Doctoral Student in Physical Geography

University of Oulu Faculty of Science


Doctoral Student, Physical Geography

The University of Oulu is an international scientific community, with 15 000 students and approximately 3 000 employees. The strengths of the University are wide multidisciplinary study/research interests, modern research and study environment and good cooperation with international educational and research institutes. More information

The Faculty of Science of the University of Oulu announces a four-year position for a Doctoral Student. The position is located within the Geography Research Unit. The Unit currently has five key focus areas in education: Regional Development and Regional Policy, Geoinformatics, Physical Geography, Regional and Political Geography, and Tourism Geographies ( The Unit has six professorships, five post-doctoral positions and four doctoral student positions based on the Research Unit funding. Further, several PhD students and post docs with external research money work at the Unit.

The Research Unit offers a progressive, stimulating, and international working environment. According to Oulu University’s Research Assessment Exercise and international rankings (e.g., QS-ranking), Geography Research Unit has been consistently one of the strongest units at the University of Oulu. Researchers working at the Unit have contributed substantially to international research and debates in several sub-fields of Geography. This high quality is demonstrated by the fact that the Unit held the first Center of Excellence (2014–2019) in Geography nominated by the Academy of Finland.

Job description

We are looking for a talented and highly motivated research-oriented person who has background in geomorphology (especially, permafrost and periglacial geomorphology) or alternatively in geodiversity research and/or biogeography. Methodologically, the interests should be on geospatial (GIS) data-based statistical analyses.

The profile of the successful candidate should complement the focus of the Physical Geography Research Group (PGRG) at the Research Unit ( PGRG contributes to cutting-edge global change research by focusing on a wide range of complementing study questions related to abiotic and biotic earth surface systems. Studies are especially devoted to the Arctic and boreal environments.

The Doctoral Student will carry out research work within the PGRG, publish research results in the most esteemed international journals, attend doctoral courses and complete doctoral thesis within 4 years. Other duties include teaching on undergraduate courses (approximately 5% of the total 1612 working hours per year). In addition, she/he may be obligated to participate in administrative tasks of the university and/or the Unit. Please also read the detailed requirements of the University of Oulu Graduate School:


- Master of Science degree in Geography (or a related discipline) completed with very good/excellent grades. The degree must have been completed by September 30, 2020 at the latest.

- Demonstrated experience in geomorphology (permafrost and periglacial geomorphology) or alternatively in geodiversity research and/or biogeography.

- Strong fundamental knowledge in geoinformatics (e.g. ArcGIS) and statistical analysis (especially using the R Statistical Software).

- Fluency in both written and spoken Finnish and English.

- Capability to write scientific publications and readiness for field work.

- Good communication and teamwork skills.


Depending on personal achievement and performance, the first-year salary of the Doctoral Student will be set at levels 2–3 of the national salary scale for the teaching and research staff of Finnish universities (around 2400–2600 euros per month).

How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted by using electronic application form by August 31, 2020 at 23:59 (Finnish local time).

The application should be written in English and include the following documents:

1. Curriculum vitae (including possible publications). Please follow the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (

2. Research and action plan (max 3 pages), please provide clearly the following information:

- Research interests and expertise areas,

- Motivation for doctoral studies,

- Computer skills and language skills,

- Your availability (time frame),

- Contact details of two (2) referees.

3. Scanned copy of your degree certificates. Official English translation of your Master’s degree, if the original is not in Finnish.

The eligible applicants best fitting the position may be invited to an on-site or remote interview. The expected starting time for the work is November 2020 or based on agreement.

Additional information

Professor Jan Hjort (

In your application, please refer to


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