Early Stage Researcher, biomedical engineering

The University of Eastern Finland is inviting applications for an Early Stage Researcher (Biomedical engineering in sleep medicine) position in Kuopio campus. The position will be filled for a period of two year starting from June 1, 2021, or as agreed. The possible continuation of the position will be agreed separately with the appointed Early Stage Researcher. Please find more information below and submit your application no later than 17 May 2021.

Role and salary

The research will be carried out at the Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland (as a part of the sleep research group STAG, https://sites.uef.fi/stag/?lang=en). National and international collaboration is in a key role during the project. The STAG provides an inspiring, active, and youthful research community. The STAG carries out globally recognized research in the field of biomedical engineering, health informatics, sleep medicine, and respiratory medicine with the research mostly focusing on the development of diagnostics of obstructive sleep apnea. During the research project, there is a possibility to visit The University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia) and to do research exchange periods to our international collaborators’ sleep laboratories. This position is well suited also for the candidates aiming for hospital physicist career.

Our research group is developing novel computational solutions for a more accurate diagnosis of sleep apnea, investigating the relationship between the severity of individual respiratory events and the severity of sleep apnea, and developing novel wearable technologies for self-applicable monitoring of sleep disturbances. We have developed machine learning-based approaches for estimation of sleep apnea severity, assessment of sleep apnea-related daytime sleepiness, and automatic detection of sleep stages. We have also commercialized an easy-to-use forehead patch for the recording of EEG. We have published dozens of articles in high-level peer-reviewed journals and supervised eight Ph.D. students until completion. Currently, twelve Ph.D. students are under our supervision.

This is a Horizon 2020 funded research project. In this research project, the aim is to develop signal analysis techniques to better estimate obstructive sleep apnea severity and treatment needs to improve health outcomes and quality of life. These techniques are implemented to high-end wearables developed in this project to alleviate the costs and increase the availability of polysomnography recordings. Finally, we aim to design a digital platform that functions as a bridge between researchers, patients, and healthcare professionals. The research is based on extensive collaboration between sleep specialists, computer scientists, and industry partners. The collaboration network consists of over 30 sleep centers working together to provide the needed retrospective data (over 10000 sleep studies). The multi-center prospective trials involve experts and end-users to assess and validate the new diagnostic algorithms, wearables, and platforms. Furthermore, the technical solutions and computational tools to be developed in this project can lead to a paradigm shift in the diagnostics of sleep apnea and significantly enhance the estimation of the risk for most severe comorbidities. With the commitment of the European Sleep Research Society and Assembly of National Sleep Societies (over 8000 members), we have the unique possibility to create new standardized guidelines for sleep medicine in the EU.

Positions of Early Stage Researcher shall always be filled for a fixed term (UEF University Regulations, Section 31). The position will be filled for a period of two year starting from June 1, 2021, or as agreed. The possible continuation of the position will be agreed separately with the appointed Early Stage Researcher. A probationary period is applied to all new members of the staff.

The salary of the position is determined in accordance with the salary system of Finnish universities and is based on levels 2 - 4 of the job requirement level chart for teaching and research staff (€2,078.27 - 2,591.28/month). In addition to the job requirement component, the salary includes a personal performance component, which may be a maximum of 50 % of the job requirement component. 

As Early Stage researcher your main responsibilities will include:

  • development and validation of novel computational tools and diagnostic parameters
  • signal analysis and/or deep neural network analysis
  • reporting of research results
  • writing of a Ph.D. thesis
  • alongside the Ph.D. thesis work, it is possible to supervise undergraduate students (B.Sc. / M.Sc. students).

For candidates it is possible to focus on the following areas:

1) Development of automatic data analysis tools and new diagnostic methods

2) Phenotypes of sleep apnea; patient-specific differences in characteristics of sleep apnea and associations to adverse health consequences

Our requirements and expectations

English will be the language of instruction and supervision in this position. A person to be appointed as an Early Stage Researcher shall be qualified to pursue postgraduate studies, i.e. he or she is required to have completed a suitable higher university degree or an equivalent education abroad which in the country in question would qualify the person for similar academic studies. A master’s degree or equivalent in medical engineering, physics, electrical engineering, or a related field is required for the position. Persons graduating in the near future are also encouraged to apply. However, they are expected to hold a relevant M.Sc. degree (or equivalent) by the starting date of the Early Stage Researcher position.

Potential candidate should have good command of the English language. Good skills in data analysis, signal analysis, and programming, specifically experience with MATLAB and Python is highly desired. Knowledge and skills related to deep learning analysis and sleep medicine are considered an advantage. Candidate should be highly motivated and interested in working in a multidisciplinary environment.

Your benefits

You will have access to the university’s staff benefits, including

  • extensive occupational health care
  • staff discount on lunch in our campus restaurants, as well as on a range of other services
  • affordable sports services. 

Please read more in the Work at UEF section on our website.

You will have an opportunity to work in an interesting role as part of our international, creative, participatory and inclusive academic community.

How to apply?

Submit your application by using our electronic application form no later than 17 May 2021 (by 24.00 hours Finnish time)

Please note that you must include the following appendices in your application:

  • CV (max 2 pages http://www.tenk.fi/en/template-researchers-curriculum-vitae including possible publications)
  • a motivational letter
  • copies of your academic degree certificates / diplomas, and copies of certificates / diplomas relating to your language proficiency, if not indicated in the academic degree certificates/diplomas 


For further information on the position, please contact 

Docent, Senior Researcher Timo Leppänen, Ph.D., tel. +358 44 532 6362, timo.leppanen[a]uef.fi
Docent, Senior Researcher Sami Myllymaa, Ph.D., tel. +358 29 445 3667, sami.myllymaa[a]uef.fi
Professor, Chief Physicist Juha Töyräs, Ph.D., tel. +358 29 445 3405, juha.toyras[a]uef.fi 

For further information on the application procedure, please contact Executive Assistant Satu Turunen, tel. +358 29 445 3031, satu.turunen[a]uef.fi. 

University of Eastern Finland and the Faculty of Science and Forestry in brief

The University of Eastern Finland is the most multidisciplinary university in Finland. We are home to 15,500 students and 2,700 staff members. Our research is ranked among the best in the world in several fields (inc. forest sciences). We generate research-based knowledge and make it openly accessible for the benefit of all. UEF stands for action with impact that is relevant today and tomorrow. To learn more about our university please visit our website at www.uef.fi/en

The Faculty of Science and Forestry operates on the Kuopio and Joensuu campuses of the University of Eastern Finland. The mission of the faculty is to carry out internationally recognised scientific research and to offer research-education in the fields of natural sciences and forest sciences. The faculty invests in all of the strategic research areas of the university. The faculty’s environments for research and learning are international, modern and multidisciplinary.  The faculty has approximately 3,500 Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students and some 470 postgraduate students. The number of staff amounts to 530. To learn more about the Faculty of Science and Forestry please visit our website at www.uef.fi/en/faculty-of-science-and-forestry