Doctoral Researcher, Social Studies of Microbes

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 31 May 2022

The Faculty of Social Sciences and the Centre for the Social Study of Microbes (CSSM) invite applications for the position of

DOCTORAL RESEARCHER in the social studies of microbes

for a fixed term starting from September 1, 2022 onwards (or as agreed). The doctoral researcher will be employed for a defined term of 1,5 years full-time (or longer part-time), depending on the phase of the appointee’s thesis. The duties of a doctoral researcher are to work on their own doctoral thesis and to take part in developing the Centre’s vision of creating a new research culture. The duties also include teaching at the Faculty. Teaching tasks can account for up to 5 % of the annual working time.

The successful applicant will join the newly founded Centre for the Social Study of Microbes at the University of Helsinki. The CSSM is a hub for social scientists and artists conducting research on human-microbial relations. Microbes are not only biological entities but also shape, and are shaped by, our social worlds. The aim of the Centre is to explore how relationships with microbes raise profound challenges for social theory, which demand new social scientific language and methodologies for describing and explaining the complex and entwined relationships between human and nonhuman animals, microbes, and the environment. Not only is this work theoretically motivated, it is key to developing sustainable methods of planetary co-existence in the Anthropocene.

To facilitate the creation of innovative knowledge requires inclusive and egalitarian ways of knowing and the CSSM has a strong emphasis on collaboration. It is establishing an exploratory setting, in which new decentralised collaborative practices are developed. It further hosts international research fellows and an art residency and organises social theory and methodology workshops, academic seminars, and a yearly PhD school.

Please check the Centre’s website for more information.


Applicants should hold a Master’s degree in a field that is relevant to the research topic and have a high quality research proposal. Relevant disciplines are sociology, anthropology, science and technology studies or equivalent. Other requirements include proven ability and motivation, demonstrated through previous degree studies or otherwise, to pursue postgraduate studies and a doctoral degree according to the study plan and research proposal. The working language of the group is English. The appointee is expected to reside in Finland while employed by the University of Helsinki.

The appointee should either already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki by the start of the appointment or apply for the right and obtain it within the probationary period of six months of their appointment. If the candidate does not already have the right to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki, it must be applied for separately. Find the application process in a nutshell here .


We are an equal opportunity employer and offer an attractive and diverse workplace in an inspiring environment with a variety of development opportunities and benefits. The annual gross salary range will be approx. € 30,800 – 40,000 depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience. In addition, University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including occupational health care and opportunities for professional development. For international applicants we offer training and other events especially designed for our international staff members, a special UniBuddy-programme and specialised support for spouses (HEI LIFE Spouse Network). Read more about reasons to move to Finland and work at our university .
The employment contract will include a probationary period of six months. 


Applicants are requested to enclose with their application the following documents in English. Please compile all documents as a single PDF file:

  • curriculum vitae including a list of publications (max. 2 pages),
  • research plan related to the social study of microbes (max. 3 pages), 
  • outline how the proposed topic contributes to the Centre’s work (1 page), 
  • contact information and recommendation letter from one referee.
  • For instructions, please click here .

    The deadline for applications is 31 May 2022.

    If you need support with the recruitment system, please contact


    Interviews with short-listed candidates will be held online on Wednesday, 08.06.2022, and Monday, 13.06.2022, via Zoom. 

    Further information about the position may be obtained from project coordinator Monique Horstmann: .

    The University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest institution of academic education in Finland, an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. In international university rankings, the University of Helsinki typically ranks among the top 100. The University of Helsinki seeks solutions for global challenges and creates new ways of thinking for the best of humanity.

    The Faculty of Social Sciences is Finland’s leading research and education institution in the social sciences and also the most diverse in terms of its disciplines. In several research fields the Faculty belongs to the top 50 in the international rankings. The Faculty has a strong international profile both in research and teaching programmes. The number of academic staff stands at 500. Each year the faculty awards some 350 Bachelor’s degrees, 400 Master’s degrees, and more than 40 doctoral degrees. For more information on the Faculty of Social Sciences, please visit the Faculty’s website .

    The University of Helsinki welcomes applications from all backgrounds.


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