Postdoctoral Researcher on the Methodology of Interdisciplinary Practices in Sustainability Sciences

The Faculty of Social Sciences is Finland’s leading research and education institute in the social sciences, and the country’s most diverse social sciences faculty in terms of the range of its disciplines and fields of research. The Faculty has a strong international research profile and international Master’s programmes, and several of its disciplinary units have been rated among the top 50 in the world. The Faculty has a research and teaching staff of approximately 350, and each year it awards some 350 Bachelor’s degrees, 400 Master’s degrees and more than 40 doctoral degrees. For more information, please see the Faculty website at

The Faculty of Social Sciences invites applications for the position of


for a three-year, full-time, fixed-term period from 1 January 2019 onwards (or starting point as agreed).

The successful applicant will join a research team in formation concerning the methodology of inter- and transdisciplinary practices in sustainability science(s), led by Associate Professor Michiru Nagatsu. The position will be located at the Faculty of Social Sciences, and closely associated with HELSUS – Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science,

The post-doctoral researcher will empirically explore the methodology of inter- and transdisciplinary practices in sustainability science(s). Although calls for inter- and transdisciplinary research to tackle environmental and societal challenges have almost become a compulsory requirement in project/program applications for competitive research grants, whether and how exactly such research generates epistemic and practical benefits remains under-investigated. There is a need for direct identification and discussion of current integrative methodologies and what their different affordances might be for specific sustainability problems and specific disciplines. In particular good methodologies for combining social scientific and natural scientific approaches remain elusive. The postdoc researcher will conduct research to fill this gap, drawing on the traditions of history and philosophy of science and science and technology studies. The emphasis should be on theoretical and empirical investigations of epistemic and institutional processes of ID and TD research in sustainability sciences broadly conceived, with a particularly focus on methodological practices.

An appointee to the position must hold a doctoral degree in the relevant fields, e.g., history and philosophy of science, science and technology studies, sociology of scientific knowledge, cognitive science of science, etc. However a person with an environmental or sustainability science background with some philosophical or social scientific training would also be considered. S/he should have the capacity to pursue discipline-based and interdisciplinary work, and to conduct independent scientific research at a high level. Skills in specific empirical methods (experimental, bibliometric, qualitative, etc.) would be an advantage. A demonstrable knowledge of philosophy of science in practice would be preferred but is not essential. The focus of the researcher may be on Finland, and/or on other Nordic countries, and/or on other countries in Europe where interdisciplinary sustainability sciences are conducted, depending on the successful candidate’s expertise and regional knowledge.

In addition to pursuing her/his own research, the researcher will collaborate with Prof. Nagatsu in various ways, such as compiling literature reviews, co-authoring publications, and writing grant applications. Applicants from any country are welcomed. Knowledge of Finnish society is not necessary. Proven teamwork skills and commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration are advantages, as are a strong emerging track record in research and international peer-reviewed publications. Candidates are expected to possess excellent academic writing and communication skills in English.

The successful applicant should possess appropriate teaching skills in philosophy of science in practice or philosophy of sustainability. The duties of the postdoctoral researcher include teaching for the Faculty of Social Sciences (5% of the annual workload). The chosen applicant is expected to be physically present in Helsinki on a regular basis, and to participate actively in the intellectual life of HELSUS, the Practical Philosophy discipline and the wider scientific community across the Faculty and University.

The salary shall be based on level 5 of the job requirement scheme for teaching and research staff in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal performance will be paid. The annual gross salary range will be approx. 41,000 – 50,000 euros, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience. In addition, occupational healthcare will be provided. The employment contract will include a probationary period of six months.

Applicants are requested to enclose with their applications the following documents in English. Please compile all documents as a single pdf file:
1) A curriculum vitae, clearly indicating type and level of qualifications
2) A numbered list of publications on which the applicant has marked in bold her or his three key publications to be considered during the review
3) A statement (max 1 page) outlining how the applicant’s expertise could productively contribute to the methodology of interdisciplinary sustainability sciences
4) A summary (max. 2 pages) on the applicant’s scholarly activities including: original research at an international level, international academic networks, local forms of collaboration, disciplinary and interdisciplinary activities, success in obtaining research funding, and other relevant details

Instructions about preparing the CV and list of publications and the documentation of teaching merits can be found in the following web address:…

Please submit your application through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System by clicking the link Apply for job. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to submit their application via the SAP HR portal,

Further information about the position may be obtained from Prof. Michiru Nagatsu, michiru.nagatsu(at)

Should you need support with the recruitment system, please contact

Due date

14.10.2018 23:59 EEST


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