research merits (max 1 page) 

5) Brief account of teaching merits or a teaching portfolio (max 2 pages)

6) Details regarding acquisition of research funds (max 2 pages) 

7) A brief research and action plan (max 3 pages) 

8) Contact details of 2–4 referees. 

9) Copies of degree certificate.

Reviewer Assessment

The Dean at the Faculty of Education will send an invitation to three (3) external reviewers approved by the university’s research committee to be consulted regarding the appointment process. When selecting the reviewers, the respective specializations of the applicants in the field are taken into consideration, and general fairness is observed in other respects as well.

The applicants are informed about the selection of the reviewers.

Based on an assessment of the applicants’ merits, the recruitment committee can at its discretion limit the number of applicants to be subjected to evaluation by the external reviewers.

Demonstration Lecture and Interview

The recruitment committee will interview the applicants that they consider best and makes arrangements for any demonstration lectures that may be deemed necessary.

Official Employment

Dean will make proposition on the basis of the proposition of the recruitment committee and submit it, justifications and attachments included, to the vice rector of the university, who will make the decision on the employment of the successful applicant. A six-month trial-period is applied to this position.

Further information and enquiries 

Dean, professor Kati Mäkitalo, +358 50 501 9802, kati.makitalo(at)

Professor in special education Marjatta Takala, +358 50 4671194, marjatta.takala(at)

HR manager Emilia Vuoti, +358 50 375 8055, emilia.vuoti(at)


According to the policy approved by the University of Oulu, the teaching skills referred to in the Appointments Decree (Decree on the Appointment of Professors at Universities 1581/91; Amendment 462/98) are assessed according to the outline below:

1. Teaching philosophy and characterisation of yourself as a teacher - thinking underlying your teaching, the personal background idea of your teaching: how is this to be seen in your work as a teacher? Description of yourself as a teacher and worker in the teaching profession
2. Practical experience gained in the teaching profession, how you develop your teaching
3. Production and use of learning materials
4. Maintenance of your teaching skills
5. Feedback received on your teaching (student and peer assessments, awards and approved teaching demonstrations)
6. Vision of the development of your work as a teacher
- provide a brief plan for the development of your teaching and work as a teacher in the near future, e.g. in relation to the department’s curriculum