The University of Helsinki, founded in 1640, is one of the world’s leading universities for multidisciplinary research. The University of Helsinki has an international academic community of 40,000 students and staff members, and it 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 Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme is situated at the Viikki science park and belongs to the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences of University of Helsinki.

The Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme (OEB) invites applications for a


in the field of ornithology for a fixed term of three years for a postdoctoral researcher or four years for a PhD student. There will be a trial period of six months in the beginning.

The postdoc / PhD student positions are part of the LIFEPLAN project funded by an ERC Synergy grant to Prof. Otso Ovaskainen at the University of Helsinki, Prof. Tomas Roslin at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden, and Prof. David Dunson at Duke University, USA. The starting date is 1 April 2020, but a later or earlier starting date can be negotiated.

The overarching aim of LIFEPLAN is to characterize biological diversity through a worldwide sampling program, and develop the bioinformatic and statistical approaches needed to make the most out of these data. We will generate the most ambitious, globally distributed and systematically collected data set to date on a broad range of taxonomical groups. For more information please visit our website (

The main responsibility of the successful candidate is to develop a citizen science approach that will be used to generate global training data for identifying birds from their vocalizations. These data will be used to parameterize a global bird identification model, based on Ovaskainen et al. (2018). The ornithologist does not necessarily need to have experience in machine learning/statistics/programming, as the more technical part of the project can be conducted in collaboration with other LIFEPLAN researchers.

The candidate is expected to have a solid background in ornithology, and expertise in identifying birds from their vocalizations at least from one part of the world. Additionally, knowledge of global bird fauna as well as experience in working with citizen science projects and/or birding organizations is appreciated.

For more information, contact prof. Otso Ovaskainen (otso.ovaskainen(at)

For a postdoctoral researcher, the salary of the successful candidate will be based on level 5 - 6 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. 3300 - 3800 euros/month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.

The salary for the doctoral candidate position is based on levels 2–4 of the job requirement scheme 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 work performance. Depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience, the salary is ca EUR 2200–3050 per month (starting salary EUR 2200-2400).

Applications should include the following documents as a single pdf file: motivational letter (max 1 page), CV (max 2 pages) and publication list. Include also contact information of two persons who can provide a reference letter upon request.

Please submit your application using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the Apply for the position link. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to leave their application via the SAP HR portal. The deadline for submitting the application is 1 March 2020.

Ovaskainen, O., de Camargo, U. and Somervuo, P. 2018. Animal Sound Identifier (ASI): software for automated identification of vocal animals. Ecology Letters 21, 1244-1254.

Due date

01.03.2020 23:59 EET