Assistant/Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

University of Helsinki


Assistant/Associate Professor of Biological Sciences 


The Finnish Museum of Natural History, Luomus, and the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences invite applications for the position of 


Assistant/Associate Professor in Biodiversity Change 


The appointment will begin on 1 March 2024 at the earliest or as agreed and is initially for three to five years with a possibility for promotion and tenuring following successful evaluation (more information about tenure track system: University of Helsinki tenure track). The position is a joint professorship shared by Luomus (80% of worktime) and the faculty (20%). The employment during the assistant/associate professor position is with Luomus and following tenured professor position at the faculty. At the beginning the position will be based in one of the scientific teams of the Botany Unit of Luomus and the assistant/associate professor will contribute to the functions of Luomus’ research programmes. 


About the position 

We are seeking a scientist with an aptitude for the use of large biodiversity data sets yielded by observations, measurements, monitoring, and collection of natural history specimens and linking patterns found in these to processes predictable based on data on variation in the physical and biological environment.  A successful candidate is familiar with analytical and simulation models that can be applied to variable timescales in biosphere, and hence, could approach research questions spanning from the impact of abrupt changes in the environment on biodiversity to those shedding light to evolutionary patterns and processes in biota during the Anthropocene. A successful candidate is familiar with key scientific methodologies in the field and is also able to conduct research on new methods or analytical tools to gain understanding the complex functions of ecosystems. The ability to build on opportunities in Luomus, to conduct interdisciplinary research and seek more holistic views by transcending several disciplines together with a multidisciplinary research group is valued. Moreover, a successful candidate should be able to promote and spark both national and international cooperation in the field in a leading role.  


The assistant/associate professor will also be holding key responsibility of teaching the field of biodiversity and ecosystem changes in university courses as well as developing tuition together with colleagues in Luomus and the faculty. Teaching quota will cover a maximum of 20% of worktime including supervision of MSc students. Supervision of PhD students, in turn, is regarded as part of research work. The assistant/associate professor is expected to be active in obtaining external funding and building a research group. As a leading expert in the field, the assistant/associate professor will participate in the museum’s international collaboration, infrastructure development and community engagement.  



According to the Regulations of the University of Helsinki, an appointee to the position of assistant/associate professor in the tenure track system shall hold a doctoral degree and have the ability to conduct independent scholarly work as well as the teaching skills required for the position. In addition, the appointee shall have the ability and motivation to pursue an academic career, as demonstrated by publications and other means. The degree requirements must be met by the end of the application deadline.  Early-stage independent researchers are especially encouraged to apply.


When assessing the applicants’ qualifications, attention shall be paid not only to research work and teaching qualifications, but also to success in the acquisition of external research funding as well as international scholarly work and other international experience. In addition, we value experience in working with scientific collections, development of research infrastructure, participation in the development of university teaching and supervision, good academic leadership skills and an inclination to team work as well as experience of societal interaction. 


To successfully attend to the duties of the position, the appointee must have good skills in English. The official languages of the University of Helsinki are Finnish and Swedish but foreign citizens, non-native Finnish citizens or citizens who have not been educated in Finnish or Swedish may be exempted from this requirement without a separate application.  Support for language studies is offered.

What do we offer?  

The starting salary will be based on level 7 of the job requirement scheme for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal work performance. The gross monthly salary will be approximately 4800-5500 euros, depending on the appointee’s career stage and scholarly qualifications. 


In addition to the research and infrastructure funding possibilities offered by the national and international funding sources, Luomus also has occasionally had funding available for networking and small starter grants for research (i.e., trigger/seed funding).  


The University of Helsinki offers comprehensive services to its employees, including preventive occupational health services and general medical care, sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development. For more on the University of Helsinki as an employer and living in Helsinki, please see: Careers at the University of Helsinki, why should you choose University of Helsinki and living in Helsinki.  


Luomus is an equal opportunity workplace committed to advance wellbeing and diversity and promote gender equality in science and education. We welcome candidates from a variety of genders, linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and minorities. 


The appointee is expected to reside in Finland while employed by the University of Helsinki. The University assists employees from abroad with their transition to work and life in Finland. Finland is a very family-friendly country with generous parental leaves, very affordable state-subsidized daycare that is available for all children, as well as world-renowned free primary education and public healthcare.  Finland has also been nominated as the happiest country in the world four times in a row.    


How to apply   

Candidates are requested to submit an academic portfolio as one single PDF file (named as lastname_firstname_plant systematics) in English. Please see information and instructions for writing an academic portfolio here: Instructions for applicants of teaching and research positions. Please include information of experience and merits which are of relevance for the evaluation of other skills relevant for the position (e.g., leadership, collection work, acquired external funding). 


The application, together with the required attachment, must be submitted through the University of Helsinki electronic recruitment system by clicking on the “Apply now” link.  


Employees of the University of Helsinki must submit their applications through the SAP Fiori portal:  


Deadline for applications is 13 November 2023. 


Further information

Evaluation of candidates is carried out by an Appointment Committee and includes external assessor statements and interviews of shortlisted candidates. Candidates are kindly asked to prepare for the situation in which, after the closing of the application period, they may be requested to submit 5-10 publications of their choice to be sent to the assessors. Top candidates are invited to an interview and to give a demonstration of teaching skills, possibly also a scientific presentation. 


Further information about the position may be obtained from the Director of Botany Unit Marko Hyvärinen, marko.hyvarinen[at]

With questions about the recruitment system and process please contact HR specialist Laura Jensen-Eriksen, hr-erla[at]


About Luomus 

The Finnish Museum of Natural History Luomus is an independent institute of the University of Helsinki and the national museum in the field of natural history in Finland. The duties of Luomus are to amass, maintain and display its collections, and to conduct related research in biology, geology and natural sciences including isotopic/chronological studies. The collections serve research, teaching, and public education, and form part of the international network of natural history repositories. LUOMUS has four units: Botany, Zoology, Natural Sciences, and Biodiversity Informatics. The institute has a staff of c. 160 and manages natural history collections of c. 13.6 million specimens and datasets of c. 47 million observations. Luomus is part of the consortium developing DiSSCo infrastructure for European natural history collections.  


About the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences 

The Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences is Finland’s most high-profile and extensive hub of research and teaching in the field. The Faculty educates experts to meet the needs of universities, research institutes, government, schools and the business sector. The Faculty is comprised of three units or research programmes: Ecosystems and Environment, Organismal and Evolutionary Biology, and Molecular and Integrative Biosciences. In addition to laboratories for molecular and experimental work the Campus has extensive research greenhouses, common garden and plant phenotyping facilities, as well as an umbrella organisation Viikki Plant Science Centre ViPS, and superb research stations located around the country and one in Kenya. 








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Open position

Due Date:  13.11.2023
Unit:  Independent institutes
Sub-unit:  Finnish Museum of Natural History
ID:  2590

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