Director of the Neuroscience Center, HiLIFE

Updated: 26 days ago
Deadline: 09 Jan 2023

Director of the Neuroscience Center, HiLIFE, at University of Helsinki 

Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE) is seeking a Director for the Neuroscience Center (NC). NC is a research unit belonging to HiLIFE at the University of Helsinki (UH) , a leading Nordic university with a strong commitment to life science research. The goals of the Neuroscience Center are to advance fundamental mechanistic understanding of brain functioning and to develop these discoveries into improved treatment, prevention, and diagnosis of psychiatric and neurological disorders. Research in the 17 research groups in NC spans several scales from stem cell research and molecular neuroscience to systems and cognitive neuroscience in both animal models and humans. NC hosts state-of-art facilities for modern neuroscience research, including infrastructures for in vivo rodent and human brain imaging as well as for electrophysiology, neuronal stem cell research, and behavioural studies for mice. NC also coordinates neuroscience research across disciplines locally with faculties within the University of Helsinki and in Helsinki Brain & Mind, which is a neuroscience network in the capital region formed by the University of Helsinki, Aalto University and HUS Helsinki University Hospital , and a regional node of Neurocenter Finland.  

What we are looking for 

We are seeking a visionary scientific leader with an internationally recognised strong track record of innovative and interdisciplinary research in neurosciences, and with strong leadership skills, including prior experience in leadership and management. Suitable candidates for the position think strategically, are innovative, have a global mind-set, and have strong people and change agility skills. We value merits in building interdisciplinary academic research in a highly collaborative environment.  

The NC Director will  

  • Lead the scientific research within the NC and produce and implement a strategy for future scientific growth, development, and excellence 
  • Be responsible for daily operations, personnel, resources and procuring external funding, and development of NC    
  • Recruit and foster a new generation of outstanding researchers  
  • Lead the director’s own research group 
  • Foster new collaborations, also within the University of Helsinki and HiLIFE 
  • Contribute to the development of life-science research cooperation across the University’s faculties and institutes 

The NC director is a member of HiLIFE Management Team and a member of the steering group of Neurocenter Finland. 

The director is anticipated start as soon as possible or as negotiated. The position is initially for five years with a possibility of renewal and is associated with funding for the group. The salary is negotiable within the salary system of Finnish universities. 

Qualifications and experience 

The successful candidate will  

  • Hold an appropriate doctoral degree 
  • Have an outstanding scientific track-record in neuroscience including high-level publications and success in obtaining extramural funding  
  • Have previous management, executive, and leadership experience together with executive education and demonstration of leadership in diverse international teams 
  • Present a clear vision for the future directions of research and management in neurosciences and NC 
  • Show a commitment to fostering excellence in scientific research and research training. 

Application deadline and inquiries  

The application deadline is January 9th, 2023 (23:59 Finnish time). 

For further information regarding the position contact HiLIFE Director Jari Koistinaho by email hilife-director(at) or by phone +358 503 789207.  

For questions about the recruitment process, please contact HiLIFE HR partner Anu Roine (anu.roine(at); +358 50 556 0633).  

Submission of applications 

Applications are submitted as a single pdf file with 

  • a cover letter describing the motivation to apply for this position (max 1 page); 
  • your vision for the development of the Neuroscience Center (max 2 pages); 
  • research statement focusing on the future plans (max 5 pages incl. references); 
  • your CV (max 4 pages incl. biosketch);  
  • a list of not more than 10 selected publications with motivation for selecting each (max 3 pages); 
  • a link or reference (e.g. ORCID) to a complete list of publications. 

Submit your application by January 9th by clicking on the “Apply now” link below.  

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HiLIFE Helsinki Institute of Life Science is one of the leading life science research institutes in the Nordics. It fosters outstanding research and generation of innovations across the University of Helsinki campuses and Faculties to create an attractive international environment where today’s grand challenges in health and environment are solved together. In HiLIFE, we believe that breakthroughs emerge by giving talented researchers sufficient resources and freedom to pursue their ambitions and expertise towards higher goals.    

Life Science research in at the University of Helsinki covers broad scope from structure, function and dynamics of molecules, microbes and cells to entire organisms and ecosystems. Multiple units at all four University’s campuses , but mainly Viikki and Meilahti, host life science researchers. HiLIFE was established in 2017 to bridge over University’s units and campuses and thus build an even more vibrant life science community.   

HiLIFE contains the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM , Institute of Biotechnology (BI) and Neuroscience Center (NC) . These units play an important role in developing a strong international research environment in their focus areas and bring important expertise to HiLIFE in recruitment, training, core facilities, innovation, and international cooperation. HiLIFE also takes responsibility of cross-campus needs and the development in the Life Science area. This dual role makes HiLIFE a unique entity in the University.  

HiLIFE employs more than 640 diverse scientists and support staff. With about 55% international staff the daily working language is English. HiLIFE’s budget exceeds 65 M€ of which about 65% is external competed research funding. HiLIFE hosts about 85 principal investigators including multiple ERC grantees. Measured by CNCI (Category Normalized Citation Impact 2017-2020) HiLIFE is the top research unit at the University. It is also forerunner in the open publishing.  

University of Helsinki & Finland  

The University of Helsinki welcomes applicants from a variety of genders, linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and minorities. We offer comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and health insurance, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. Our University is a vibrant and international scientific community of 40 000 students and researchers. It is one of the leading multidisciplinary research universities in Europe and ranks among the top 100 international universities in the world. Through the power of science, the University has contributed to society, education, and welfare since 1640.  

The University of Helsinki is a community of research and learning based on courageous thought and dialogue. Our vision 2030 is to be one of the world’s leading universities that generates understanding through research and teaching for the benefit of the global community. Everyday activities and interaction are founded on the shared values of truth, Bildung, freedom and inclusivity. Our research and teaching draw inspiration from four themes that spur collaboration between fields and disciplines and renew research and learning: A meaningful life, human wellbeing and a healthy environment; A humane and fair world; A sustainable and viable future for our globe; and A universe of ideas and opportunities.   

Finland is a member of the EU, has high quality free schooling (also in English), generous family benefits and healthcare, and was recently ranked as the best country in the world for expat families and in the world’s top ten most liveable cities. Finland and the Helsinki region possess top expertise in sciences in terms of a vibrant talent pool, leading research, strong support services and functioning collaboration networks. For more information about working at the University of Helsinki and living in Finland, please see .      

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