Fully-Funded Position for PHD Student | Arctic Paleoceanography

  • Position: Doctoral Student in Environmental Change and Politics: Arctic Paleoceanography
  • Promoter: University of Helsinki
  • Qualifications: MSc degree in a relevant discipline, such as Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Physical Geography
  • Location: Helsinki, Finland
  • Application Deadline: the position is available until 30th June 2017
  • Apply: here
Link: Click here to access the full text of the offer and apply

Offer full description:


The University of Helsinki, founded in 1640, is one of the world’s leading universities for multidisciplinary research. The university has an international academic community of 40,000 students and staff members. It operates on four campuses in Helsinki and at 17 other locations.

The Department of Environmental Sciences is based at the Viikki campus in Helsinki and at the environmental campus in Lahti, thus forming a strong and broad university unit for environmental education and research. Research at the department covers both biologically and socially oriented environmental issues. Strong skills in both disciplines and cross-disciplinarity give a good basis for solution-oriented research and teaching based on the most recent environmental knowledge.

The Environmental Change Research Unit (ECRU) (http://www.helsinki.fi/bioscience/ecru) is based at the Department of Environmental Sciences at the Viikki campus in Helsinki. The research at the ECRU focuses on the development and application of empirical, computational and modeling tools to detect global environmental changes and to analyse their ecological and societal impacts. ECRU is particularly interested in longer-term (paleo) climatic changes and ecosystem feedbacks, marine, freshwater, wetland and coastal paleoecology as well as carbon cycling and black carbon. ECRUs research mainly concentrates on Arctic environments.

Department of Environmental Sciences invites applications for a position of



Following the striking loss in Arctic seasonal sea-ice cover, sea-ice has not only become the most conspicuous sign of Arctic climate warming, but also a stage for elevated community and political interest. There is an acute need to understand sea-ice variability beyond the era of satellite observations, so that we can better assess the resilience of sea-ice ecosystems and predict the risks, opportunities and feedbacks of future sea-ice decline. Proxies extracted from geological archives provide the sole available data for extending instrumental record of sea-ice cover to the pre-anthropogenic era. Recent integrative efforts, however, highlight the notable uncertainties in proxy-based sea-ice reconstruction that stem from the poor mechanistic understanding, lack of quantifiability and gaps in seasonal information.

A fully funded 4-year PhD student position is available at the Environmental Change Research Unit (ECRU) in a research project “Arctic sea-ice proxies: from seasonal processes to improved reconstructions”. The project investigates unidentified temporal, vertical and biological attributes of leading-edge sea-ice proxies to provide an understanding of their mechanistic relation to sea ice and to calibrate sea-ice reconstructions.

We invite applications from goal-oriented candidates with a strong background and genuine interest in Quaternary or Environmental Sciences. We provide a truly enthusiastic yet relaxed working environment with several senior researchers, post docs and PhD students. In addition to the supervisor(s), the student will have a thesis advisory committee evaluating the student’s progress and offering support throughout the doctoral studies. The project has international partners and the student is expected to be willing to travel.


– A MSc degree in a relevant discipline, such as Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Physical Geography;
– Proven academic ability;
– Experience in some of the following: paleoecology and micropaleontology, proxy-based reconstruction, microbial ecology, genetic sequencing and genomic analyses, geochemistry, multivariate statistics;
– Excellent communication and good writing skills, proficiency in English language;
– A positive approach, strong drive and motivation to work in an international environment are considered significant assets.

Conditions of employment

The PhD student will be employed full-time, for a fixed term of four years with a four-month probation period. If applicable, the student will have to apply and receive a permit to study and reside in Finland. Salary is based on levels 1−4 of the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal performance with the overall salary amounting to approximately 2000−3000 €/month (gross) depending on the stage of the PhD project and work performance. Standard Finnish pension benefits, occupational health care, and health insurance are provided for University employees. Furthermore, the University offers comprehensive services including sports facilities, and opportunities for professional development.

A PhD degree consists of the student’s own research work and a 40 ECTS study program. After a research topic has been selected, the applicant applies for the PhD studies in the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences. The right to pursue a doctoral degree is granted with the major in Environmental Change and Policy. Simultaneously, the candidate applies for admission to the Doctoral programme in interdisciplinary environmental studies (DENVI) (http://blogs.helsinki.fi/denvi-programme). The doctoral programme evaluates the application before the study right is granted. DENVI belongs to the Doctoral School in Environmental, Food and Biological Sciences (YEB) (http://www.helsinki.fi/doctoral-schools/environmental-food-and-biologica…).


The start date is September 1, 2017 or negotiable soon thereafter.

In your application, please include:
– letter of motivation,
– a CV including possible publication record,
– copies of degree certificates and Master’s thesis,
– names and contact information of two referees.

The application, together with the required attachment as a single pdf file, must be submitted through the University of Helsinki electronic Recruitment System by clicking on Apply for job. Internal applicants (i.e., current employees of the University of Helsinki) must submit their applications through the SAP HR portal. Apply latest on June 30 2017.

For more information, please contact Academy Research Fellow Maija Heikkilä (maija.heikkila(at)helsinki.fi).

Apply at latest 30.06.2017


Friday, June 30, 2017

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Image Credit: University of Helsinki

Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)