Doctoral Researcher, Consequential Life Cycle Assessment In Wood and Food Sectors

Helsinki, Finland
05 May 2023
End of advertisement period
29 May 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry invites applications for the position of a DOCTORAL RESEARCHER starting on 1 September 2023, or as agreed. The Doctoral Researcher will be employed for a fixed term of 4 years. The employment contract will include a probationary period of six months.

The position is shared by three departments: the Department of Forest Sciences, the Department of Agricultural Sciences, and the Department of Economics and Management. The PhD project is founded on interdisciplinary collaboration involving market research, environmental economics, and environmental sustainability assessment.

We seek an applied economist or a data scientist with an interest for expanding his/her knowledge towards environmental impact assessment.

Bioeconomy strategies imply that fossil-intensive materials and energy carriers will be substituted with biobased alternatives to support climate change mitigation and enable a just socio-economic transition. Comparative attributional life cycle assessment (LCA) studies indicate that biobased products have a lower fossil footprint compared to most competing products. However, assessing the system-level environmental impact of changes in biobased products’ supply requires understanding value chains and quantifying market dynamics. Thus, the net impact of an expanding bioeconomy remains critically uncertain. This calls for consequential LCA approaches. Consequential LCA represents the convergence of LCA and economic modeling by expanding the system boundaries to consider all affected products when the demand for one product changes. In other words, it describes a modelling approach that seeks to describe the overall environmental consequences of a decision.

Specifically, the project involves estimating price elasticities from statistical data to judge the existence and rate of substitution between selected products on the market and modelling the consequences of indirect market effects with an LCA software package. The duties of the Doctoral Researcher include also completing postgraduate studies, as well as teaching and student supervision for up to 5 % of the annual working time.

We expect

  • MSc in a relevant discipline (data science, natural resource economics, engineering, sustainability science, industrial ecology, etc.). The degree requirement must be met by the beginning of the employment.
  • Proven skills in quantitative data analysis and statistical data analysis
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English (at least level C1)
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, the ability to prioritise and organise her/his daily task, and the ability to work both independently and as a part of a research group
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Openness to learning new skills

We also appreciate

  • Experience in a programming language (e.g., R or Python)
  • Prior experience with LCA and LCA software packages such as openLCA or SimaPro
  • Peer-reviewed publications in the areas of expertise

We offer

We are an equal opportunity employer and offer an attractive and diverse workplace in an inspiring and interdisciplinary research environment with a variety of development opportunities and benefits. The monthly gross salary will start from approx. €2,500, which is subject to salary level increase according to advancing studies. In addition, the University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and opportunities for professional development. Further information at and

Right to pursue a doctoral degree

The right to pursue a doctoral degree in one of the 33 doctoral programmes at the University of Helsinki needs to be applied for separately. If the appointee does not have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki by the start of the employment, it should be applied in the beginning of September 2023 (see:, includes also information on demonstration of language proficiency). The research plan (and other application material if needed) will be prepared together with the PhD supervisor(s).

The appointee is expected to reside in Finland while employed by the University of Helsinki.

The PhD supervisors are:

How to apply

Please submit your application and the required attachments, through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System.

Applicants are requested to enclose with their applications the following documents as pdf files:

  1. Curriculum vitae (maximum of 2 pages), including possible peer-reviewed publications. Please name the file as CV_lastname_firstname
  2. Free-form motivation letter describing the applicant’s research interests, motivation toward the position, and qualifications for the subject, including specific software/programming skills or analytical skills which the applicant wants to highlight (1-2 pages). Please name the file as Letter_lastname_firstname
  3. Contact details for up to two referees. Please name the file as Referees_lastname_firstname
  4. A copy of the Master’s thesis. Please name the file as Thesis_lastname_firstname
  5. Transcript of records. Please name the file as Transcript_lastname_firstname

The closing date for applications is 29 May 2023 (23:59 EEST).

The University of Helsinki welcomes applicants from a variety of genders, linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and minorities.

Further information

Why Finland and Helsinki

Finland is a member of the EU, has high quality and inexpensive childcare, free schooling and tertiary training (also in English), generous family benefits and healthcare, and was recently ranked as the best country in the world for expat families ( Finland also repeatedly tops the World Happiness Report (