Doctoral Researcher, Surficial Geochemistry

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 21 May 2022

We at the University of Oulu work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. We are committed to educate future pioneers to build a more sustainable, intelligent and humane world. Creating new, taking responsibility and succeeding together are values that build a strong foundation for all our actions. We offer a working environment where individuals can cultivate their skills, do meaningful work, and develop professionally. Our university's several specialized research and service units enable extensive and diverse development and career opportunities for experts in various fields.

The following position is open in the University of Oulu:

A doctoral researcher position for the research project: Sustainable exploration for orthomagmatic (critical) raw materials in the EU: Charting the road to the green energy transition (SEMACRET), funded by Horizon Europe program. The SEMACTER consortium includes 16 partners from EU, UK, South Africa and is, coordinated by Oulu Mining School (OMS).

We are seeking for a talented and motivated researcher for a three-year doctoral researcher position in the field of geosciences solving research questions related to the development of surface geological ore exploration using advanced till geochemical data analysis and modelling techniques with an emphasis on glacial morphology and stratigraphy in Finland. Good skills in surface geology and geochemistry as well as GIS, data analysis and geostatistic are needed.

Position description:

The research is carried out as a PhD project in the Oulu Mining School, University of Oulu, and it utilizes the existing regional and targeted till geochemical datasets in Finland. The statistical processing of the data utilizes programs made for statistical data analysis (R+, SPSS, IoGas etc.) and various geochemical data analysis tools developed in recent years in several EU-funded projects (e.g. UpDeep, NEXT). The processing of different geochemical datasets with the integration of multiple GIS-based geodata also utilizes the reclassification of materials, e.g. by self-organizing mapping (SOM). Spatial modelling is applied to both till stratigraphy-bound geochemical data and the interaction of moraine formations indicative of glacier movement to improve the bedrock signal provided by till geochemistry in spatial (prospectivity) analysis. The PhD work is to be supervised by professors Pertti Sarala and Peter Filzmoser (Technology University of Wien).

OMS is a multidisciplinary research unit that integrates scientific disciplines from exploration to mining and mineral processing. Research in geology, geophysics, surficial geochemistry, providing an excellent background for the current research topic. In the SEMACRET project, there will be intensive international collaboration, providing excellent opportunities for early career researchers to develop their skills and networking in a cross- disciplinary environment, and advance her/his career. The laboratory facilities available include OMS research centre, the Centre for Microscopy and Nanotechnology in Oulu, the Finnish Geoscience Laboratory in Espoo, and comprehensive geo-database in Finland.

Requirements for a doctoral researcher

To successfully occupy the position of a doctoral researcher, the candidate must possess a Master’s degree or an equivalent degree preferably in the fields of geology or geosciences. Degree must have been completed with good or excellent grades by 1.5.2022 (or the latest before the employment contract starts). This position requires good cooperation and overall communication skills, fluent written and oral English language, and readiness to self-acting work. You will be located in Finland at Oulu, but the task requires readiness to domestic and international travelling to laboratories, conferences etc. Teaching and supervision responsibilities at Bachelor or Master levels can be expected as part of the PhD education.


The salary of the selected doctoral researcher will be set on levels 2 – 4 of the national salary scale for the teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a supplementary remuneration will be given for personal achievement and performance (max. 50 %). The typical starting salary is approx. 2400 – 2700 € per month, depending on the appointee’s qualification and experience.

The position is filled as of June 1st, 2022 or later.  A trial period of 6 months is applied in the position.


Applications, together with the relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by May 21st, 2022 at 23:59 (Finnish local time).

The following documents as four separate pdf files (max. size limit for each file is 2 Mbytes) must be attached to the application:

  • A curriculum vitae with containing contact information of at least two referees.
  • A list of possible scientific contributions (publications, talks, posters etc.).
  • Motivation letter (maximum 1 page) describing prior knowledge and research interests and career plans.
  • Certificates: Scanned electronic copies of master’s degree certificate or diplomas, official translations to Finnish or English.

  • NOTE: Applications sent by email will not be considered.

    Other relevant information

    The eligible applicants fitting best in the research profile expected for the position will be invited to an on-site or remote interview. All applicants will be notified when the selection process is completed.


    Professor Pertti Sarala via e-mail pertti.sarala (at)

    About Oulu, Finland

    Finland is one of the most liveable countries in the world, with a high quality of life, safety, excellent education system, and competitive economy. The Oulu region is home to over 200,000 people making it the largest urban centre in the Nordics and one of the fastest growing regions in northern Finland. Oulu is a combination of beautiful, northern nature, vivid cultural life, and modern technology. Oulu is also known for its highly educated people and friendly, easy-going atmosphere. Living in Oulu is easy – everything is only max. 20 minutes away! Find out more about Oulu:

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