Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Early Stage Researcher (PhD candidate) position: Welfare Law

We are now inviting applications for one Early Stage Researcher (PhD candidate) position in the EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Cofund DP project Neuro-Innovation: Research and innovation for brain health throughout life. The position in the Institute of Law and Welfare will start in early 2022. Read more below and submit your application no later than 31 October 2021.

This position is one of the 7 PhD positions available for highly motivated Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in the Neuro-Innovation project in the Kuopio campus of the university. Neuro-Innovation training is a novel effort at University of Eastern Finland to integrate the university’s world class neuroscience with top-level innovation management, social sciences, law, data sciences and applied physics. This integration will produce unique inter/multidisciplinary competence that contributes to brain health innovation in Europe and beyond by training future leaders in this area of research and practice. Neuro-Innovation training will address the translation of research results into clinical adaptation and commercial outcomes in three multidisciplinary research areas:

1. The societal impact of prediction and early diagnosis research area
2. The co-innovation for prevention and treatment research area
3. The transfer of technologies, methods and models research area

In the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies, a total of 2 Early Stage Researcher positions will be filled in this second call. One of these positions will be filled by a person majoring in Law in the Doctoral Programme in Law. The number of ESRs selected in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies will be determined during the selection process and may change from what has initially been announced based on the eligibility of the applicants and the scoring of the applications.      

UEF Law school offers diverse study opportunities and excellence? in multidisciplinary research and cooperation with other fields of science. In its research and teaching activities, the UEF Law School specialises in several areas: Welfare Law; Empirical Legal Studies; International and Finnish Environmental Law; International, EU and Finnish Climate Change Law; and International, EU and Finnish Energy Law. Research at the UEF Law School places strong emphasis on international cooperation and networking.

Role and salary

The selected ESR will work in the Neuro-ethics and law research team at the Institute of Law and Welfare, UEF Law School.  Neuro-ethics and law research team focuses on the research related to patients’ rights in neurodegenerative diseases and other disabilities. In line with a holistic approach, our aim is to ensure, that patients and their families, despite of the illness, have the opportunity to live a good life with dignity and to be recognized as full members of society.

The position in the Doctoral Programme in Law is offered for the research topic of Neuro-Ethics and Law – Socio-Legal Perspective to Legal Rights and Access to Justice of People with Neurodegenerative Diseases. You may modify this research topic or suggest your own topic in the field of law in your motivation letter. The main duty of the ESR is to complete their doctoral dissertation in accordance with their research proposal written in the beginning of the employment period. In the University of Eastern Finland, the objective is to complete the doctoral degree in a maximum of four years of full-time study. The position will be filled for a fixed term of four years starting from early 2022 or as agreed upon with the candidate. ESR positions are always filled for a fixed term. A probationary period is applied to all new members of the staff.  

The salary of the position is based on the salary system for the teaching and research staff at universities. The salary consists of the job-related salary element and the personal performance salary element. For this position, the job requirement level used to determine the job-related salary element is 2–4, and the personal performance salary element is 6–50% of the job-related salary element. The estimated monthly salary in the beginning of the employment will be 2,288.17 - 3,163.95 €/per month. The salary of an ESR depends on the phase of the doctoral dissertation and postgraduate studies as well as personal performance.

ESRs will be employed as staff with relevant benefits, such as a pension scheme and benefits for employment injuries, occupational diseases and unemployment. They have a legal right to a leave of absence, for example for maternity, paternity and parental leaves. ESRs enjoy many government-funded benefits in Finland, including free health care for families, low-cost day care and other benefits for families with children (See more information about Family Benefits). 

What we expect and wish from you 

This research project needs the participation of researhers  with passion for excellence in research, innovation, and societal impact. We are looking for candidates who seek to contribute to neuro-ethics and law research ie. research of legal rights and access to justice of people with neurodegenerative diseases. Ideal candidates want to open their minds to intersecting and complementary fields of science, seeking a multi/interdisciplinary approach in research.

The academic profile of the candidate should be in law, preferably in healthcare law, medical law, family law, disability law, elder law and/or discrimination and equality law, with the idea of complementing this background throughout PhD studies. We are looking for a motivated candidate interested in consepts of cabability, autonomy, relationality and vulnerability. It is also beneficial if the candidate is able to use empirical research methods and has experience in multidicsiplinary research. The candidate will be working in multidisiplinary “Neuro-Ehics and Law” research team focusing in legal rights and wellbeing of people with neurodegenerative diseases.

Overall, the candidate must be willing to combine complementary areas of knowledge in clinical neurosciences, social sciences and/or neuro-impact and innovation to complete the thesis project. As far as soft skills are concerned, we welcome candidates with a proactive, collaborative attitude, and who are enthusiastic about building, creating, and working in teams. Good knowledge of written and spoken English is essential. An ideal candidate must have a high degree of independent thought and inititative and be willing to spend some time abroad with our international partners and outside the university in our partner institution.

The person appointed as an ESR must hold an appropriate higher university degree or an equivalent degree that would qualify the person for doctoral studies.

Requirements for doctoral candidates:

  • hold a Master’s degree (or equivalent) and a research thesis (or equivalent) in healthcare law, medical law, family law, disability law, elder law and/or discrimination and equality law or another related relevant field
  • should not hold a doctorate or PhD
  • should have less than 4 years of research experience after graduation (Master’s Degree or equivalent based on which you are applying for this position) by October 31st, 2021
  • excellent command of the English language is required

 Mobility requirements for doctoral candidates:

  • fulfil the mobility requirement of the MSCA actions, i.e. ESRs must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies) in Finland for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before October 31st, 2021. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not considered.

What we can offer you  

  • An interesting position in an international, creative, participatory and engaging university community 
  • The possibility of flexible multi-location work 
  • Staff benefits of the University of Eastern Finland, including comprehensive occupational health care, versatile staff training opportunities, affordable campus restaurant lunches and Sykettä sports services 

How to apply  

The application shall be submitted no later than 31 October 2021 by 24:00 hours Finnish time (11:00 pm CEST) by using the electronic application form. 

The objective is to offer the position to the most merited applicant by February-March 2022.

Please note that the application is required to include the following appendices: 

  • certified copies of BSc and MSc degree diplomas/certificates and copies of these relating to applicant’s language proficiency (if not indicated in the academic degree), transcripts of these records in English. If the proof of English language skills has not been demonstrated in an academic degree and the applicant has not taken the English language test, the English language skills will be assessed in the interview for the position.
  • curriculum vitae (CV) (  
  • Master’s thesis (in any language), electronic copy (in zip file)
  • two-page summary of the Master’s thesis in English (in pdf file)
  • motivation letter (max three pages) describes the applicant’s motivation to pursue PhD studies in the chosen research area and topic. When suggesting your own research topic or modifications to the given topic, the research idea needs to be described as part of the motivation letter and research ethics and infrastructure forms provided on the programme website must be attached to the application (for more specific instructions on the motivation letter, see


For further information on the position and the research topic for which it is offered, please visit

For further information on the application procedure, see the FAQ section on the Neuro-Innovation website or send email to

University of Eastern Finland in brief

The University of EasternFinland is one of the most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. We arehome to 16,000 students and 2,750 staff members. Our research is ranked among the best in the world in several fields. 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

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies trains professionals and experts to the fields of history and geography, environmental policy, business, law, social sciences and health and social management (

Neuro-Innovation: Research and innovation for brain health throughout life project is funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101034307. Neuro-Innovation is a novel and globally unique four-year doctoral programme on research and innovation for brain health throughout life. A total of 14 competent and motivated Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will be selected in two calls for multidisciplinary doctoral training which combines neurosciences with management, social, legal and computer sciences and applied physics.