Doctoral Researcher, Transformation of Urban Mobility Systems

Aalto University is an international community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto University has six schools with nearly 20 000 people, over 400 of which are professors. Our campus is located in Espoo, Finland. The School of Engineering is an international unit with nearly 70 talented professors and 3400 full-time students, including doctoral students.

Aalto University School of Engineering, Department of Built Environment is opening application for

Doctoral Researchers in Transformation of Urban Mobility Systems

The Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering research group is seeking highly motivated and creative doctoral researchers who would undertake research in Transformation of Urban Mobility Systems. Mobility is interpreted here as socio-techno-ecological phenomenon, broader than concepts such as traffic or transport. The doctoral research topic is not fixed in advance but is rather open to framing based on the applicant’s motivation. Special emphasis is placed on research that will be path-breaking by deviating from the current mainstream transport engineering paradigm. Thus, applicants are strongly encouraged to not submit proposals on conventional topics such as traffic safety, traffic management, or traditional discrete choice modeling. In contrast, the applicants are strongly encouraged to cross at least one disciplinary boundary and base their thinking in concepts from other disciplines than traditional transport engineering. Candidates will be evaluated highly if they show capability for critical problem framing and analysis, hand in hand with the creative and solution-oriented thinking.

Some example of the potential research topics, but not limited to and not in order of importance, include: development of speculative foresight methods based on solar punk imaginaries, development of system dynamics models for more-than-human impact assessment, historical analysis of unconscious norms in mobility cultures, moral assessment of technological policy, analysis of governance-planning cultures across governance levels, analysis of the influence of media or art on mobility discourses, analysis of non-violent civil disobedience movements, analysis of education needs for the next generation planners, development of education materials for current professionals, etc.

The position should start by autumn 2024 and is intended for full-time work. The selected individuals will be mentored by Dr. Miloš N. Mladenović. The successful applicant will have the possibility to cooperate with world-class researchers, as well as to attend scientific conferences and meetings. Moreover, the research group provides strong support and academic freedom, with possibilities for interdisciplinary collaboration, both internationally and within Aalto University. Our group strives to achieve gender balance and the applications will be processed without any bias.

Requirements and expectations

A prospective applicant is expected to fulfil most of the following requirements:

  • Timely completion of a Master’s degree in one of the following (or related) fields: Transport Studies, Urban Planning, Geography, Sociology, Psychology, Environmental Sciences, Organizational Studies, Policy Studies, Design Studies, Computer Sciences, Learning Sciences
  • Knowledge of qualitative or quantitative methods used in multidisciplinary studies
  • Good analytical, systems and creative thinking
  • Ability to manage tasks independently and in collaboration with others
  • Willingness for expansive learning
  • Very good English proficiency
  • Preferably, have some work experience outside the university

The applicant is expected to:

  • Publish in top journals and conferences
  • If applicable, participate in research proposal preparation
  • If applicable, guide master's students
  • If applicable, teach in the master’s programme
  • If applicable, participate in outreach activities

Duration, financing, and salary

The doctoral studies at Aalto University take approximately 4 years. The doctoral degree is granted after writing a relatively short summary doctoral thesis (which is typically based on the student’s publications) and public defense.

Currently, the starting gross salary for doctoral researcher is around 2700€ per month and is increased in with the progress towards getting the doctoral degree to about 3400€ per month. The prospective doctoral researcher will be granted a one-year contract first, followed by an evaluation and extension after two years for another two-year period depending on the achievements during the contractual periods. Working hours are flexible and there is possibility of working remotely for a few days a week. However, presence in Finland for the duration of the contract is compulsory. The contracts include occupational health services, and Finland has a comprehensive social security system. Among European cities, Helsinki is special in being safe, clean, and close to nature, with a high quality of life. English is spoken everywhere. For more information about living in Finland:

How to apply

Applicants must have completed a Master’s degree in a related field. Proficiency in English is mandatory.

To apply, an application must include:

  • Motivation letter with contact information and preferred starting date (max one A4 page)
  • CV and contact information for 2 reference persons (max two A4 pages)
  • Description including of research interests, including at least one visual/figure besides the referenced text (max three A4 pages)
  • Summary of the Master’s Thesis and content of courses taken in the past (max two A4 pages)

All material should be submitted in English in a single pdf-file (compiled in the order specified above). The application should be sent through the Workday system (link “Apply now!” below) by 31 May 2024. If you are already working at Aalto University, please apply for this job by using Workday -> Find jobs. Email applications will not be taken into account. Aalto University reserves the right to leave the position open, extend the application period, and consider candidates who have not applied during the application period.

For more information

General information about doctoral studies at Aalto University can be found on the “Into” page ( For additional information, please contact Associate Professor Miloš N. Mladenović. For recruitment process-related questions please contact HR Advisor Kirsi Kärkkäinen. E-mails:

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