Postdoctoral Researcher, Arctic Physical Geography

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 30 Apr 2020

The University of Oulu is an international science university creating new knowledge, well-being and innovation for the future through multidisciplinary research and education. Close cooperation with research institutes, companies and the public sector has created an internationally significant research and innovation hub that has changed the world. Every day 2.6 billion people use technology developed in Oulu. In addition, the university’s location close to the Arctic offers unique conditions for a wide variety of research.

The Geography Research Unit is opening a 2-year position for a postdoctoral researcher to work on Arctic physical geography. The position will be based in the Physical Geography Research Group led by Professor Jan Hjort (; ).

The Geography Research Unit ( currently has five key focus areas: Regional Development and Regional Policy, Geoinformatics, Physical Geography, Regional and Political Geography, and Tourism Geographies. The unit has six professorships, five postdoctoral positions and four doctoral student positions based on research unit funding. Several PhD and postdoctoral researchers funded externally work at the unit. In total, the research unit has approximately 35 faculty members and 150 BSc, 200 MSc and 25 PhD students.

The unit offers a progressive, stimulating and international working environment. According to international rankings (e.g., QS-ranking), the Geography Research Unit has been consistently one of the strongest units at the University of Oulu. Researchers working at the unit have contributed substantially to international research and debates in several sub-fields of geography.

Work description

A successful candidate must have demonstrated experience in one of the following research themes: permafrost, periglacial geomorphology, geodiversity, or Arctic terrestrial biogeography. Research should draw on geoinformatics (e.g., ArcGIS), spatial analysis and statistical modelling (particularly using the R Statistical Software).

The successful candidate will be encouraged to include in his/her work a research mobility period (up to 6 months) at a foreign research institute or university. The host institution may be proposed in a motivation letter by the applicant or may be selected during the work with the leader of the research group.

The position is funded by ‘Arctic Interactions and Global Change (ArcI)’ – a scientific profile area of UOulu. ArcI promotes cross-faculty and multidisciplinary cooperation through recruitment and mobility programmes, seed money actions and science events. The ArcI postdoc programme will fund talented researchers from a variety of disciplines to strengthen the current community of Arctic researchers at UOulu. This open position will be linked especially to the ArcI theme 1: Global change and northern environments (  


  • PhD in Geography (or a related discipline), obtained within the past 10 years. The degree must be earned by August 1, 2020.
  • Demonstrated experience in one of the following research themes: permafrost, periglacial geomorphology, geodiversity or Arctic terrestrial biogeography.
  • Fluency in both written and spoken English.
  • Good communication and teamwork skills.
  • Strong and consistent record of scientific publishing in the top journals of the research field.

Assessment of the applicants’ qualifications will be based on the following criteria acknowledging the content of the job: scientific publications, previous work experience, activity in the scientific community, national and international mobility, and other academic merits.

Terms of employment

The duration of the position is 2 years, beginning on August 1, 2020 (or as soon as possible thereafter). A six-month trial period will be applied to the position.

The salary is in accordance with the university salary system (for teaching and research personnel) level 5 of the demand level chart (postdoctoral researcher). In addition to the basic salary, supplementary salary will be paid for personal achievement and performance, the sum rising to a maximum of 50% of the basic salary level for the post. The typical salary for a starting postdoctoral fellow is €3,300 per month but may be larger for exceptional candidates pending experience and qualifications.

How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted online by April 30, 2020 at 23:59 (Finnish local time).

The eligible applicants best fitting the expected research profile may be invited to an on-site or remote interview. All applicants will be notified when the selection process has been completed.

The application should be written in English and include the following documents:

1. A motivation letter summarizing applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why applicant is interested in about this position. Also information on personal research interests and career plans are valuable to provide here (max. 3 pages).

2. A curriculum vitae (max. 4 pages) in accordance with the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (

3. A publication list based on the guidelines of the Academy of Finland ( list-of-publications/).

4) Names and contact information of two persons for possible references.

For further information, please contact:

Professor Jan Hjort, +358 (0) 29 448 1704, jan.hjort(at)

Physical Geography Research Group, Geography Research Unit

Faculty of Science, University of Oulu.

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