PhD position: Environmental knowledge and sustainable Arctic communities

August 18th, 2016

University of Oulu, Finland, is advertising a REXSAC PhD position in Environmental knowledge and sustainable Arctic communities. Application deadline is 30 September 2016.

Link to full text and application site

Four-year doctoral student position, Environmental knowledge and sustainable arctic communities

The Arctic is facing multifaceted challenges in terms of ecological, economic, political and socio-cultural sustainable development. In many places, the development of extractive industries is in a nexus where multiple land use interests and cumulative environmental impacts are negotiated, historical developments meet emerging future expectations, and environmental wellbeing touches the wellbeing and socio-cultural continuity of Arctic communities. Extractive industries represent as well a phenomenon where local meets global, south meets north and techno-scientific approaches encounter local understanding and values. Such questions become relevant as what kind of information is needed and who produce the focal information. Successful PhD student applicant will carry out research on these issues, which are crucial, for example, to the development of such policy instruments as community based monitoring and co-management practices that aim at the empowerment of arctic indigenous and other communities.

The four-year PhD student position will begin in 2017 and s/he will be part of a group of PhD students within the Nordic Centre of Excellence ‘Resource Extraction and Sustainable Arctic Communities’ (REXSAC) funded by NordForsk. The PhD position of this call will be based at the University of Oulu, but the position will necessitate studies and visits to other partners and close collaboration with the fields of research in REXSAC. Educational and research backgrounds in anthropology, geography and history are considered beneficial as well as experience of cooperation with other fields of science and empirical field based research and language skills related to any of the Nordic countries including Greenland.

About University of Oulu

The University of Oulu, located in Northern Finland, promotes advanced research in five focus areas. The doctoral position of this call is related especially to the focus area of Understanding humans in change. The University, with its 10 faculties and more than 70 specialist disciplines, cooperates closely with industry, commerce and society in general, and has broad connections with many international research and education institutions.

Doctoral student will belong to the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS) which provides the framework and conditions for high-quality, research-driven doctoral education at the University of Oulu. UniOGS promotes the development of structured Doctoral Programmes covering the areas of Technology, Natural Sciences, Biosciences, Health Sciences, and Human Sciences, and nurtures effective student-supervisor relationships founded on both motivation and commitment. UniOGS thus aims to create a favourable environment for the planning, execution and timely completion of doctoral education tailored for each student.

 Eligibility Criteria

  • Master’s Degree in relevant field (such as cultural anthropology, archaeology, history and geography)
  • The degree has been accredited with good grades (i.e. at least 60% of the maximum grade in both taught studies and the Master’s thesis).
  • Applicants must provide evidence of equivalent competence in English language by achieving the minimum standard in a recognised English language test, by fulfilling one or more of the following criteria:
    • The applicant has completed a Bachelor or Master degree taught in English;
    • The applicant has successfully completed at least 20 ECTS credits of studies conducted in English in a higher education institution;
    • Certificate of English language proficiency from the Finnish National Board of Education (skill levels 5 in reading, writing, listening & speaking);
    • TOEFL score (minimum 580 PBT / 92 IBT);
    • IELTS score (minimum 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each section; Academic module only);
    • Pearson Test of English (minimum 62, with minimum of 52 in writing section; PTE Academic only);
    • Cambridge ESOL’s Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), or of Advanced English (CAE) (grades A, B or C).


Depending on personal achievement and performance, the salary of the Doctoral student will be set at levels 2–4 of the national salary scale for the teaching and research staff of Finnish universities (€ 2450 – 2900 gross).

Informal enquiries 

Professor Hannu.I.Heikkinen(at)


The applications must be submitted through the electronic recruitment system no later than 30th September 2016.

The applications shall be attached with
1. CV
2. Preliminary study plan (max 3 pages)
3. Copies of degree certificates
4. One-page letter describing the motivation and relevant experience of the candidate

Apply for the job