Tampere University

Doctoral Researcher (WasteMatters project)

2024-08-01 (Europe/Helsinki)
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Tampere University is one of the most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. We are building a new model for higher education and research in F...

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Tampere University and Tampere University of Applied Sciences create a unique environment for multidisciplinary, inspirational, and high-impact research and education. Our universities community has its competitive edges in technology, health, and society. www.tuni.fi/en

Faculty of Social Sciences in the Tampere University invites applications for a fixed-term (3 years) Doctoral Researcher position, starting as of 1 September 2024 (or as agreed) till 31August 2027.

The project ‘Ontologies of Waste: A Relational Study of How Waste Comes to Matter for Humans, Society, and Future (WasteMatters)’ at the Tampere University will run from September 2022 to August 2027. The project is funded by European Research Council (ERC) and led by professor Olli Pyyhtinen. The project offers a supportive and inspiring working environment and excellent opportunities for a researcher to develop their skills and career in an international and interdisciplinary setting.

WasteMatters studies humans and the spatiotemporal scales of society from the perspective of waste. It focuses mostly on food waste, plastic waste, waste incineration ash, and nuclear waste and examines what waste does for and to us: what kind of relations, agencies, and scales it assumes, enacts, and sustains; what kind of risks, responsibilities, and possibilities it presents; to what kind of futures society commits itself with its waste practices; and what are the sorts of humans that we both individually and collectively become with waste. Empirical insight will be derived from fieldwork to be conducted across various sites – households, businesses, biogas plants, waste incinerators, and nuclear waste repositories – in different countries. It will produce knowledge of waste as both constitutive of economy and society and as something that disturbs them. 

The WasteMatters project is hosted at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University. Tampere University is an internationally renowned research-led university and one of the few in the world to specialize in social sciences. For more information about Tampere, please see VisitTampere and BusinessTampere. For further information about Finland, please visit InfoFinland and This is Finland.  

Job Description

The doctoral researcher will focus on studying the management of the leaky realities of waste. The research will be conducted mainly by way of interviews and participant observation. The selected candidate will gather empirical data and analyse it. The selected candidate can influence the emphasis of their own research within the thematic scope of the WasteMatters project. 

The doctoral researcher participates in data collecting in collaboration with the research team. The PhD researcher’s main duties will consist of their PhD studies and writing their dissertation. In addition, the doctoral researcher is expected to participate in regular project meetings and other activities of the research team. They are expected to present their research at seminars and academic conferences. A successful candidate is expected to show interest and enthusiasm towards working in a research team. 


The selected candidate must hold a Master’s degree in a relevant field, such as sociology, anthropology, social psychology, or philosophy. The selected candidate will need to apply for acceptance in Tampere University’s Doctoral Program in Social Sciences during Autumn semester 2024.

The selected candidate must have the ability to conduct independent, high-quality scientific research. The candidate should have excellent analytical and methodological skills and be able to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a research team. A successful candidate is expected to have experience and training in qualitative research within the social sciences or humanities. In addition, experience in ethnographic fieldwork is considered as an advantage. The position requires readiness to travel.

Excellent skills in written and oral Finnish and English are required. 

Please be prepared to provide proof of your merits when requested.

We offer

Position is fixed-term (3 years)  position, starting as of 1 September 2024 (or as agreed) until 31August 2027. A trial period of six months applies to all new employees.

The salary of the Doctoral Researcher will be based on levels 2-4 of the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition to the basic salary, supplementary salary will be paid according to the personal performance, depending on the selected candidate’s qualifications and experience. At commencement, the monthly salary of a doctoral researcher will typically be approximately 2600 Euro. 

How to apply

Applications should be written in English and submitted electronically via the Tampere University’s electronic recruitment system (link below). The closing date for applications is 1 August 2024 (at 23:59/UCT +3:00). The interviews of the top candidates will be held and the decision will be made in August.

The following documents should accompany your application: 

(1)    CV (including publications, max. 3 pages)

(2)    Short letters of reference from two (2) referees

(3)    Preliminary research proposal (max. 3 pages) consisting of 

    i.    a description of previous research experience (such as MA thesis);

    ii.    a research idea/vision where you tell why the project’s themes or approach interest you and how you would like to focus your own PhD in this context;

    iii.    motivation for the task with a statement on working as part of a research team.


For further information on the position please contact the WasterMatters PI, professor Olli Pyyhtinen, olli.pyyhtinen(at)tuni.fi.


Doctoral Researcher (WasteMatters project)
Kalevantie 4 Tampere, Finnland
2024-08-01 23:59 (Europe/Helsinki)
2024-08-01 22:59 (CET)
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Tampere University is one of the most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. We are building a new model for higher education and research in F...

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