Interdisciplinary Doctoral School of Social Services

Here you can find the list of potential supervisors in Interdisciplinary Doctoral School of Social Services (DocSoc360°). If you're interested in applying for a position in the thematic field of the pilot, you should contact a possible supervisor from this list as soon as possible.

This research area explores children and young people in vulnerable positions in their critical transitional phases and especially, how ‘future orientation’ and ‘planning’ might improve resilience among young people who have had severe adverse experiences in their lives. Moreover, professionals in interprofessional settings, such as day care, schools will be explored as well. The goal is to analyse, how professional practices reflecting the recent tumultuous times may enhance capabilities and strengthen hope for future and social services.

We are looking for 6 doctoral researchers for 3-year doctoral positions to work with several survey and interview data related to the topics described above.

Suitable candidates have a background in educational science, social work or sociology.

Helena Kaarina Blomberg - Interdisciplinary Doctoral School of Social Services

  • I conduct together with my team multidisciplinary research on the mechanisms behind various forms of inequality, especially concerning poverty among children and youth as well as research among professionals regularly encountering child and youth poverty.

Timo Harrikari - Young people's hope and resilience

  • I will act as the DocSoc-consortium PI at the UH. The consortium advances research related to promoting young people's hope in social services and in a broader communal and societal framework.

Ilse Julkunen - Social work - Youth

  • Youth and youth transitions, youth and vulnerability

Maija Jäppinen - Child and Family Social Work Building Hope for Future

  • The research focuses on interaction between social workers and service users in child and family social work, issues adressed in the service encounters, and the ways to enhance hope for future in these encounters.

Mirjam Kalland - Diversity, multilingualism, minority issues and social justice in relation to pedagogy and teacher education

  • Early childhood social-emotional development, linking to language development and family background. Interventions promoting social-emotional and language development. Supporting children from different backgrounds in hopefulness and in pursuing education.

Meri Kulmala - Welfare/inequality

  • My research focuses are different inequalities in welfare, different marginalized groups in the context of welfare services, and welfare regimes. My research approach is qualitative, with a particular interest to participatory research practice.
  • European Social Survey (ESS), which is a fully comparable questionnaire include young people’s perceptions of COVID 19, climate change and optimism about the future.
  • The School Health Promotion Study. The SHP study is carried out nationwide every second year (2017, 2019, 2021, 2023, 2025). We will use the following data: 4th, 5th, 8th, and 9th graders from comprehensive school (9–11 and 15 –17 years old students). In 2021 the study reached 87% of the age group in 4th ah 5th grades (N=, 109.138) and 77% in the 8th and 9th grades (94.389). According to the Finnish School Health Questionnaire loneliness has increased especially among girls (ref) but we lack research of how the pandemic has affected children from different backgrounds. Moreover, specific surveys have been collected from schools and are ongoing.
  • A three-year follow-up study (2018–2020) of 29 young adults. The study carried out both before and during the COVID-19 period, examining extensively the experiences of young adults related to services, studies and working life, as well as their future plans and wishes. A second follow-up study following these young adults will be conducted in 2025.
  • PANDA -surveys for social work, social welfare and social care professionals. The survey on the pandemics, climate change and work wellbeing is available. The samples were collected yearly (2020–23) and each of them contain answers of 400 professionals. Around 30 % of the professionals work in child protection services or social work with families.
  • TAITAVA/SKILLFUL project on communication skills in child and family social work. The project provides an extensive dataset of recorded real-life service encounters in child and family social work in Uusimaa region to secondary use focusing e.g. on the issues discussed and topics covered in the service encounters, and how the interaction and professional practices in these encounters support the hope for future of children, young people and families. 
  • TUBEDU project on youth mental health/wellbeing and peer support in the context of social media. The project includes different sets of qualitative data (individual and group interviews and workshop data) with no explicit focus on service system as such but different forms of support and different types of expertise (knowledge) that young people search to support their wellbeing come up in many places.