Professor or Tenure Track Assistant or Associate Professor in Geographies of the Anthropocene

The Biodiverse Anthropocenes Research Programme at the University of Oulu (Finland) is inviting applications for:





We invite applications from candidates who have strong research skills in studies on the relationships between society and environment, and who are interested in pursuing work across traditional disciplinary boundaries.

For this Geographies of the Anthropocene position, we are looking for an internationally oriented scholar conversant in frameworks and processes linked to human impacts on and relations with environmental change supported with novel approaches to space, time, knowledge and materiality in changing socio-ecological systems at different scales. The specific research fields could include topics such as: social and environmental justice; resilience, mitigation and adaptation; political ecology and ethics; change and natural resource management; crisis and environmental peacebuilding; political economy and evolutionary spatial economics; and globalisation, mobilities and responsibility.

The successful candidate is expected to design and develop a vigorous research program, publish scholarly work at high international level, network and write proposals for external funding, teach graduate and undergraduate courses, advise graduate and undergraduate students and engage with academic and societal service. This is a transdisciplinary position, and depending on the position level, we value vision (assistant) or demonstrated experience (associate/full professor) in transdisciplinary approaches in research.

Those hired at Assistant or Associate level will be tenure-track positions with five-year terms. A Professor-level appointment will be a permanent position. The position includes a start-up package that comes with funding for research expenses and hiring e.g. postdoctoral researcher (4 years) and/or PhD students (4 years). The start-up package details are based on negotiations with appointable candidates.



Located on the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia in Northern Finland with 15,000 students and 3,000 employees, the University of Oulu is one of the Nordic countries’ largest universities and is a global leader in studies of Northern environments and peoples. The University has recently launched a new multi-faculty strategic research programme, “Biodiverse Anthropocenes”, which focuses on human-environment relations and biodiversity dynamics, with an aim to understand Earth as an integrated, multiscalar and socio-spatially differentiated web of social and biophysical interactions. This programme aims to advance research and discussion concerning the multiple societal and environmental contributors to biodiversity loss, including interaction between human agents and nature, and to strengthen the collaborative role of the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities in current political and scientific debates about the environment, especially but not limited to the Arctic. By bringing together national and international scholars from across disciplines, and encouraging effective public communication of science, Biodiverse Anthropocenes ( ) will promote inter- and transdisciplinary and citizen-engaged studies of the environment and raise the University’s profile as an international leader in addressing the challenges of humans in change and human impacts and dependency on environment.


Job description

The main duties are to:

  • Develop and sustain research, scholarly and creative activities leading to academic publications and public-facing outreach initiatives
  • Establish research partnerships across disciplinary boundaries in Finland and internationally
  • Collaborate in service to Biodiverse Anthropocenes programme, faculty, and university
  • Communicate research results to academic community, user groups and general public
  • Develop and teach undergraduate and graduate level courses
  • Supervise undergraduate and graduate students


What we expect

Our tenure track is positioned for exceptionally talented researchers with a high potential to advance in their careers. The top candidates will undergo an evaluation by external, international experts and are required to reach top scores (5-6 on a scale from 1 to 6 for scientific activity and as the overall score) in order to qualify for the position.

The Professor position is targeted for experienced and highly qualified candidates who have already advanced in their careers. In this strategically significant position, the successful candidate is also expected to reach top scores (5-6 on a scale from 1 to 6 for scientific activity and as the overall score) in expert evaluations.

You are expected to hold a Ph.D. in a relevant field (human geography, other social sciences, humanities or environmental sciences). You value transdisciplinary research and your research work is anchored in approaches that span social, environmental sciences and/or humanities (in the wider sense). Your research investigates aspects of environmental change and crisis. Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills are necessary.

Qualifications for an Assistant Professor position: You must demonstrate the ability to carry out scientific research independently and teach at undergraduate and graduate levels. In order to be eligible for a position as Assistant Professor, you must have received your doctoral degree not more than ten years ago.

Qualifications for an Associate Professor position: You must demonstrate evidence of high level scientific research work and relevant teaching skills. You must have the ability to lead research and acquire external research funding. We also expect you to have sufficient and relevant experience from international scientific research cooperation.

If you are a highly qualified candidate, you can also apply for a permanent Professor:

Qualifications for a Professor position: As a Professor, you are required to have a doctoral degree, high-quality scientific qualifications and experience of leading scientific research. You have the ability to provide high-quality teaching based on research and to supervise thesis work. You can also show evidence of international cooperation in the field of the position. In addition to this, you are expected to have the demonstrated skills to act as an academic leader.


What we offer

We offer you a supportive academic environment in a community of committed scholars and the possibility to make use of funding opportunities to generate new research ideas and build an innovative programme that will attract international scholars. The University of Oulu offers flexible working hours, an excellent work-life balance and provides a range of occupational healthcare services. Our competitive salaries include paid leave and an additional holiday bonus in the summer. Additionally, employees moving to Oulu receive additional financial support towards moving expenses.

Oulu is a Northern Nordic city known for its stunning natural surroundings, vibrant cultural life and friendly, easy-going atmosphere. Residents of Oulu enjoy Finland’s high standard of living combined with affordable housing and lower living costs compared to larger cities in the south. The Oulu region is home to over 200,000 people, making it the largest urban centre in northern Nordics and one of the fastest growing regions in Finland. Find out more about Oulu:



The salary will be competitive and based on the standard salaries for teaching and research staff at Finnish universities. The salary will be based on the levels 5-6 for an Assistant Professor, on the levels 6-7 for an Associate Professor and in the Professor position, on levels 8-9 of the demand level chart for teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50 % of the job-specific component). In EUR terms, the salary will likely be between 3500-5500 for an Assistant or Associate Professor and 6000-7200 for a Professor.


Applications and selection process

Apply online by Wednesday 30 June 2021. Please include the following attachments in your application:

1)      A letter of motivation with contact information, stating the career level (assistant/associate/full professor) at which you would like to be evaluated (max 1 page)

2)      Curriculum vitae in line with the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity:

3)      List of publications preferably with DOI identifications, with the ten most important ones marked, in line with the guidelines of the Academy of Finland:

4)      Brief account of research merits (max 1 page)

5)      Brief account of teaching merits or a teaching portfolio (max 2 pages)

6)      Details regarding acquisition of research funds (max 2 pages)

7)      A brief research and action plan (max 3 pages)

8)      Contact details of 2–4 persons available for recommendation [NB: these people will not be contacted unless you reach the shortlist stage].

The selection process follows the University of Oulu’s recruitment guidelines. The process is carried out by a nominated recruitment committee and and the candidates are subjected to publication analyses based on their publication lists. The candidates who are considered most suitable by the recruitment committee will undergo an external evaluation by international experts, who will assess the candidate on the following criteria:

  • Research activities and their reflection in the candidate’s publication record, scientific presentations and other recognitions, e.g. awards and patents
  • Teaching activities and their evaluation (teaching portfolio; including students’ evaluation)
  • Supervision of undergraduate, Master’s and doctoral students
  • Successful acquisition of competitive research funds
  • International scientific activities (research, keynotes, workshops, conferences) and networks
  • Academic community and administrative services
  • Academic and public relevance of research activities


Further information

The Assistant / Associate Professor position is for a term of five years based on the tenure-track system of the University of Oulu. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to advance their career through external evaluations at regular intervals. If hired at Professor level, the position is permanent and the selection process follows the University of Oulu recruitment guidelines. The position is due to begin in January 2022 or as negotiated. A probationary period of [6] months is applied in the position.


Further details are available from the coordinator of Biodiverse Anthropocenes, Dr Emma Vatka (

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