The Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki invites applications for the position of
4 POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHERS IN SOCIAL SCIENCE for a fixed term period for the duration of 2 years and 9 months, starting in January 2024.
These positions are part of an ERC Advanced Grant awarded to Professor Virpi Timonen (Principal Investigator) for a project on human material and environmental legacies in the 21st century (see further information below). The LEGACIES project is a path-breaking investigation of material and environmental legacies among people of different generations in four different contexts (with one postdoctoral researcher per context). The project team will collect quantitative and qualitative data about the legacies that people leave and receive and engage in data analysis both within context and across contexts, with the view to building original theory.
The project team will carry out empirical research on the material and environmental legacies of different generations in Sweden, Italy, South Korea, and the United States (California). Each postdoctoral researcher will, under guidance and direction from the Principal Investigator, collect and analyze data from one of these contexts. It is therefore essential that applicants specify the context that they propose to work in and give a clear account of their linguistic, cultural, and other relevant competencies for carrying out empirical research in ONE of the above contexts.
The main task of each appointed researcher is to coordinate and conduct quantitative and qualitative research in one of the above contexts. Working closely with the Principal Investigator, the post-doctoral fellows will play a pivotal role in project implementation individually and jointly. In addition, each researcher will actively contribute to teaching and administrative tasks in the discipline of Social and Public Policy at the University of Helsinki (up to 5% of their working time annually), and assist in preparing new research proposals. It is possible to complete the teaching and administrative tasks through English.
An appointee to the position must hold a doctoral degree in one of the social sciences (sociology is the most relevant discipline but applicants with PhDs in other social sciences are also welcome to apply). Applicants must have strong quantitative and/or qualitative methods skills and an excellent command of written and spoken English, as well as fluency in the fieldwork context language. This means that the applicants for fieldwork in Sweden must have fluent Swedish; the applicants for fieldwork in Italy must have fluent Italian; the applicants for fieldwork in the US must have fluent English; and the applicants for fieldwork in South Korea must have fluent Korean. Other languages of relevance to each context are desirable but not essential.
The default assumption is that the doctoral degree requirement must be met by the beginning of the employment (January 2024).
ESSENTIAL QUALITIES AND ATTRIBUTES
Successful applicants will demonstrate excellent methodological and academic writing skills. Candidates with excellent qualitative or quantitative skills are welcome to apply, with preference for those who can demonstrate both. Strong organizational skills are required in order to plan and conduct fieldwork independently. As the postdoctoral researchers will also be working as a team with other researchers, including PhD students, it is essential that applicants demonstrate good communication skills.
WHAT WE OFFER
University of Helsinki is an equal opportunity employer and offers an attractive and diverse workplace with a variety of development opportunities and benefits. The annual gross salary range will be approx. €43,000 – €47,000, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience. Standard Finnish pension benefits and occupational health care are provided for university employees. Further information can be obtained online. The employment contract will include a probationary period of six months.
Finland is a member of the European Union, has high quality free schooling (also in English) and generous family benefits and healthcare. Finland was recently ranked as the best country in the world for expat families, and Helsinki in the world’s top ten most livable cities. Finland and the Helsinki region feature leading research and innovation facilities, clean environment, affordable accommodation, and excellent international, national, and local transport connections. For more information about working at the University of Helsinki and living in Finland, please see the website.
The chosen applicants are expected to reside in Finland while employed by the University of Helsinki. The Faculty of Social Sciences provides assistance in relocation. Due to the requirement to collect data abroad, applicants must be able and willing to travel to and from fieldwork locations abroad and to reside in those locations for extended periods of time. Periods on fieldwork will be interspersed with periods when the project team works together at the University of Helsinki, a practice that necessitates flexibility and adaptability.
HOW TO APPLY
Please submit your application, together with the required attachments, through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the link “Apply now” (“Hae nyt”). Applicants who are currently employed by the University of Helsinki are requested to submit their application, by clicking the ‘Apply’ button. The closing date for applications is Monday 25th of September, 2023.
Applicants are requested to enclose with their applications the following documents in English:
- A curriculum vitae that includes all publications and the names, positions and contact details of two referees,
- A statement (max 1 page) outlining how the applicant would contribute to the LEGACIES project,
- An outline (max. 1 page) of the applicant’s methodological skills (quantitative and/or qualitative),
- A writing sample (ONE published work such as article or book chapter OR a chapter from PhD).
Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in October.
Applicants of any gender, nationality and cultural background are welcomed.
Further information about the positions and the research project may be obtained from Prof Virpi Timonen, [email protected]
The LEGACIES project is premised on the idea that human legacies are more consequential than ever before because the scope for generational interaction has been greatly extended due to longer life expectancies, and because legacies assume unprecedented importance in a world marked by inequality and environmental degradation. The LEGACIES project arises from Professor Timonen’s proposition that legacies are not only posthumous (concerning deceased people and their heirs), but they are dynamic intergenerational processes comprising material and immaterial dimensions. Material legacies (wealth, assets, possessions) that are transferred from one generation to the next are growing, greater in volume than ever, and highly influential in shaping life courses. In addition to material inheritance, we also leave various immaterial legacies, the most pressing of these being our environmental legacies. The LEGACIES project will break new ground in understanding the intertwined material and environmental legacies that pass between co-existing generations. Shedding light on what drives material legacy-making practices will allow a better understanding of the dynamics of inequality. Understanding the interconnectedness of environmental and material legacies will elucidate choices such as downsizing or deciding against having children and their ramifications on inheritance practices. Illuminating how environmental legacies are shaped through generational interaction will better equip us to formulate effective agendas for combating environmental degradation. The LEGACIES project will yield concepts and theory essential for explicating how strategies and practices at the micro level reflect and shape the greatest challenges that humans and the natural environment face.
The Faculty of Social Sciences is Finland’s leading research and education institute in the social sciences, and the country’s most diverse social sciences faculty in terms of the range of its disciplines and fields of research. The Faculty has a strong international research profile and an international master’s programme, and several of its disciplinary units have been rated among the top 50 in the world. The Faculty has approximately 500 research and teaching staff, and each year it awards some 350 bachelor’s degrees, 400 master’s degrees and more than 40 doctoral degrees.