The University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest institution of academic education in Finland, an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. In international university rankings, the University of Helsinki typically ranks among the top 100. The University of Helsinki seeks solutions for global challenges and creates new ways of thinking for the best of humanity. Through the power of science, the University has contributed to society, education and welfare since 1640.

The Faculty of Social Sciences is Finland’s leading research and education institution in the social sciences and also the most diverse in terms of its disciplines. In several research fields the Faculty belongs to the top 50 in the international rankings. The Faculty has a strong international profile both in research and teaching programmes. The number of academic staff stands at 350. Each year the faculty awards some 350 Bachelor’s degrees, 400 Master’s degrees, and more than 40 doctoral degrees. For more information on the Faculty of Social Sciences, please visit

The Faculty of Social Sciences invites applications for the position of


for a three-year fixed term period from 3 September 2018 onwards (or as agreed).


The postdoctoral researcher will be positioned in Sociology in a Finnish Academy funded research group studying Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in West Africa. The group is part of an interdisciplinary consortium of clinical researchers, microbiologists and sociologists studying the spread of AMR genes in the region that has extensive gaps in data regarding AMR. AMR has increased rapidly, especially in low income countries which lack controlled antibiotic policy, and have poor infrastructures enabling the flow of AMR genes between the environment, animals and humans. The study joins environmental, microbiological, sociological, and medical expertise to explore the evolving and transfer of AMR genes between water, soil, animals, food, and humans (“One Health approach”).

Available position

The sociological group wishes to recruit an enthusiastic postdoctoral researcher who is interested in developing social scientific research on microbes. The position will be in an exciting new group that is exploring the emerging field where microbes are given increasing attention through the study of microbiota, gut wellbeing, microbes’ role for mental health, etc. The postdoctoral position gives the right candidate an opportunity to explore microbes in the context of development: how are infrastructures, understandings of bacteria, social practices, antimicrobial resistance, and ecologies connected?

An ideal candidate will have a good understanding of medical anthropology, science and technology studies, and global health, and ideally have past experience of ethnographic work in relevant sub-fields such as, but not limited to, social study of international collaboration, emerging technologies in low income countries, pharmaceuticals, non-human subjects, or indeed, microbes.

The position entails ethnographic fieldwork in West Africa (in Burkina Faso, Mali and/or Benin) that is expected to last between six months to a year and to study people’s understandings of microbes, how antibiotics are used, and how people ‘live with microbes’ in these contexts. During the third year, the project will develop participatory videos (PV) through a participatory research process with the help of a PV team that the candidate can be part of making.


The appointee must hold a doctoral degree in a relevant field of social sciences (sociology, science and technology studies, anthropology, development studies, gender studies, geography etc). Period following the completion of doctoral degree must not exceed five years, excluding family leave and equivalent periods of absence.

Moreover, the candidate is expected to have the ability to conduct independent ethnographic research. The candidate is expected to develop her/his own research on the topic and contribute to the joint research agenda.

When assessing applicants, advantage will be granted to research experience with qualitative research methods, and ethnography in particular. Proven teamwork skills and commitment to academic collaboration are essential. The work includes fieldwork in Francophone West Africa so proficiency in French is necessary and the candidate is expected to have high level of academic writing in English. Interest or experience with visual methods and/or participatory research is considered an advantage but not essential.

The salary will be based on levels 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. 41,000–43,000 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. According to Faculty policy, postdoctoral researchers teach 5% of their time, corresponding roughly with 20 hours contact teaching per year.

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
2) A numbered list of publications with five key publications relevant to the position marked in bold
3) A cover letter (max 2 pages) outlining how the applicant’s expertise and experience could contribute to the project

For instructions, please see

Please submit your application through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via 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 Academy Researcher Salla Sariola,

Should you need support with the recruitment system, please contact

Due date

13.06.2018 23:59 EEST

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