Updated: about 2 months ago

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Aalto University School of Engineering, Department of Built Environment invites applications for


The Geoinformatics group is seeking highly motivated and creative doctoral student who would undertake research in the area of Spatial Data Science (SDS). The position will focus on developing and applying SDS techniques to study urban mobility, accessibility and land use in relation to sustainable urban development. The candidate must have a high motivation for research and enjoy working in an international and cross-disciplinary team.

The position should start in fall 2021 and is intended for full-time work. The selected individual will work under supervision of Assistant Professor Henrikki Tenkanen. The successful applicant will have the possibility to cooperate with world-class researchers, participate in open source GIS tool development targeted for practitioners, and attend scientific conferences and meetings. Moreover, the research group provides strong support and academic freedom, with possibilities for transdisciplinary collaboration with national and international partners from academia, industry and public sector.

Research areas, requirements, and expectations

The doctoral student is expected to conduct research in one or more of the following areas:

  • Sustainable mobility and accessibility
  • Urban analytics
  • Data fusion
  • Spatio-temporal networks
  • Stochastic modelling

The research plan will be formulated together with the candidate, depending on his/her interests and expertise. A prospective student is expected to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Timely completion of a Master’s degree in one of the following (or related) fields: GIScience, Spatial Statistics, Geography, Complex Systems, Data Science, Mathematics/Physics.
  • Knowledge of quantitative methods used in GIScience
  • Good programming skills (Python, R)
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Willingness to learn
  • Very good English proficiency

The applicant is expected to:

  • Publish in top journals and scientific conferences
  • Participate in research proposal preparation
  • Participate in open source tool development
  • Guide MSc students 
  • If applicable, teach in the master’s program

Duration, financing, and salary

The doctoral studies at Aalto University take approximately 4 years. The doctoral degree is granted after completing selected PhD level courses (40 ECTS), writing a summary for the doctoral thesis (based on the student’s publications) and public defense.

Currently, the starting gross salary for doctoral students is around 2500€ per month and is increased in with the progress towards getting the doctoral degree to over 3300€ per month. The doctoral student will be granted a one-year contract first, followed by an evaluation and extension for the remaining period (total 4 years) depending on the achievements during the contractual periods. 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 (applicants completing their studies during summer 2021 will also be considered). Proficiency in English is mandatory.

To apply, an application must include:

  • Motivation letter with contact information and preferred starting date (max one A4 page)
  • Description of research interests for the dissertation (max two A4 pages)
  • CV and contact information for 2 reference persons (max two A4 pages)
  • Summary of the Master’s Thesis (max one A4 page)
  • Highest degree certificate and transcripts of studies (with clear explanation on the grading scale)
  • Link to a Github/Gitlab etc. repository demonstrating applicants analytical/programming skills

The candidates are evaluated based on their performance in Master’s degree, their research potential as well as our possibilities for supporting the doctoral studies in the topic. 

All material should be submitted in English in a single pdf-file (compiled with the order specified above). The application should be sent through the eRecruitment system (link ‘Apply for this job’ below) by 2 June 2021. Email applications will not be taken into account. Aalto University reserves the right to leave the position open, to extend the application period and to consider candidates who have not applied during the application period.

For more information

General information about doctoral studies at Aalto University can be found at the “Into” page ( ). For additional information, please contact Assistant Professor Henrikki Tenkanen. In recruitment process related questions please contact HR Coordinator Kirsi Kärkkäinen. E-mails:

Espoo 28.4.2021

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