Postdoc­toral Re­searcher, Urban Geo­graphy

Helsinki, Finland
10 Aug 2019
End of advertisement period
08 Sep 2019
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Geography
Contract Type
Fixed Term, Maternity Cover
Full Time

The University of Helsinki has opened a position for a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Urban and Regional Studies. 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.

Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies ( is seeking a talented and highly motivated postdoctoral researcher in Urban Geography to participate the research activities of the research group in Urban Dynamics and Segregation. The goal of the Institute is to enhance the understanding of the global urban challenge facing the Nordic Welfare States. The postdoctoral researcher will benefit from a novel research environment that emphasises 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 the Helsinki Capital Region are funding the research position, and the appointee will be working in close interaction with the cities.

The postdoctoral researcher is expected to focus in his/her research on urban geography and social phenomena with a special focus on the Helsinki Capital Region. Urban geography studies urban physical and social geographical processes with a focus in complex socio-spatial processes. The research can thus cover topics such as population structure and trends, segregation, education, migration, and the effects of the characteristics of urban areas and neighbourhoods on individuals.

The postdoctoral researcher will be offered a contract for a two to three year fixed-term period starting from the 1st of October 2019 onwards (or as agreed).

The postdoctoral researcher to be appointed will have proven expertise in urban geography. The main duties will include research in the respective field. The post will require scholarly publishing, teaching in the Master’s Programme in Urban Studies & Planning ( and interaction with the funding city organisations.

The appointee is also expected to take a role in planning for new research projects to be conducted at the University of Helsinki.

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 the 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 the ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a multidisciplinary working community and in close collaboration with the cities.

The postdoctoral researcher will play a key role in developing the educational offerings of the Urban Studies & Planning program.

Furthermore, he/she 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 (2014 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 the research area
  • Summary (max. 2 pages) of 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 one or two referees

Please submit your application as a single pdf file using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the Apply link. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to submit their application via the SAP HR portal. The deadline for applications is 8th of September 2019.

Further information on the positions may be obtained from:

Assistant professor Venla Bernelius, University of Helsinki (venla.bernelius(at), +358-415307369)
Professor Mari Vaattovaara, University of Helsinki (mari.vaattovaara(at), +358-504154861)

Due date

08.09.2019 23:59 EEST