4-year Doctoral Student position in Plant Metacommunity project in Finland


The University of Oulu (UOulu) is an international science university creating new knowledge, well-being and innovation for the future through multidisciplinary research and education. Close cooperation with research institutes, companies and the public sector has created an internationally significant research and innovation hub that has changed the world. Every day 2.6 billion people use technology developed in Oulu. In addition, the university’s location close to the Arctic offers unique conditions for a wide variety of research.

This position is open in the UOulu, Ecology and Genetics Research Unit and funded by Faculty of Science and ‘Arctic Interactions and Global Change (ArcI)’ – a scientific profile area of UOulu. ArcI promotes cross-faculty and multidisciplinary cooperation through recruitment and mobility programmes, seed money actions and science events. This open position will be linked especially to the ArcI theme 1: Global change and northern environments (http://www.oulu.fi/arci).

Brief description of the project and position:

Our team (https://eskelinenresearch.com/) seeks a highly motivated doctoral student to work in a new project that examines the relative roles of spatial heterogeneity, dispersal, biotic interactions (competition and herbivory) and environmental conditions in dictating species occurrences, community composition and diversity in spatially explicit plant assemblages. We will combine dispersal, dormancy, and competition-related functional traits with information about habitat size and connectivity and environmental filters to improve understanding of internal metacommunity dynamics and coexistence of species in a real-world plant metacommunity.

The doctoral student will conduct field work in a grassland/meadow metacommunity system in the archipelago of southern Finland, collect and measure plant traits, use dispersal kernels to examine species’ dispersal abilities and study soil seed banks (temporal dispersal) with germination trials. The doctoral student is expected to publish results in high-ranked scientific journals. While being based at the University of Oulu, the doctoral student will work in collaboration with an international researcher team, including collaborators, for example, from University of Missouri, US, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research iDiv, Germany, and University of Helsinki, Finland. The selected candidate will carry out her/his doctoral studies within the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS) and must meet the requirements to receive doctoral study rights as defined in: http://www.oulu.fi/uniogs/requirements_for_admission.   

Your profile/qualifications:

–      Excellent MSc in plant community ecology or equivalent field

–      Excellent written and spoken English

–      Ability to travel and do field work

–      Ability to work in an international team

–      Good statistical skills and experience of using R

–      Good knowledge of and experience in biodiversity research, plant traits and/or plant dispersal

–      Good grassland plant identification skills

Assessment of the applicants will be based on, acknowledging the content of the job, 1) overall fit to the above profile, 2) MSc Thesis (or scientific publications if any), 3) motivation, 4) previous work experience, 5) other academic activities and merits.

We offer:

–      Novel, ambitious, and exciting project and study questions/system

–      Dedicated supervision and support from highly enthusiastic and international researcher team

–      Funding for 4-years. The salary will be based on the levels 2 – 4 of the demand level chart for teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50 % of the job-specific component). The total salary for these levels (before tax) typically ranges from about 2 300 – 3 000 Euros/month for full-time employment depending on qualifications and performance.

–      Full benefits provided by the University of Oulu to university employees, including free time corresponding to holidays and free occupational health care services. The successful candidate will receive also benefits provided by the Finnish government to residents, for example possibility to obtain access to the national healthcare system, tax benefits for employees with children, and high-quality affordable childcare services.

Apply online latest on Monday 30.11.2020 at 23:59 (Finnish local time). Please include the following attachments in your application (all in English):

–      Cover letter (describing experience relevant to this position, research interests, motivation and why this position is of               interest to you),

–      Curriculum Vitae

–      Copy of MSc Thesis and list of publications if any

–      Copies of all relevant certificates (MSc, BA)

–      Contact information for two references

The position is filled as of 1.2.2021 (or as soon as possible thereafter). A trial period of 6 months is applied to the position.

For further information, please contact

About Finland and Oulu city

Finland is one of the most livable countries, 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 northern Scandinavia and one of the fastest growing regions in 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. Find out more about Oulu: https://www.oulu.fi/university/living-in-oulu

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