The University of Helsinki, founded in 1640, is one of the world’s leading universities for multidisciplinary research. The University has an international academic community of 40,000 students and staff members. The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. The International Staff Services office assists employees from abroad with their transition to work and life in Finland.

The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, located on the Viikki Campus, promotes the sustainable use of natural resources and human wellbeing through scientific research and research-based teaching. The faculty is comprised of four departments and one independent institute. The Faculty has 3,200 undergraduate and postgraduate students and employs 500 experts in the field.

The Department of Forest Sciences of the University of Helsinki conducts research of a high international standard in forest sciences and provides academic teaching to some 360 students which are currently pursuing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. The Department employs a research and teaching staff of 140.

The Department of Forestry invites applications for

POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER in International Forest Policy

The position is full-time and will last for three years (with 4 months’ probation period). The planned starting date of the position is June 2017. The position forms part of the recently established Chair of International Forest Policy.

Many of today’s policy problems such as deforestation and the existing inequities in rights and benefits from natural resources are deeply rooted in historical processes and patterns of global trade and investment within and beyond the forestry sector. They are often nested in policy domains that are multi-actor, multi-interest, and multi-level. Domestic and international agreements, policies and decisions affect forests and people all over the world, and vice versa. Hence, domestic decisions over forests, to be effective, efficient and equitable, cannot take place in isolation and often require a broad understanding of global and regional policy processes, e.g., at the European Union level.

In this context, the chair of International Forest Policy aims to contribute to a world in which forests and forest stewards are high on national and international policy agendas. We believe that research can make a difference through the provision of sound evidence of what is and what can be without prescribing what should be. This is reflected in our overall research agenda:
• Understanding new modes of forest governance and emerging actor coalitions across multiple levels of governance, including private sector activities and commitments (and the role of the State within these).
• Evaluating effectiveness, efficiency and equity outcomes of forest policy instruments (public, private and hybrid instruments).
• Understanding processes of transformational change and the role of actors’ discourses and power relations within the wider institutional environment, and implications for the forestry sector (international and national, EU and Pan-EU).

We are looking for a highly motivated and skilled postdoctoral researchers with a PhD in the social sciences, preferably in political sciences, environmental governance or other related fields. The postdoctoral researcher is expected to contribute to research, education and societal engagement on international forest policy issues, with a particular focus on forest policy issues in the context of EU decision making. A successful candidate should be able to:
• Identify, design and conduct research on relevant policy processes, networks and coalitions influencing decision making over forests in the context of the EU multi-level governance.
• Contribute to the teaching of International Forest Policy as well as research methods and ethics.
• Contribute to proposal writing.
• Engage with research partners, decision makers and the wider public at all levels, internationally and domestically through scientific publications as well as for example through social media (blogs, etc.).


Education, experience and technical skills
• Knowledge and experience in forest policy, political economy, and/or environmental and multi-level governance.
• Knowledge of the European forestry and land use sector and related policy domains is of advantage.
• Fluency in English and have excellent writing skills, French language abilities are an additional asset.

Personal attributes and competencies
• Excellent analytical skills.
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, experienced in working within multicultural and multidisciplinary research teams.
• Have initiative and capable of working independently as well as in team environments.
• Values continuous improvement based on constructive evaluation, self-reflection and learning.

The salary of the successful candidate will be based on level 5 of the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal performance. The starting salary will be ca. 3100- 3500 euros/month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.

Applications should include (1) CV with a list of publications, (2) contact details for three references, (3) a brief potential research plan how to analyze decision making over forests and influence structures in the context of the EU and potential implications for member states such as Finland (max one page), and (4) a copy of your PhD.

Please submit your application using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the Apply link ( Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to leave their application via the SAP HR portal. The deadline for the application is May 31, 2017.

Additional information can be obtained from Prof. Maria Brockhaus (maria.brockhaus(at)

Apply at latest 31.05.2017

Due date

Wednesday, May 31, 2017