The Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology, Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences

The University of Eastern Finland is inviting applications for a Doctoral Researcher (PhD student) position in water sustainability and global change at the Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences in the Faculty of Science, Forestry and Technology, on Joensuu campus. The position will be filled for a fixed term from 1 April 2024 (or starting date as agreed).

Please find more information below and submit your application no later than 26 February 2024.

Role and salary 

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate with good analytical and quantitative skills, and interest in topics related to freshwater sustainability and Earth system resilience. The person appointed to this position will work in the European Research Council-funded project entitled “Protecting the planet’s bloodstream: feasible and just opportunities to safeguard freshwater’s Earth system functions (AQUAGUARD)”. AQUAGUARD is an ambitious interdisciplinary project aiming to understand and quantify long-term changes in the terrestrial water cycle, their human drivers, and impacts on key life-supporting functions of freshwater in the Earth system.

The candidate should be motivated to both explore theoretical and conceptual questions concerning freshwater's role in the Earth system, and conduct analyses of global water cycle changes, their anthropogenic drivers, and Earth system impacts. The main responsibility of the Doctoral Researcher is to work towards a doctoral dissertation, which includes research collaboration and publishing of scientific articles within a highly multi-/interdisciplinary research team.

Several fields of study can offer a strong foundation for researching these topics, including (but not limited to) environmental science, water resources management, environmental or civil engineering, and sustainability science. The work involves handling and analysis of large (spatial) datasets, therefore strong quantitative skills and at least a basic command of R or other programming language for scientific computing are needed to successfully conduct the research.

The position will be filled for a fixed term from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2028 (or starting date as agreed) due to its association with specific tasks of AQUAGUARD and the anticipated timeframe for completing the doctoral degree. A probationary period is applied to all new members of the staff.

The candidate shall be qualified to pursue postgraduate studies at the University of Eastern Finland by enrolling in the Faculty’s doctoral programme LUMETO. The goal is to finish the doctoral thesis and graduate within four years.

The salary of the position is determined in accordance with the salary system of the Finnish universities. The salary comprises two components: a job requirement component and a personal performance component. In this position, the job requirement level is based on levels 2–4 on the job requirement chart for teaching and research staff, depending on the stage of the applicant’s doctoral research and postgraduate studies. The personal performance salary element is 6–50% of the job-related salary element. At the beginning of the employment, the salary of the Doctoral Researcher will be approximately €2584–2718 /month.

Our requirements and expectations 


  • Master’s degree in environmental science, water resources management, environmental or civil engineering, sustainability science, or some other relevant field.
  • A person to be appointed as a Doctoral Researcher shall be qualified to pursue postgraduate studies.
  • Potential candidates should have a good command of written and spoken English (working language is English).

The following will be considered an advantage:

  • Strong quantitative skills, including handling large amounts of data.
  • Experience in hydrological modelling and/or spatial data and modelling.
  • Experience in R, Matlab, Python, or other programming language for scientific computing.
  • Experience in working in international and/or multi- and interdisciplinary research teams.
  • Good communication and presentation capabilities as evidenced by written academic texts or contributions to scientific conferences.

Your benefits

You will have access to the university’s staff benefits, including  

•    Opportunity for flexible, multi-location work.  
•    Extensive occupational health care.  
•    Broad selection of staff training.
•    Staff discount on lunch in our campus restaurants, as well as on a range of other services.
•    Affordable sports services and tax-free bike benefit.

Please read more in the Work at UEF section on our website. 

You will have an opportunity to work in an interesting, meaningful and diverse role as part of our international, creative, participatory and inclusive academic community.    

Enjoy your life in Finland! Known for its cleanliness, welfare know-how, modern technology, and superb education system, Finland is an exotic and safe country to work in. Please visit the Life in Finland section on our website to learn more.    

How to apply?

Submit your application by using our electronic application form no later than 26 February 2024 by 24:00 (midnight) Finnish time (UTC+2).

Please note that you must include the following appendices in your application:

  • CV (Template for researcher's curriculum vitae).
  • Copies of your academic degree certificates / diplomas and copies of certificates / diplomas relating to your language proficiency, if not indicated in the academic degree certificates/diplomas.
  • A motivation letter (max. 1 page).
  • Other documents you wish to include to demonstrate your merits for the position (maximum 3 pages).


For further information on the position, please contact Associate Professor Miina Porkka, email:, tel. +358 50 472 7340.

For further information on the application procedure, please contact HR-Coordinator Noora Hämäläinen, e-mail, tel. +358 29 4458 302.

Type of employment Temporary position (shorter than 10 days)
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 1.4.2024
Salary General collective agreement for universities
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Joensuu
County Pohjois-Karjala
Country Finland
Reference number 464/01.01.03/2024
  • Miina Porkka, +358294453499
Published 01.Feb.2024
Last application date 26.Feb.2024

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