Doctoral student in Electrical Engineering / Electronics (CMOS sensors & Raman spectroscopy)

The University of Oulu ( is one of the largest universities in Finland, with approximately 15 000 students and 3 000 employees. The University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS) ( provides the framework and conditions for high-quality, research-driven doctoral education at the University of Oulu, and field-specific doctoral training is provided by its multidisciplinary doctoral programmes. Under this framework, the Information Technology and Electrical Engineering Doctoral Programme (ITEE-DP) ( offers doctoral training in Electrical Engineering, Communications Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering and Information Processing Science.

We are now inviting applications for a full-time Doctoral Student position related to a project funded by the Academy of Finland. The position is fixed-term starting at the earliest on 01.01.2020 and continuing until 30.6.2023. A six-month trial period is applied at the beginning of the contract. Research is supervised by Associate Professor Ilkka Nissinen in the Circuits and Systems (CAS) research unit, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. This research is closely tied to the Ubiquitous Wireless Sensor Systems, which is the project of University of Oulu funded by the Academy of Finland and University of Oulu to strengthen its profile.

Research area of the position

Raman spectroscopy is a very powerful optical tool that can nondestructively and quantitatively resolve the chemical and molecular composition of a sample. The potential of Raman spectroscopy has been recognized in various fields such as agricultural, food, forensic, security, biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences, just to name a few. The main challenge of Raman spectroscopy is the high fluorescence emission of some samples. Fluorescence background can be effectively suppressed by time-gated sensors with the pulsed lasers source in which case Raman and fluorescence photons are separated in time domain. The CAS research unit has developed the worlds’ first time-resolving CMOS line sensors for this purpose. Time domain signal processing in the field of Raman spectroscopy can be utilized to derive depth maps of molecules as a function depth of samples and this has been already demonstrated by the group by using an off-chip delay unit and a time-gated CMOS sensor. However, more simple structure could be achieved by integrating all the sensor part in the single integrated sensor. The open PhD student position aim in searching efficient means for time-resolving CMOS sensor, which could be used to derive the Raman spectra as a function of depth of a sample without any off-chip delay units. The CAS research unit has a Raman spectrometer that can be used to test different types of developed sensors.

 PhD student position is open over a general theme of

Designing of time-resolving CMOS single-photon avalanche diode line sensor for a depth-resolving Raman spectroscopy

This includes tasks both in the designing of integrated circuit by using a CMOS technology and testing the fabricated IC in a real application i.e. depth resolving Raman spectroscopy.

Time-resolving CMOS SPAD line sensor designing is related into the development of time-to-digital converters with hundreds of timing channels and digital delay lines. The work can be thought to be mixed-signal integrated circuit designing because the time precision should be within tens of picoseconds and thus transient simulations have to be used to verify proper functionality. In other words, the Raman signal processing is done in time domain requiring accurate time domain simulation even if digital circuit blocks are used.

The position is supervised by Associate Professor Ilkka Nissinen. The place of work is CAS Research Unit, University of Oulu, headed by Professor Timo Rahkonen. CAS research unit is famous of integrated laser scanners and digital time-of-flight circuits and applications for example time-resolving Raman spectroscopy. In addition, CAS has solid experience in optoelectronic circuits and especially RF electronics and RFIC design.

Requirements for a doctoral student

To successfully occupy the position of a doctoral student, the candidate must possess a Master’s degree or an equivalent degree (e.g. licentiate) preferably in electrical engineering. In addition, knowledge in integrated circuit design is required.  Practical experience of analog electronics or digital electronics design is seen as an advantage. Degree must have been completed with good grades by 30.11.2019 (or latest before the job contract starts). Ability to pursue independent research and excellent writing and fluency in English is expected. The doctoral student position is intended for an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) who, according to the ”European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers”, is defined as a researcher in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of his/her research activity, including the period of research training. Applicants will be either starting their doctoral training or will have completed no more than two full years of training (adjusted for possible previous part-time status) at the time the position is filled. The selected candidate will carry out his/her doctoral studies in the Information Technology and Electrical Engineering Doctoral Programme of the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS) and must meet the minimal requirements to receive doctoral study rights as defined in


The salary of the selected doctoral student will be set on levels 2 – 4 of the national salary scale for the teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a supplementary remuneration will be given for personal achievement and performance (max. 50 %). The total salary for these levels (before tax) currently ranges from about 2350 to 3800 euros/month for full-time employment.


Applications must be submitted using the electronic application form by 28.10.2019, 23:59 (Finnish local time), with the following attachments as three separate pdf files:

  1. Complete CV containing contact information of at least two referees (Max. size limit of the attachment: 5 Mbytes)
  2. Motivation letter (maximum 1 page) describing prior knowledge and research interests and career plans (1-2 pages; max. size limit of the attachment: 2 Mbytes).
  3. Certificates/Diplomas: Scanned electronic copies of diplomas and transcripts of the records of relevant previous degrees. If the original documents are not in English, Finnish or Swedish, each document must be accompanied by an official certified translation into English or Finnish. (Max. size limit of the attachment: 2 Mbytes)

Other relevant information

The eligible applicants fitting best in the research profile expected for the position may be invited to an on-site or remote interview. All applicants will be notified when the selection process is completed.


Associate Professor Ilkka Nissinen, e-mail: Ilkka.nissinen(at)

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