Post-doctoral Researcher, Social Studies of Microbes

Helsinki, Finland
18 May 2022
End of advertisement period
31 May 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

The Faculty of Social Sciences and the Centre for the Social Study of Microbes (CSSM) invite applications for the position of

POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER in the social studies of microbes

 for a fixed term starting from September 1, 2022 onwards (or as agreed). The postdoctoral researcher will be employed for a defined term of 3 years full-time.

The successful applicant will join the newly founded Centre for the Social Study of Microbes at the University of Helsinki. The CSSM is a hub for social scientists and artists conducting research on human-microbial relations. Microbes are not only biological entities but also shape, and are shaped by, our social worlds. The Centre aims to explore how relationships with microbes raise profound challenges for social theory, which demand new social scientific language and methodologies for describing and explaining the complex and entwined relationships between human and nonhuman animals, microbes, and the environment. Not only is this work theoretically motivated, it is key to developing sustainable methods of planetary co-existence in the Anthropocene.

To facilitate the creation of innovative knowledge requires inclusive and egalitarian ways of knowing, the CSSM has a strong emphasis on collaboration. It is establishing an exploratory setting, in which new decentralised collaborative practices are developed. The Centre will host international research fellows and an art residency and organises social theory and methodology workshops, academic seminars, and a yearly PhD school.

 Please check the Centre’s website for more information.


An appointee to the position must hold a doctoral degree in fields such as sociology, anthropology, development studies, geography, political science, science and technology studies or equivalent and a track record in social study of microbes. The candidate should be capable of independent work as well as working in collaboration and be willing to develop the Centre’s intellectual and collaborative agenda. The duties of the postdoctoral researcher include teaching for the Faculty of Social Sciences (5% of the annual workload) and experience in teaching is desirable.

 The chosen applicant is expected to reside in Finland while employed by the University of Helsinki, and to participate actively in the intellectual life of the Centre and the wider scientific community across and beyond the Faculty of Social Sciences and the University of Helsinki. The working language will be English.

 We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher who has completed a doctoral degree no more than three years ago. The aim of the position is to encourage the appointee to further their skills and gain more experience to prepare them for an academic career.


 We are an equal opportunity employer and offer an attractive and diverse workplace in an inspiring environment with a variety of development opportunities and benefits. The annual gross salary range will be approx. € 41,500 – €50,000, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience. In addition, University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and opportunities for professional development. For international applicants we offer relocation services and support in settling-in, training and other events especially designed for our international staff members, a special UniBuddy-programme and specialised support for spouses (HEI LIFE Spouse Network). Read more about reasons to move to Finland and work at our university.

The employment contract will include a probationary period of six months.


Applicants are requested to enclose with their application the following documents in English. Please compile all documents as a single PDF file:

  1. curriculum vitae, including list of publications (max. 5 pages),
  2. research plan including a statement of research interests related to the social study of microbes (max. 3 pages)
  3. vision paper, in which the applicant outlines how they would contribute to the objectives and activities of the Centre (1 page),
  4. names and contact details of two referees and letters of recommendation.

Detailed information on the CV and list of publications as well as the presentation of teaching skills can be obtained here.

The deadline for applications is 31 May 2022.

If you need support with the recruitment system, please contact


Interviews with short-listed candidates will be held online on Wednesday, 08.06.2022, and Monday, 13.06.2022, via Zoom.

Further information about the position may be obtained from project coordinator Monique Horstmann:

The University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest institution of academic education in Finland, an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. In international university rankings, the University of Helsinki typically ranks among the top 100. The University of Helsinki seeks solutions for global challenges and creates new ways of thinking for the best of humanity.

The Faculty of Social Sciences is Finland’s leading research and education institution in the social sciences and also the most diverse in terms of its disciplines. In several research fields the Faculty belongs to the top 50 in the international rankings. The Faculty has a strong international profile both in research and teaching programmes. The number of academic staff stands at 500. Each year the faculty awards some 350 Bachelor’s degrees, 400 Master’s degrees, and more than 40 doctoral degrees. For more information on the Faculty of Social Sciences, please visit the Faculty’s website.

The University of Helsinki welcomes applications from all backgrounds.