Doctoral Position in Social Work

University of Jyväskylä


15 Doctoral Student Positions

Call for Applications

The Marie-Skłodowska-Curie European Innovative Training Network ASTRA offers 15 Early Stage Researcher Positions in the Field of Social Work

The consortium of the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie European Innovative Training Network Applying Sustainability Transition Research in Social Work tackling Major Societal Challenge of Social Inclusion – ASTRA – opens a call for 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESR) for three-year positions.

The ASTRA research project applies approaches grounded in principles of Transdisciplinary Sustainability Transition Research to identify and support policies and practices to tackle the major societal challenges faced in Social Work. The research programme aims to develop new sustainability-oriented methods of Social Work with a specific focus on the social inclusion of young people facing precariousness, people with a migration background and vulnerable local communities in Europe. 

The ASTRA consortium is a unique European-wide research network bridging the research domains of Social Work and Sustainability, consisting of seven university-based leaders in sustainability research in Social Work, two leading non-university organisations with similar interests in transdisciplinary sustainability research, and eight excellent partner organisations including prominent NGOs and social economy enterprises. 

The main objective of the learning opportunities offered by ASTRA is to prepare a new generation of creative and open-minded young researchers of social work, who will be able to creatively address the major challenges faced by social work and it’s service users by using the perspective of sustainable transitions; and who will contribute to transformative knowledge, cross-sectoral policies and multi-agency practices of a similar nature. 

ASTRA calls for applications for fifteen Early Stage Researcher (ESR) three year fixed-term positions beginning April 2021, based with members of the ASTRA consortium. ASTRA is part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Innovative Training Networks (ITN).  

Following positions for the following PhD Projects are available. 

Please find more information of the whole program and of each ESR position on the ASTRA project’s web pages: 

University of Jyväskylä, JYU, Finland 

ESR 1 European comparative study of local environmental issues as transdisciplinary challenges for social work

ESR 2 Capability of the circular economy to respond to the precariousness of European youth

ESR 3 Contributive justice for young migrants in rural environments as a challenge for sustainable Social Work knowledge and practice.

Bielefeld University, UNIBI, Germany  

ESR 4 Developing assessment tools for the sustainable impact of the action of socio-professional integration centres on enhancing faith in valued ways of making a living for young people in precarious situations

ESR 5 Aspects of contributive justice in the context of ecosocial projects for social inclusion

The Free University of Bozen – Bolzano, UNIBI, Italy   

ESR 6 Eco-social innovation and Solidarity Economy in vulnerable local communities

University of Durham, DUR, UK 

ESR 7 Participatory and inclusive SW practice promoting sustainable communities

Catholic University of Leuven, KU, Belgium  

ESR 8 Sustainable housing solutions for SW practices for social inclusion of young people in precariousness

ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal 

ESR 9 Eco-social innovations of SW in the local environmental development.

University of Ljubljana, UL, Slovenia 

ESR 10 Food poverty, food waste and redistribution programmes as sustainability transition

ESR 11 Gender and Care Economy in European local communities

CIRIEC Section Belge, Belgium  

ESR 12 Developing assessment tools to measure sustainable impact of social inclusion programmes on young people facing precarious situations and people with a migration background

ESR13: Enhancing democratic economic participation in vulnerable urban transdisciplinary contexts

Natural resources Institute LUKE, Finland  

ESR 14 The natural environment as a resource to promote sustainable well-being

ESR 15 The use of public natural environments as a means of inclusion for people with a migrant background

All these organisations offer:

  • A solid base of innovative theoretical and methodological approaches to Social Work for Sustainable Transition
  • Support in the creation of transdisciplinary research settings for participatory community development
  • Assistance in the development of an analytical framework for the investigation of the potential of social and solidarity action for disadvantaged areas and target-groups
  • An innovative and well-organized training program (incl. mobility to ASTRA network partners, annual summer schools, thematic workshops, online courses)
  • A thorough scientific education with additional transferrable skills such as project management, communication and networking
  • Access to a broad network of innovative social enterprises and organisations
  • A competitive salary and additional resources to support wider networking and academic development including opportunities to take part in international conferences and collaborations
  • Pay is standardised by the EU, is ample by local standards, and allows for comfortable living in respective country. Employment duration within ASTRA is up to 36 months.

How to apply:

The closing date for the first round of applications is 11th December 2020.

It is possible to apply for one to five different positions. In this case please order the positions according to your preference.

The appointee may be subject to a trial period according to national legislation and each organisations` contractual guidelines/procedures.

Please attach the following documents to the online application form:

  1. Curriculum vitae (max. 5 pages) See example:
  2. A certificate of Master’s degree and grades of Master’s level studies (Copies of degree certificates/diplomas) and copy of the master’s thesis (Selected publications)
  3. Proof of proficiency in English

Please apply for the positions by filling an electronic form.

Please take note that your application will be stored safely at the University of Jyväskylä, JYU, Finland. Your application will be jointly processed by the partners of the ASTRA consortium and treated according to the GDPR. The partners of ASTRA will sign a joint controller contract before processing your application.

As the positions are funded by third parties, the Funding Agency has specified that the following must be complied with;

  • The position is open to candidates of any nationality, as long as they fulfill the requirements set for the Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions.
  • Applicants who have already obtained a Ph.D. degree, or have more than four years of research activity (from the date when they have obtained a University diploma giving access to doctoral studies), are NOT eligible.
  • Applicants must NOT have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) the courtry in which the specific project for which they are applying is based for more than twelve months in the three years immediately prior to the date of appointment. (This excludes short stays such as holidays or compulsory national service). The transnational mobility rule does not apply for the proposed secondments associated with each project.

In your application, please refer to


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