Postdoctoral Researcher in the Social Scientific Food System and Agroecology Research

Helsinki, Finland
29 Mar 2023
End of advertisement period
14 Apr 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Postdoctoral Researcher in the Social Scientific Food System and Agroecology Research

We are looking for a highly motivated and skilled researcher with a PhD degree (or a final stage Doctoral Researcher). An ideal candidate has experience in social sciences, qualitative research methods, agriculture, and EU’s policies (CAP, Green Deal/Farm to Fork). Candidates with other combinations of social science expertise are encouraged to apply.

The postdoctoral researcher will be appointed for a fixed-term 3,5-year contract to work in a Horizon Europe funded project entitled Evidence-based support for transition to agroecological weed management in diverse farming systems and European regions (CONSERWA) starting from the 1st of May 2023. The project aims to develop, test, and support implementation of effective, affordable, and reliable methods, tools, and technologies to improve agroecological and integrated weed management practices in the EU.

The postdoctoral researcher will advance social scientific agroecology research by studying the perceptions of farmers, the food industry, and the consumers, co-creating a framework for weed management-enhancing measures with these stakeholders and participate in designing policy measures. The appointed researcher will work in collaboration with the other members of the multidisciplinary research consortium.


  • Identify, design, conduct, and report qualitative social science research from the stakeholders’ perspective.
  • Take responsibility organising and delivering a social science research task in the consortium.
  • Contribute to proposal writing to apply for further research funding.
  • Engage with the scientific community, research partners and the public.

Education and experience

  • A relevant social science or humanities doctoral degree including experience in stakeholder research, sustainability, EU policy frameworks or other related fields.
  • Experience in working with qualitative social science research data and methods.
  • Fluency in English and excellent writing skills. Fluency in Finnish is considered as an advantage.

Personal attributes and competencies

  • Interest in qualitative social sciences and enthusiasm to understand the stakeholders’ perceptions.
  • Excellent analytical and innovative research planning skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, experienced in working within multicultural and multidisciplinary teams.
  • High motivation for an academic research career, having initiative and capable of working independently and in team environments.
  • Flexible mindset and ability to work together and communicate with people from different disciplines.

The salary of the postdoctoral researcher will be based on level 5 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 of the postdoctoral researcher will be ca. 3200–3700 euros/month, depending on the appointee's qualifications and experience. A six-month trial period will be applied.

The workplace is primarily at the Ruralia Institute at the City of Mikkeli (a possibility for hybrid or remote work in Finland).

The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. The university ( assists employees from abroad with their transition to work and life in Finland.


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

  1. A cover letter explaining the applicant’s motivation for the research work and a short research plan (e.g., approach, research materials and methods, up to 3 pages).
  2. Curriculum vitae showing the applicant's education, completed qualifications, work experience, the list of publications and contact information of 2 people for references (up to 3 pages).
  3. Copies of Doctoral, Master's, and Bachelor's degree certificates and official transcripts of the records, and their translations, if the originals are not in Finnish, Swedish or English.
  4. A proof of proficiency in Finnish, Swedish or English, if the applicant is not a native speaker or educated in any of them.

External applicants, please submit your application using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the Apply Now (Hae nyt) button.

Applicants who have a username and a valid employment contract, a grant researcher's contract, a visiting researcher's or visiting professor's contract at the University of Helsinki are requested to leave their application by using the Employee login (Työntekijän kirjautuminen).

The closing date for applications is 14.4.2023 at 23:59 EEST.

The University of Helsinki welcomes applicants from a variety of gender identities, and linguistic and cultural backgrounds.


Further information about the positions may be obtained from Senior Researcher Toni Ryynänen (toni.ryynanen(at)

If you need support with the recruitment portal, please contact HR Specialist Mirkka Juntunen (mirkka.juntunen(at)


The Ruralia Institute of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry offers high-quality research and innovation partnerships for rural development. The focus areas of the Institute are local development, sustainable food chains and new bioeconomy. The Institute performs extensive international, national, and regional cooperation with about 50 experts in the University Consortiums of Mikkeli and Seinäjoki (

The Human in Digital and Sustainable Economies research group, led by Senior Researcher Toni Ryynänen, is in the Ruralia Institute, one of the six units of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.

The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry is located on the green Viikki campus of University of Helsinki. The mission of the Faculty is to promote the sustainable use of renewable natural resources through scientific research and research-based teaching. We focus on agricultural and forest sciences, food and nutrition, microbiology, as well as on economics and management. We cover the full natural resource chain from farm to fork, the entire field of forest sciences from soil chemistry to marketing, as well as the environmental effects of related activities. Graduates from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry are versatile experts in biosciences and business, able to meet the needs of both the business sector and society at large.

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