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[Commlist] Three Postdoc­toralre­searcherpo­s­i­tions in Urban Stud­ies - Helsinki U

Fri Jan 24 11:43:30 GMT 2020

Three Postdoc­toral re­searcher po­s­i­tions in Urban Stud­ies

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 and Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies are seeking applications for


in the areas of 1) urban inequality, 2) digitalisation of urban life and 3) urban utopias, citizenship, and alternatives.

The postdoctoral researchers will be offered a contract for a two-year fixed-term period starting on April 1, 2020 (or as agreed).


1) Urban inequality
The first open position is targeted at the study of urban inequality. The postdoctoral researcher is expected to focus in his/her research on problems of emerging and growing inequalities in urban regions. The research can cover topics such as inter-generational poverty, social mobility and mechanisms that generate or regenerate segregation or disadvantages or other related topics. S/he may also study alternative urbanisation or countermeasures against unwanted consequences of urban inequality.

2) Digitalisation of urban life
The second open position is focused on the effects of digitalisation in everyday social life and urban public spaces. In cities, the use of mobile gadgets, intensified surveillance and other ramifications of networked code-based technologies have become ubiquitous. Corporate actors and urban policy-makers tend to acclaim the democratic and equalizing aspects of the digital revolution. Looking beyond the monocausal hype via social and urban theory, the research to be conducted may relate to how digitalisation is reproducing social and urban divisions and influencing people’s behaviour and forms of presence in the public, besides the new forms of civic participation and flexible social organisation enabled by it. Ideally, both the empowering and disempowering aspects of the digitalisation of urban life should be brought under empirical and theoretical scrutiny by the appointed postdoctoral researcher.

3) Urban utopias, citizenship, and alternatives
The third open position is directed to the study of urban utopias and alternatives. Progressive utopias for a better future and popular calls for social rights, including the reactions to them by power-holders, have always constituted an integral part of urban dynamism. Under this broad definition, potential approaches include but are not restricted to emerging forms and weak signals of contemporary urbanism, out-of-the-mainstream development policies and regeneration solutions adopted or experimented by particular cities, alternative paths to the so-called creative city, grassroots politics and demands for the right to the city as a transformative force, and newer or tradition-based manifestations of the commons as an alternative to urban enclosures and social exclusion.

The goal of Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies is to enhance the understanding of the global urban challenge facing the Nordic Welfare States ( The postdoctoral researcher will benefit from a novel research environment that emphasises scientific rigor, collaboration with cities and the pursuit of excellence in science and teaching. The close co-operation between the University of Helsinki, Aalto University and the cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa will provide a unique working environment in the heart of a changing and developing capital region.


An appointee to the position of postdoctoral researcher must hold a doctoral degree in a relevant field, have the ability to conduct independent scientific research and possess the teaching skills required for the position. The candidate should have the proven capability to publish in scientific journals and have excellent analytical and methodological skills. In addition, the candidate is expected to have good communication skills and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a multidisciplinary working community. The duties of the postdoctoral researcher include teaching (5% of the annual workload).

The chosen applicant is expected to reside in Finland while employed by the University of Helsinki. The Faculty of Social Sciences provides assistance in relocation. The working language will be English.

The position of postdoctoral researcher is typically held for three to five years after the completion of a doctoral degree. The aim of the position is to encourage the appointee to further their skills and gain more experience to prepare them for an academic career.


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. 41,000 – 50,000 euros, 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. Further information at The employment contract will include a probationary period of six months.


Please submit your application as a single pdf file, which includes the following documents in English:
• Curriculum vitae, including teaching merits (max. 3 pages)
• List of publications (max. 2 pages)
• Research Plan or Letter of Research Interests (max. 3 pages), in which the applicant outlines how his/her expertise would contribute to the research area • Summary (max. 2 pages) of the applicant’s scholarly activities, including original research at an international level, international academic networks, local co-operation, success in obtaining research funding
• Names and contact details of one or two referees

Please submit your application as a single pdf file using the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the Apply link. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to submit their application via the SAP HR portal, The deadline for applications is February 16, 2020.


Further information on the positions may be obtained from:

Professor Mari Vaattovaara, University of Helsinki, Urbaria (mari.vaattovaara(at), +358-504154861) Coordinator Iiris Koivulehto, University of Helsinki, Urbaria (iiris.koivulehto(at), +358-405649886)

Due date

16.02.2020 23:59 EET

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