The University of Helsinki and Aalto University open four (4) positions for postdoctoral researchers as part of a joint multidisciplinary collaboration initiative coordinated by the Institute of Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Helsinki. Applications are invited to both universities and the applications will be evaluated by a joint selection committee. The individual contracts with the University of Helsinki or Aalto University will be made according to the research plan and interests of the applicants and based on the academic affiliation of the main supervising professor.

The University of Helsinki, founded in 1640, is one of the best multidisciplinary research universities in the world. The University of Helsinki is an international academic community of 40,000 students and staff members. It operates on four campuses in Helsinki and at 15 other locations.

Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. Aalto University has six schools with nearly 20,000 students and 4,700 employees, 390 of which are professors. Our campuses are located in Espoo and Helsinki, Finland.

Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies is seeking four talented and highly motivated postdoctoral researchers in urban studies. The goal of the Institute is to enhance understanding of the global urban challenges also facing the Nordic Welfare States. The postdoctoral researchers will benefit from a novel research environment that emphasizes scientific rigor, collaboration with cities, and the pursuit of excellence in science and teaching. The close co-operation between the University of Helsinki, Aalto University and the cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa will provide a unique working environment in the heart of a changing and developing capital region. The cities of Helsinki Capital Region are funding the research positions and the appointees will be working in close interaction with the cities.

Applications are invited for


for a 2–3 year fixed-term period preferably starting from the 1st of April, 2018 onwards (or as agreed).

The expertise and research of the candidates should focus on one of these areas:


The postdoctoral researcher is expected to focus in his/her research on the challenge of emerging and growing inequalities in urban regions. The research can cover topics such as generational poverty, social mobility, mechanisms that generate or regenerate segregation or disadvantages, countermeasures against these processes or other related topics.

The postdoctoral researcher in Urban Economics/Economic Geography is expected to focus in his/her research on the competiveness of cities and city-regions with special focus on the Helsinki Capital Region. The research can cover topics such as the role of the Helsinki Capital Region in international networks, role of international experts in the growth of businesses, urban ecosystems of business and trade, platform economy in cities, spatial and mental preconditions for creating new value or other related topics.

The postdoctoral researcher is expected to focus in his/her research on the opportunities and challenges of digitalization on urban development and urban life. The research can cover topics such as the future of working life and urban housing, production and use of digital services, education and skills, 24/7 city development, meaningful life in the era of digitalization or other related topics.

The postdoctoral researcher is expected to focus in his/her research on how cities in the Helsinki Capital region can achieve their goals of carbon neutrality. The research can cover topics such as renewable energy and energy-saving solutions, urban green spaces and their ecosystem services in promoting carbon neutrality, analysis of the best international practices in the processes towards a carbon-neutral city or other related topics.

The postdoctoral researchers to be appointed will have proven expertise in one of the research areas presented above. The main duties will include research in the respective fields. The posts will require scholarly publishing, teaching in the Master’s Programme in Urban Studies & Planning ( and interaction with the funding city organizations. The appointee is also expected to take a role in planning for new research projects to be conducted at the University of Helsinki or Aalto University.

An appointee to the position of postdoctoral researcher must hold a doctoral degree in a relevant field, have the ability to conduct independent scientific research and possess the teaching skills required for the position. The candidate should have a proven capability to publish in scientific journals and have excellent analytical and methodological skills. In addition, the candidate is expected to have good communication skills and ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a multidisciplinary working community, and in close collaboration with the cities.

The postdoctoral researchers will play a key role in developing the educational offerings of the Urban Studies & Planning programme. Furthermore, they will:
- Contribute to programme delivery and continuous course and programme improvement
- Develop or identify urban studies-related content and materials for courses
- Develop, implement, and support extracurricular activities, including symposia and seminars

The candidates’ doctoral degree must have been granted by the awarding institution prior to the date for the job interviews. Furthermore, the doctoral degree is expected to have been granted no more than five years prior to application (2013 or later). The five-year limit may be exceeded only for particularly compelling reasons (for instance parental leave or military service).

The salary will be based on the job requirement scheme for teaching and research staff in the salary system of Finnish universities.

Please submit your application as a single pdf file, which includes the following documents in English:
• Curriculum vitae including teaching merits (max 3 pages)
• List of publications (max 2 pages)
• Research Plan or Letter of Research Interests (max 3 pages) in which the applicant outlines how his/her expertise would contribute to one of the specific research areas
• Summary (max 2 pages) on the applicant’s scholarly activities including original research at an international level, international academic networks, local co-operation, success in obtaining research funding
• Names and contact details of 1 or 2 referees

If you are applying for more than one position, please indicate clearly which positions you are applying for. In your Research Plan or Letter of Research Interest please explain how your academic competences and field of specialization contributes to the achievement of the aims stated in the work description.

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 applications is 5 March 2018.

Further information on the positions may be obtained from:

Professor Jari Niemelä, University of Helsinki (jari.niemela(at), +358-407408539)
Professor Mari Vaattovaara, University of Helsinki (mari.vaattovaara(at), +358-504154861)
Professor Anssi Joutsiniemi, Aalto University (anssi.joutsiniemi(at), +358-405896223)
Professor Kauko Viitanen, Aalto University (kauko.viitanen(at), +358 50 5603 873)

Hae viimeistään 05.03.2018

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