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Positions in Sustainable Industries and Production (I4WORLD)

University of Oulu
Closing date
31 Jan 2023

Job Details

In these positions, you can for instance be part in developing and improving clean technologies and industrial processes and efficient use of natural resources by minimizing waste and negative environmental impacts to reach the sustainable carbon-neutral future.

Positions are part of the new interdisciplinary doctoral programme I4WORLD – Imaging and Characterisation for a Sustainable World – that invites applications for 25 doctoral researcher positions with four-year funding.

Job description

I4WORLD - Imaging and Characterisation for a Sustainable World – is a new doctoral programme within a well-established doctoral training environment at the University of Oulu (UOULU) in Finland, co-funded by the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie-Action COFUND of the EU funding programme Horizon Europe. The Programme will train 25 doctoral researchers with comprehensive understanding on environmental, economic and social sustainability. I4WORLD builds on combination of world leading novel imaging and characterisation methods excellence towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The trained doctoral researchers will develop unique capabilities beyond standard field specific approaches for identifying and solving the fundamental questions enabling future for the World. The Programme trains future research and innovation leaders for the global challenges of sustainability transition in research themes aligned with the UN SDGs: Good Health and Wellbeing, Affordable and Clean Energy, Sustainable Industries and Production and Clean Water, Biodiversity, and Environment.

The drivers of the Programme are Interdisciplinarity, Inter-sectorality and Internationality, which are to be aimed at the research projects carried out in the Programme. The research activities in I4WORLD constitute the highest quality research projects built on solving globally significant problems and with the interests serving the intersectoral community. The Programme combines six faculties, and 24 research units of University of Oulu and collaboration includes 41 academic and 26 non-academic partners committed to jointly supervising and providing secondment opportunities for the doctoral researchers.

I4WORLD invites candidates for twenty-five (25) four-year doctoral researcher positions for 2023 - 2027 at the University of Oulu, funded by the programme. A list of the University of Oulu research units in which the positions are available can be found in the Guide for Applicants. Information regarding the research carried out by the research units and Associated Partners can be found through the I4WORLD website.

We offer four-year doctoral training consisting of studies (min. 40 ECTS), research, secondment(s) and thesis. The doctoral researcher position is intended for an Early-Stage Researcher (ESR) who is defined as researcher who has not yet been awarded a doctorate degree at the deadline of the call. Researcher who has already successfully defended the doctoral thesis but has not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree is not eligible.

Doctoral researchers are committed to the completion of the degree within a time equivalent to four years of full-time study. Each doctoral researcher will publish minimum three scientific publications in high-impact peer-reviewed open access international journals. In addition, doctoral researchers will undertake a secondment (minimum of 6 months) with the Associated Partners. The Programme will provide you unique skills to realize your full potential suited to the changing and demanding requirements of the European job markets in industry, the public sector and academia.

Potential ideas for the research projects are briefly described with each Programme research theme for the candidates to choose from:

For further information you may also contact the potential supervisors listed with each research project idea.

You may also freely propose a project, indicating a potential participating research site from University of Oulu and Partner(s). Please familiarise with the research done at participating University of Oulu research units and read instructions carefully from the Guide for Applicants.

Qualification requirements

We are looking for excellent candidates that

1. meet the following MSCA criteria:

  • Early-Stage Researcher (ESR): the applicants should not possess a doctoral degree at the deadline of the programme call. Researchers who have already successfully defended the doctoral thesis but have not yet formally been awarded the doctoral degree are not eligible;
  • Mobility rule: Applicant must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country where research will be implemented for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the deadline of the programme’s call. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account. i.e. researchers coming to Finland should not have resided or carried activity in Finland for more than 12 months in the 36 month period before the end of the call 31.1.2023.

2. hold a master’s degree or an equivalent degree (e.g. licentiate) in any relevant discipline to the I4WORLD programme at the date on, which the call closes 31.1.2023. Must have achieved a good grade in their degree (i.e. at least 60 % of the maximum grade in both taught courses and the master’s thesis);

3. are able to demonstrate English language skills that are sufficient to follow doctoral studies. For this, the applicant must provide official documents demonstrating one of the options (see more detailed in the Guide for Applicants).

What we offer

  • An inspiring international and interdisciplinary research atmosphere in well-established research units, world-class guidance, structured doctoral training, cutting-edge infrastructures and great secondment opportunities with academic and non-academic partners;
  • The interdisciplinary research training and transferable skills that help you to develop skills and competences and multiple opportunities to advance career via different routes;
  • Providing you possibilities for flexible work via well-established practices and agreements for flexible working hours, part-time working and teleworking;
  • During secondments, Partner Organisations will provide you similar level working conditions ensured by being UOULU employees. Each doctoral researcher is provided with a travel allowance by the Programme;
  • Wide variety of support services at UOULU are at your disposal, allowing you to focus on your studies and research;
  • You will receive a competitive salary paid monthly, which includes paid leave and an additional holiday bonus in the summer;
  • You will receive university occupational health insurance. The Finnish government also provides benefits to residents and their families, for example access to the national healthcare system and high-quality, affordable childcare and school services.

Position and salary

Doctoral researchers selected in the I4WORLD programme will by default be offered a four-year (48 month) fixed-term full-time employment contract by University of Oulu. These positions are available for highly motivated and talented researchers wishing to undertake and complete training for a research-focused doctoral degree available starting 1st May 2023 at the earliest. The selected applicants are expected to start their project no later than 31st August 2023. A six-month trial period is applied in the position.

The salary of the selected doctoral researchers will be paid monthly. The starting gross salary (before taxes) will be 2802 € / month for the full-time employment, in accordance with the guidelines of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND action. Later the salary follows the YPJ salary system of Finnish Universities.

The employment contracts are based on a total working time of 1 612 hours per year, which gives the doctoral researchers freedom to plan their working hours.

For the doctoral researchers aiming for double degree with the Partner Universities (see Guide for Applicants), an additional individual Supervision agreement will be established after admission to the Programme between the doctoral researcher, supervisors and legal representatives of each Partner University.

How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by January 31st, 2023 (23:59 Finnish local time). The application should be written in English and include the following:

1) A motivation letter (max. 2 pages) summarizing applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why applicant is interested in this position. Also, information on personal research interests, experience and career plans are valuable to provide here. Letter should also include potential specific interests to University of Oulu research unit(s) and/or Partner Organisation(s).

2) Curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages) Curriculum Vitae of the applicant, including a list of any peer-reviewed scientific publications (with full reference details). A recommended CV template can be found on the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity at

3) Certificates/Diplomas Scanned copy of the original relevant master’s degree certificates and transcript of records and, when necessary, official translations to Finnish or English

4) A valid certificate of language proficiency

5) Research plan (max. 4 pages) The research plan should contain information about the background and significance of the research (you can use Impact Helper tool), a description of the intended objectives and methods, a preliminary time schedule, a description of how the research relates to the host unit’s research activities, Partner Organisations and aims of the I4WORLD doctoral programme, description of mobility complied with the MSCA rules and, if relevant, any results that have already been obtained.

6) Ethics Self-Assessment Table. Template is found on the website. Please fill, sign and attach a scanned copy of this table to your application. Instructions for filling the table can be found from the European Commission website. In case your assessment raises any ethical issues, please be in contact with your potential supervisor and describe the plans to handle the ethical issues in your research plan.

7) Only if applicable: Signed letter of commitment from new partner(s) beyond the current list of I4WORLD partners provided on the website. Please request the formal template from the (NOT NEEDED FOR THE PARTNERS LISTED ON THE I4WORLD WEBSITE).

Important: Potential ideas for the research projects are provided on the I4WORLD website to choose from. The applicant may also freely propose a project, indicating a potential research site from participating UOULU research units and Partner(s). If an applicant is including a new partner(s), a letter of commitment from a partner is required.

Only applications containing all relevant appendices and submitted through the online recruitment system will be considered. If the appendices exceed the required number of pages, only the pages specified in the instructions are taken into account in the assessment. You can supplement or modify your application during the application period. After submitting the application, you will receive a reply message with a link to your application form. Applications received after the call deadline will not be considered.


Top eligible candidates will go through an external expert evaluation. The applications for the doctoral programme will be evaluated according to the quality of the applicant and of the research proposal, and to the compatibility of the applicant with the host, as more detailed in the Guide for Applicants. The top 35 shortlisted candidates are invited for an on-site or remote online interview by the Selection Committee representatives complemented by potential supervisors and by UniOGS and HR representatives. The doctoral positions are offered to the top 25 from the shortlisted candidates.

Further information

The Guide for Applicants provides detailed information related to the I4WORLD programme. If you cannot find the information you need from that document, please address your requests to and visit our website:

University of Oulu

The University of Oulu is part of the international scientific community producing new scientific knowledge and science-based solutions related to problems of the society. The University of Oulu is committed to educate future pioneers for building a more sustainable, intelligent and humane world. Creating new knowledge, taking responsibility and succeeding together are values that build a strong foundation for all our actions. We offer a working environment where individuals can cultivate their skills, do meaningful work, and develop professionally. The specialized research and service units of the University of Oulu enable extensive and diverse development and career opportunities for experts in various fields.

About Oulu, Finland

Finland is one of the most livable countries in the world, with a high quality of life, safety, excellent education system, and competitive economy. The Oulu region is home to over 200 000 people making it the largest urban centre in the Nordics and one of the fastest growing regions in northern Finland. Oulu is a combination of beautiful, northern nature, vivid cultural life and modern technology. Oulu is also known for its highly-educated people and friendly, easy-going atmosphere. Living in Oulu is easy – everything is only max. 20 minutes away! Find out more about Oulu:


The University of Oulu is an international science university which creates innovation for the future, well-being, and knowledge through research and education. Our community is 13,000 students and 3000 employees strong, and one of the biggest and the most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. The university consists of eight faculties and many specialized research units.

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PO Box 8000
FI-90014 University of Oulu

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